Sep 15, 2012

Some news and our first Gray Heron ringed

It's been a while since our last blog post, but our ringing activities are still continuing with the same strength. One of our target species this summer has been the Lesser Black-backed gull (Larus fuscus). The reason for this is mainly because of all observations outside Norway of the few LBBGs (9 adults and 13 1Y) we ringed last year. This year the numbers are much higher and so far we have ringed 79 fully grown LBBGs. The majority have been ringed in the Bergen city center, but we have also widen the horizon and ringed many breeding birds in the non-urban nesting colonies on the islands west of Bergen. In the colonies we visited the breeding success was low but we still managed to ring 59 nestlings in four different colonies. These days are exiting times, we get reports from Texel in The Netherland, France and Spain from birders who have spotted our birds.We are really looking forward to the autumn and winter months for more reports.

At the moment we try to ring as may first-year LBBGs as possible when they come to the parks to feed bread to fatten up for they journey south. The majority are quite easy to catch and we have reached 22 first-years as writing. Today we concluded that we had done a good job when almost every first-year LBBG we could find had a nice black ring around their legs. We therefore got time to ring some other species. One of the species we ringed was a first-year Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) which was a new species for us. The story behind this bird was that it was found by the road in an island outside Bergen unable to fly and weak probably because of food shortage. It was transport to the friendly vets at Dyreklinikken Vest in Bergen who examined it and and feed it with cod. After a day and a night with care we could release it by a little lake in a park where we often see Gray Herons hunt for sticklebacks. We equipped it with a plastic ring and released it. In less then 20 minutes after release we could see it hunt for food and hopefully it will become strong enough to survive the winter.

The heron ringed with JE01 started to hunt for food shortly after release.

Large beautiful wings

Later we also ringed two first-year and one adult Coot (Fulica atra). The Coot have become a breeding  bird around Bergen in the last 20 years. This makes it extra interesting to ring this years production and the adults.

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