RSPB Woodland update from DAN September 2013

Despite the cold temperatures earlier in the spring the birds did eventually make use of the nest boxes I installed with many resulting in successful outcomes (i.e. young fledging the nest). It will be interesting to see how things progress in subsequent years and whether any patterns are emerging within the nest box data. The aim of the next stage of the project is to investigate the movement patterns of birds across the City and in particular answer the following research questions: Are the birds that were ringed as pulli in the nest boxes remaining on site or are they dispersing to other sites? What is the general turnover of birds within each of the study sites? Are birds settling at a particular site or are they constantly moving onto other sites due to factors such as predation/competition/resource availability etc? Are there any links between landscape structure, habitat quality and habitat occupancy for the study sites? In order to carry out this stage of the project and therefore to catch birds in flight I would like to carry out a programme of mist netting and bird ringing within the same study sites used for my nest box scheme. Monitoring would involve the temporary installation of mist nets (e.g. super fine 60ft nets attached to metal poles) close to hedgerows, treelines or within rides of vegetation and away from public access routes across each site. The nets would be continuously monitored from a distance to ensure there is no interference from members of the public, predators and to ensure all birds safely removed by experienced bird ringers. Caught birds will be ringed using metal BTO rings and various biometrics taken (e.g. age, sex, weight, wing length, fat and muscle levels) before releasing the birds again. Ringing sessions would take place between the hour of sunrise and midday on a weekly basis and all equipment would be removed from site on completion of the monitoring. Birds’ welfare is of paramount importance and hence all ringing sessions will be supervised by experienced ringers with either A or C permits. Ringing will cease if either bird or ringer welfare are jeopardised. The data obtained would form a significant part of my research and thus I hope you look favourably on my request. Should you have any queries then please do not hesitate to get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you,


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