Spotted flycatcher tracking project

Devon Birds/RSPB/BTO Spotted flycatcher tracking project

Thanks to several people for sharing their garden Spotted flycatchers with us after our appeal. We are nearly there but still need your help in locating a few more Spotted flycatcher nests in Devon to contribute to our ongoing project that you can read about in the current issue of Devon Birds.

Spotted flycatchers have seen declines of 83% since the 1960s. Reasons for this decline may include factors operating within UK breeding grounds, such as reduced availability of invertebrates, but the species may also be declining due to problems along their migratory journey to Africa and back. But we know little about their wintering grounds. We need this information to understand what part of the annual cycle causes problems for spotted flycatchers, and where we might need to focus future work to reverse declines. To do this we are continuing the work we started in 2016, tracking migrations to determine wintering areas using tiny tracking devises. These geolocators weigh only 0.36g - incredible!

But to be able to do this we need to catch and tag spotted flycatchers in places where they return each year, as we need to recapture tagged birds the year after to retrieve the tag and its data. The best places to do this are peoples gardens. Do you have Spotted flycatchers nesting at the moment in your garden or farm? If you are happy to have your spotted flycatchers captured and tagged for this project, please could you email james.kennerley@rspb.org.uk or malcolm.burgess@rspb.org.uk.

Posted July 10th at 9:23 am by Malcolm Burgess in General Birding