Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Ringing, Banding What's The Point!!!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 19:22   #1
Steve
Registered user

 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Uk
Posts: 115
Ringing, Banding What's The Point!!!

What is it all about? An over Enthusiastic bunch Of people who want to get close to birds? does it really serve a purpose?
are the same birds caught week after week?
when they die in the wild who finds the ring? who reports it missing? A little hobby for a sunday morning? does Chaffinch ringed in plymouth, get reported in exeter? after its caught for the 40th time?


Discuss
__________________
http://www.birdforum.net
Steve is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 19:27   #2
peter hayes

 
Posts: n/a
What an agent provocateur you are Steve! I am sure we will have an indignant El Annie and others rushing to the defence of ringing ASAP. But you raise an important point. It seems to me that very few people understand how ringing works or what it is for.

I found Ian F's thread fascinating (he tried out ringing for the first time recently) but there are many questions unanswered, such as the value of this long term versus the undoubted distress it causes birds who fly head first into a net and are suddenly trapped. I'm sure we will get many responses to this.
 
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 19:32   #3
Andy Bright
Administrator
BF Supporter 2018
 
Andy Bright's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Watford
Posts: 5,063
"Ringing, Banding What's The Point!!!"

Primarily to upset bird photographers :-)
You get that lovely shot of your bird in a totally natural habitat, then open your photo up on the monitor to find a lump of metal around your subjects leg!
Andy
__________________
www.Digiscoped.com
also, if you're particularly bored, try www.andybright.com - mediocre aviation photography
Andy Bright is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 19:35   #4
peter hayes

 
Posts: n/a
I see your point Andy. How can you call your stuff art when there's a shiny, man made object ruining the piccy?!!!
 
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 19:36   #5
Steve
Registered user

 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Uk
Posts: 115
How come so many ringers give up after a month or so, does the NOVELTY wear off?

I have yet to hear a Ringer Mumble more than three words!!
and ask one for information, you may as well ask the bird he's just stopped in mid flight, leaving its eyeballs balanced on its tail feathers.
__________________
http://www.birdforum.net
Steve is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 20:08   #6
Surreybirder
Ken Noble
 
Surreybirder's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Lingfield Surrey
Posts: 8,261
There must be a lot of birds ringed, judging by the fact that we not infrequently get them in our garden. I'm not too worried about the aesthetics, but I do wish I had some way of finding out the ring details (given that I'm not about to start trapping them).
Surreybirder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 21:19   #7
peter hayes

 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally posted by Surreybirder
(given that I'm not about to start trapping them).
One question Surreybirder. Why?
 
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 22:23   #8
alanhill
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 234
Could anyone tell me how much an average ring weighs? Although I can see that ringing has brought great benefits to the study of bird migration, and therefore to measures to assist in the protection of birds, what does it do for the individual bird? For example some small songbirds (particularly juveniles) must weigh around 10-20 gram only; what percentage of body weight is added by the ring? Would this then affect the bird's survival chances on a long migration, thus possibly distorting results of migration studies?
I am open-minded about this as I can see pros and cons for ringing.

Alan Hill
alanhill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 22:25   #9
Andrew
wibble wibble
 
Andrew's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Devon. UK.
Posts: 11,431
I was interested in ringing a while back but what held me back was I thought it was simply an excuse to handle birds and 'play' with them. We all know how nice it is to stroke a cat, I think there are people who think like this about birds.

Don't get me wrong I know there are some genuinely concerned people who want to monitor bird movements for conservation purposes. Just look at the BTO Migration Atlas. This is a result of bird ringing and provides a powerful tool in supporting arguments for conservation between various countries and habitats. I just believe there are people who are volunteering for the wrong reasons and there should only be the sufficient amount of ringers for a certain area and it should not be a social event.

I was a bit worried at a recent local National History Society meeting where the Dormouse expert demonstrated in precise detail how to survey Dormice nestboxes to a large group of 'granny nature lovers'. I thought about how many of these people might see a Dormouse box and think 'ooh I know how to look in these, watch me' and mess things up for them.

