The BSc Zoological Management and Conservation Level 6 students were up bright and early on Tuesday the 26th of September to meet BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) registered Naturalist Ed Drewitt, a fully trained and licensed bird ringer.
The event took place on the Clifton Downs, where the annual demonstration on the Best Practice methods for capturing and ringing wild birds for conservation monitoring occurred.
During this session the students had the opportunity to observe the proper use of mist nets to safely and humanely capture the wild birds, fitting a registered leg ring that can help monitor the condition scoring of the bird prior to a quick release back to the trees.
The equipment and process were fully explained to students, who assisted with the formal recording of the data. This data is then uploaded to a central database managed by BTO and shared across Europe. If a ringed bird is ever recaptured, its details will be recorded, and data can be shared to help monitor its movements and survival status.
The demonstration was followed up by a brilliant talk from Ed at the Bristol Zoological Society's Conservation and Education Centre within the Clifton site.
The students loved the whole experience, learning new skills to compliment their studies and expanding their knowledge of wildlife conservation.
‘’We were treated to some amazing close encounters with some of the UK's most loved woodland birds who are often heard but not seen, including blue tit and wren but we were exceptionally lucky to also capture and ring a fire crest; a bird that is now rather rare in the UK. These birds now carry their own unique ID ring that can be used to monitor their movements throughout their life, providing essential information to help inform conservation action.’’ - Debbie Berry (Programme Lead)