Jackdaws with rings

At 4pm yesterday I headed out with local bird ringer Brenda to check some oak trees on the reserve to see if we could find and ring some jackdaw chicks. We only manged to find 1 active nest hole in an old oak that could be safely climbed too and it contained 4 chicks. Each chick was fitted with a British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) metal ring that has a unique number, allowing the bird to be traced back to it’s ringing site and aged if anyone manages to find or read the ring number again. After ringing we weighed each bird and then returned them all back to the hole in the oak, the whole process took less than 10 minutes. I should point out that BTO bird ringing requires a license that can only be obtained by training to strict and specific standards.

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Four surprisingly docile jackdaw chicks. The chick on the right has closed it’s nictitating membrane over it’s eye (a kind of third eyelid that keeps dirt off the eye).

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Close up of the largest jackdaw chick, it’s flight feathers are just starting to grow out from the quills on it’s wings.

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A chick with the ring on it’s right leg.

For more information on bird ringing here is a link to the BTO website:

http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/ringing/ringing-scheme

It will be worth having a look at any young jackdaws on the reserve in the future to see if they have rings on, it may just about be possible to read the ring number with a telescope, but it would require a fair amount of patience! I was very pleased to be able to join Brenda as I’d not ringed many other species of corvid (crow family), only jays and ravens. For comparison here is a raven chick I ringed in Scotland a while ago:

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Raven chick, North Ronaldsay, Orkney 12th April 2006

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