TY2014: Bird Ringing- What’s that?

Bird in the handEibhlín Windrim, Gael-Choláiste Chill Dara, Kildare.

My week at BEES was very interesting. I learned a lot and met a lot of new people. I like science and wouldn’t consider myself to be dumb, but there’s a lot on this course I didn’t know, or sometimes understand the title/name on our timetable. Like Bird Ringing….

What’s that? I didn’t know. I was pretty sure you didn’t phone a bird and ask it how it’s day was going, but other than that I hadn’t the foggiest.

We went Bird Ringing on Tuesday (which luckily was warmer than Monday). We went to the BEES experimental site. There we met Barry O’Mahony, who showed us how to ring birds. Which by the way is when you put a ring on a bird, makes sense right?

He was after setting up three nets around a bird feeder. When we got to the nets there were three birds caught; a Dunnock or Hedge Sparrow, a Blackbird and a Great Tit. Barry freed the birds from the nets and put them in cotton bags, so that they could breathe, but couldn’t see.

He had caught a Blue Tit earlier, so he ringed him first. First he ringed the bird, with a small size A ring. Then he measured the wing and aged the bird using the colouring of his wing, and weighed him. He also micro-chipped the Blue and Great Tits for a PhD student. I even got to release the Dunnock!

It was a great week and I had a lot of fun. Thanks to Grace and Susan for organizing it.

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