News | Published:

Recent Advances in Bird-Ringing

Nature volume 141, page 1133 (25 June 1938) | Download Citation



BIRD-RINGING in Britain, now organized from the bird room of the British Museum (Natural History), shows an increase not in the actual number of birds marked, but in the number of adult birds ‘trapped’ and thus marked and released, and a decrease in the number of nestlings marked; the mortality amongst nestlings is naturally high and thus the chances of recovery of ringed nestlings fewer. The statistics for 1937 show that 45,181 birds were ringed in Britain (British Birds, April 1938), as against 48,663 the previous year, bringing the grand total of birds marked in the country since the scheme was started in 1907 to 575,914. There was a record total of ‘trapped’ birds last year of 21,900 compared with 19,235 birds last year, and it includes a number of rarities not marked before, such as the waxwing and little bunting. Skokholm Bird Observatory, South Wales, for example, marked 4,402 birds in 1937, including the valuable total of 1,448 Manx shearwaters, 904 gannets and 603 razorbills. Mr. G. Charteris's list of 3,044 birds marked included 1,396 chaffinches, mostly at a winter roost ; Mr. P. Morshead's total of 2,546 birds included 1,272 ‘trapped’ starlings ; Mr. A. Maynall's 2,024 birds including 348 nestling nightingales. The Zoological Society of London (through Mr. E. A. Billet) ringed a total of 1,144 birds at Whipsnade last year, these including 333 ‘trapped’ jackdaws. Some of the leading boys' schools again take a prominent place in the ringing returns. Owing to the increased cost of the rings and the organization, there is an appeal for funds in addition to the general charges for the rings used.

About this article

Publication history





    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing