Originally Posted by Farnboro John
But isn't the ringing system BTO controlled? Why isn't there a central clearing house for the information?
It certainly does sound like a poor system and not just poor operation.
I agree with you, John. The BTO co-ordinate ringing and, presumably, have the IT capacity to deal with reports. Local ringers sometimes run out of time and energy, which includes notifying ringing colleagues and the BTO that they are winding down their ringing effort and paperwork. I guess that the time factor accounts for details of records not being returned to a person reporting the ringed bird in reasonable time.
I am not a member of the BTO (can't join everything!), but wasn't it said that fewer records of ringed birds are being submitted by members of the public than in days gone by? I notice in the ringing report which is published with the Manx Bird Report, which I edit, that the BTO differentiates between reports of ringed birds reported by ringers and non-ringers. I suppose that the latter includes members of the public who finds ringed birds along the tide line and whose cat brings in a ringed bird, as well as birders who are not also ringers but who make a lot of effort to report colour-ringed birds.
Perhaps someone from the BTO could comment here whether there is a problem and what is being done about it. Otherwise, it might seem a bit harsh for birds to be ringed and yet the collecting of data from the ringed birds is not as efficient as it should be.
BTW, I have also been impressed by the prompt replies from people co-ordinating colour-ringing in Scandinavia (Norway and Denmark, mostly gulls).