My thinking is folk should only train to be ringers if they are asked to do so, if you want to know or see this in action ask to go along to a session like Ian did and not volunteer just to get a chance to get close to birds. If you wanna get close to birds go to a zoo!
__________________
Are you listening to the voice that talks in your head while you read this?
Andrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 22:35   #10
KC Foggin
Super Moderator
BF Supporter 2018
 
KC Foggin's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Myrtle Beach SC "Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places"
Posts: 239,676
Not necessarily my view on the subject, actually I have no views on this at the moment, but, you asked and seeing how I research for a living, here are some answers.

"Banding allows the determination of the minimum length of time that an individual bird lives.
Without an individual marker, there would be no way to determine if the Cardinal that is outside your window is the same bird that you saw last year or not. With a bird band, if you catch that Cardinal today and band it, you will know if that one bird is caught again in the future.

It has been learned, for example, that it is not uncommon for individuals of some species to live 10 to 20 years or more in the wild. Small songbirds that we may think of as short-lived may live
a surprising length of time. There is a record of a hummingbird living as long as 12 years!
However, the average life span of the majority of the individuals is much shorter.

Banding and marking birds can also be used to estimate the numbers of birds in a population using a mark-recapture technique. Birds are marked in one time period, and then recaptured or resighted in a later time period. The number of birds marked in the first period and the ratio of marked to unmarked birds in the population in the second period allow the total population of birds to be estimated.

Banding data allows for the comparison of normal, wild banded birds with birds that may have had their survival altered by exposure to oil or other hazards. Survival and Productivity can be
studied by using a constant effort banding site.

Birds can be vectors of diseases which effect people, including encephalitis. Lyme disease and now West Nile disease. Sampling wild birds for serious disease helps determine the prevalence of the disease in the population. Banding allows for birds that have been sampled once to be avoided in the next sample--or to be resampled, depending on the study".
__________________
KC a/k/a common KC

Karma - What you send out
Comes right back at ya
KC Foggin is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 23:02   #11
helenh
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 289
Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew
I was interested in ringing a while back but what held me back was I thought it was simply an excuse to handle birds and 'play' with them. We all know how nice it is to stroke a cat, I think there are people who think like this about birds.

Don't get me wrong I know there are some genuinely concerned people who want to monitor bird movements for conservation purposes. Just look at the BTO Migration Atlas. This is a result of bird ringing and provides a powerful tool in supporting arguments for conservation between various countries and habitats. I just believe there are people who are volunteering for the wrong reasons and there should only be the sufficient amount of ringers for a certain area and it should not be a social event.

<snip>

My thinking is folk should only train to be ringers if they are asked to do so, if you want to know or see this in action ask to go along to a session like Ian did and not volunteer just to get a chance to get close to birds. If you wanna get close to birds go to a zoo!
It's a bit unfair to say that ringing shouldn't be a social event. If you're interested in ringing/banding and take the time to learn how to do it properly, then it's only natural that you'll have lots in common with like-minded souls. So you'll look forward to the next "event" as it will be an opportunity to catch up with your colleagues. It's not my thing (I'd be too terrified of hurting the bird) but I can see the scientific fascination ..... I've done something similar with whelks in the dim and distant past!

It's like saying birding shouldn't be a social event. That too can disturb birds - let's face it we've all met the birders who discuss their days exploits in loud voices in hides ... scaring off all comers (people and birds). Or the folks who crowd out a rarity in the rush to get a tick - or who disturb nesting birds etc.

The secret in both cases is responsible behaviour by the participants.

Helen
helenh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th April 2003, 23:10   #12
Andrew
wibble wibble
 
Andrew's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Devon. UK.
Posts: 11,431
I used a bad choice of wording there, if people want to meet up they do not need to go to a ringing session. The time spent on tone of these sessions should be used entirely for ringing to minimise bird captivity. I am not adverse to anyone going once or twice to learn about what happens.

