Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ness was Buzzin'

As part of my ringing I colour-ring Robins and Blackbirds at Ness Gardens for a PhD student who is undertaking a project to discover just how unpalatable a food source has to become before birds will stop eating it; and whether this limit changes under times of stress e.g. less food about, or hungry mouths to feed. So, noticing a brief respite in our current poor weather I managed a visit this weekend.

Four new Blackbirds and two Robins were colour-ringed with one bird, an adult male, BGW (blue green white) being recaptured (it being ringing initially on 17th Nov 2004 as a juvenile). This was a good return on two hours netting for these target species. We also caught a female Blackcap, several tits and a wren.

However, a moment of lasting memory was created on our last but one net round when we found this character in the net (see photo). We determined it as a juvenile male – hatched last year – and, for me, was my first handling of a free-flying buzzard.


Blogger Richard Charles said...

Bob- was the net wrecked, as speculated by John Dempsey in his Blog entry of 15th Jan? Also, did you find the Buzzard easy to handle once extracted from the net? My experience with South African raptors is that, once off the bal-chatri trap, most (kestrels a notable and painful exception)raptors are remarkable compliant, allowing wing measurement, plumage examination etc outside a bag, with only weighing obviously needing use of a bag. Richard Charles

6:10 PM  
Blogger drbob said...

Richard, No surprising the net was unaffected - the bird must have dropped out of the tall holly bush the net was next to and 'plopped' in. It was flapping a bit in the net but extraction was quite easy (there were two of us) and, as you say, once in the hand it was bordering on the docile.

7:46 PM  

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