Dartmoor Wood warblers

Thanks Paul Treen for posting the images of a colour ringed wood warbler at Yarner Wood. The combination of this individual (a male) is actually a metal ID ring over a pink/white striped ring on the left leg and red over orange on the right leg! Its not easy, especially the striped rings. This male was captured and ringed at Yarner Wood in 2015 as part of the conservation science work undertaken by Devon Birds/RSPB.

Already this season we have several returning colour ringed Wood warblers in our Dartmoor woodlands and we expect to find many more. A dedicated research assistant (Joan Castello) is employed on this project to undertake the resighting and related work. This is a long running project that works across nearly 30 Dartmoor woodlands investigating declines in the UK breeding population. A part of this work colour marks adults and young to uniquely identify these birds without the need to recapture them again - this is enabling us to look at survival rates between years which we can relate to various factors as well as getting a more accurate picture of population size.

Please report colour ringed wood warblers, ideally to me or Joan. They are very challenging to read correctly but even if you just get a partial or uncertain look, if you can give us a rough location we can follow this up and find it and check ourselves. We will be able to give you the full history of the bird. We know from this work that they are not usually very faithful to a wood and move around a lot, even within the breeding season (although not this particular Yarner bird!).

Also remember colour ringed birds can be reported just like found bird rings to the BTO (best done through www.ring.ac.uk).

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Wood warbler project please get in touch.

Malcolm Burgess (RSPB Conservation Scientist)



Posted April 25th, 2016 at 3:49 pm by Malcolm Burgess in General Birding