Training should be done if you are serious enough to contribute to the studies of birds not as an excuse to get close to them.

Quote:
It's like saying birding shouldn't be a social event. That too can disturb birds - let's face it we've all met the birders who discuss their days exploits in loud voices in hides ... scaring off all comers (people and birds). Or the folks who crowd out a rarity in the rush to get a tick - or who disturb nesting birds etc.
Like all walks of life there are elements that some parties do not favour and ringing is bound to have a few so you are supporting my earlier comments. Agreed?

__________________
Are you listening to the voice that talks in your head while you read this?
Andrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st April 2003, 07:49   #13
helenh
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 289
Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew
I used a bad choice of wording there, if people want to meet up they do not need to go to a ringing session. The time spent on tone of these sessions should be used entirely for ringing to minimise bird captivity. I am not adverse to anyone going once or twice to learn about what happens.

Training should be done if you are serious enough to contribute to the studies of birds not as an excuse to get close to them.

Like all walks of life there are elements that some parties do not favour and ringing is bound to have a few so you are supporting my earlier comments. Agreed?

Taking your points in order:

If you're suggesting that ringers get together and leave birds dangling in netting or trapped in boxes while they discuss the price of tinned peaches at Sainsburys or the latest blockbuster film .... then yep, I'd agree that's unacceptable. However I'd be very surprised if that was the norm (or even common). So I wouldn't penalise the many because of a few idiots.

The motive for ringing - well I don't particularly think it matters why someone got interested, so long as they perform the task professionally and responsibly. I can imagine a number of reasons for wanting to get involved; scientific curiousity, a desire to get closer to birds, a keen interest in conservation, wanting to see warblers at much closer quarters so the next time you see them at a distance you might stand a chance of identifying them (not that I'm paranoid about warblers ). Lots of reasons - including the less focussed "I'm just fascinated by it". So all in all I disagree with you here, I wouldn't want to judge a person's motivation - just their behaviour when engaging in ringing.

Helen
helenh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st April 2003, 11:22   #14
El Annie
Phew..............
 
El Annie's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Nth Yorks, UK
Posts: 389
I am not going to rise to the bait folks and get into a row - sorry!! Anyone really interested in the sience of ringing can find out all about it on the BTO website or by contacting them direct by e-mail with their questions.

That said there is just one thing that I feel needs setting staight and that is that you can't just 'start ringing'. To become a ringer you DO have to be invited.

The way it works is that you contact your local ringing group and ask if you can go along to observe, if after your introduction to ringing you want to pursue it you go along again and again and again............ always as an observer. Your trainer (who is registerd with the BTO and MUST be an A permit holder) will eventually allow you to handle birds and will closely monitor you. IF you still want to become a trainee then your trainer will decide whether or not to endorse your application for a trainee permit. Your trainer can have your permit withdrawn at any time and will do so if he/she is not happy with your handling/attitude etc.

It takes approx 2 yrs to move from a trainee permit to a C permit and another 2 yrs to move to an A permit, it is not just about putting a ring on a bird and having a cup of tea and a chat, it is challenging both physically and mentally there is much to learn and it must be done properly and with total concentration and committment.

If anyone out there knows of a ringer or group of ringers that they feel are not doing their job properly and professionally then please report them to the BTO so that they can be investigated.

Annie :)

BTW - I do it because the whole thing facinates me and because I love birds and want to be active in the conservation of them. I consider it an absolute privilage to be able to do this and would NEVER willingly or knowlingly hurt any wildlife.

Last edited by El Annie : Monday 21st April 2003 at 11:26.
El Annie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st April 2003, 11:35   #15
Surreybirder
Ken Noble
 
Surreybirder's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Lingfield Surrey
Posts: 8,261
Quote:
Originally posted by peter hayes
One question Surreybirder. Why?
I don't want to trap the birds I see with rings on (and I'm not a ringer) but I'd still like to be able to read the info on the ring. Probably a pipe dream.
If your question is: why do I want to read the info, my answer would be that, as someone has ringed them it would be nice to be able to make use of their work and find out some possibly useful info.
Surreybirder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st April 2003, 12:18   #16
Chuck A Wulla
Member
 
Chuck A Wulla's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Indian Springs, Nevada
Posts: 121
Thank you all. I was aware of "ringing" and why, but had no idea who did it or how they got started. Nice to know.


Quote:
Originally posted by helenh
It's not my thing (I'd be too terrified of hurting the bird) but I can see the scientific fascination ..... I've done something similar with whelks in the dim and distant past!

Helen
You did something similar to gastropods?

Last edited by Chuck A Wulla : Monday 21st April 2003 at 12:20.
Chuck A Wulla is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st April 2003, 14:52   #17
helenh
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 289
Quote:
Originally posted by Chuck A Wulla
Thank you all. I was aware of "ringing" and why, but had no idea who did it or how they got started. Nice to know.

You did something similar to gastropods?
Hasn't everyone! Seriously - I did a whelk survey 10 years after the Torrey Canyon disaster, studying the effects of clean-up agents etc on various shore-life. We measured, weighed and tagged whelks.

Helen
helenh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st April 2003, 15:24   #18
IanF
Moderator
 
IanF's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Billingham, NE England
Posts: 55,865
Well said Annie

One thing I realised straight away from my recent trip to Foxglove Covert ringing centre as a guest, is the dedication and professionalism. One of the first things I was told was that 'the birds always come first'. That proved to be true throughout the day as birds were released from the nets and their welfare constantly checked.

Yes there was an element of socialising among a group of individuals dedicated to the task in hand, but it in no way impeded the care and welfare of the birds. Every bird netted was checked for any health problems.

As to 'why ring birds ?' - well it's a silly question as the information gained from ringing about longevity, migration and range are pretty obvious. As Annie and others point out, the BTO website explains it all. It's the basis for a lot of scientific research into the welfare of birds.

Another thing I came to appreciate from my visit is that ringers aren't just 'birdwatchers', they are dedicated individuals involved in scientific research and go about it in a very scientific manner. No frivolity comes into it at any level as far as the birds are concerned. Some of them aren't infact birdwatchers, everything is geared toward the scientific research of birds - I certainly had my eyes opened in that respect.

I can understand why some individuals may 'give up after a month or two' as it is actually pretty hard work done for no recompense. It requires a tremendous amount of dedication to the job and an immense amount of commitment time wise.

I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with the ringers and will probably take it up myself. From my point of view, yes it's great being able to get close to the birds, but more importantly to me is that it's actually helping in scientific research to improve the welfare of the birds for future years. The more information we have available the more accurately plans can be made to preserve ours bird species. It's a shame that more true 'birders' aren't more involved in this aspect of their hobby as it adds a totally new dimension to birdwatching.

I can empathise with the photo orientated comments, a ring doesn't look very aesthetic, but 'so what ?' - you can try for another photo on another bird. It's all part of the challenge. I certainly wouldn't knock ringing for the sake of a spoilt photo. The benefits far outweigh the negatives.

I can appreciate Steve's attempt to stimulate discussion, but to me it's a 'no brainer' discussion. The benefits of ringing are obvious. Apart from my visit to Foxglove I have frequently come across ringers and every one of them has been a mine of information. They are a very dedicated set of individuals who have had to work exceedingly hard putting in many hours of labour to gain a permit to ring birds on their own. Many also have to shell out hundreds of pounds for equipment .
IanF is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 21st April 2003, 16:17   #19
Andrew
wibble wibble
 
Andrew's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Devon. UK.
Posts: 11,431
The intention of my comments is not to say stop ringing altogether or punish those who do a proper job of it which is a bit of a drastic counter comment. My "message" is simply leave ringing to those who are doing it for the sake of research or conservation. I should not be somthing to pass a Sunday afternoon with. If you want something to do for pleasure do something else, now there is nothing wrong with having some pleasure out of ringing. After all if you don't enjoy it you won't do a proper job. From my comments you will see I believe ringing is a vitally important necessity for many reasons. I would only consider training as a ringer if I was asked to do so or volunteers were asked for in a local publication or such. I believe if there are too many 'leisure' ringers at a session this could stress out the birds.

This is my final word, leave it to the experts and only train when asked to do so. If the bird clubs are short of ringers they will let their members know, I think there is no doubt aout the latter.
__________________
Are you listening to the voice that talks in your head while you read this?
Andrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st April 2003, 18:48   #20
Steve
Registered user

 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Uk
Posts: 115
a "no brainer discussion " Absolute toffee!!! How much scientific
research can you do on a swallow?
1 it arrives in spring
2 it departs in Autumn
3 It Comes from and returns to Africa
4 if its lucky it will live 4 years
5 it will fly about 4000m return trip
6 it comes back to the same nest site.


You would of thought by now that some Whizz kid would look at the average of info on swallows caught and ringed, over say the last 20 years? and told us all we need to know?

Or do you need to catch a few more before the penny drops?
__________________
http://www.birdforum.net
Steve is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st April 2003, 18:51   #21
Andrew
wibble wibble
 
Andrew's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Devon. UK.
Posts: 11,431
There is only one thing I can think of affecting patterns and that is Global warming. Movements and settlements could be shifted by changing climates.
__________________
Are you listening to the voice that talks in your head while you read this?
Andrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st April 2003, 19:32   #22
Andy Bright
Administrator
BF Supporter 2018
 
Andy Bright's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Watford
Posts: 5,063
Quote:
Originally posted by IanF


I can empathise with the photo orientated comments, a ring doesn't look very aesthetic, but 'so what ?' - you can try for another photo on another bird. It's all part of the challenge. I certainly wouldn't knock ringing for the sake of a spoilt photo. The benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Lighten up, it was a light-hearted comment .....note the 'smilie'
Andy
__________________
www.Digiscoped.com
also, if you're particularly bored, try www.andybright.com - mediocre aviation photography
Andy Bright is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 21st April 2003, 19:34   #23
IanF
Moderator
 
IanF's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Billingham, NE England
Posts: 55,865
Don't worry Andy, no offence was taken. I apologise if I came across a bit strong, that wasn't my intention.
IanF is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 21st April 2003, 19:51   #24
peter hayes

 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally posted by El Annie
Anyone really interested in the science of ringing can find out all about it on the BTO website or by contacting them direct by e-mail with their questions.

PLUS

To become a ringer you DO have to be invited.
That answer, if you don't mind me saying so, is elitist. The purpose of this thread is to enlighten BF members. To unravel the mysteries of ringing. To educate. To inform. If you think this work is so valuable, then why not argue your case.

To simply direct people to the BTO web site smacks of complacency. Why not let us hear you loud and proud, making the case for ringing?

Peter
 
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st April 2003, 20:42   #25
LMG
Registered User
 
LMG's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Somerset
Posts: 161
I agree with everything El Annie and IanF have said so far. I have been ringing since last October and find the work so interesting and rewarding. Birds of the same species all look the same, so how can you tell where they go? Someone mentioned the BTO's Migration Atlas, it's brilliant. It gives loads of information, mainly in the form of maps, about most birds and shows how far they travel. We always find it exciting to know that one of 'our' birds has travelled to say, Yorkshire or Africa.

We also monitor weight, size, age, diseases etc, which is all useful information for explaining population trends. University students often use the data for carrying out surveys and projects. The more we know about birds the better, as we can help them. Why the decline in house sparrows for example?
Ringers are closely monitored and are very professional in the work they do. It takes several years to qualify, as there is so much to learn about each species, it's not just a matter of putting a ring on a bird - that's the easy bit!
LMG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.23735595 seconds with 30 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 08:22.