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 Post subject: Woodpeckers
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:43 pm 
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Any bird fanciers out there?

We've got two visiting woodpecker chicks on our bird table - not a lot unusual about that except they each appear to have fluorescent orange 'tags' on their one of their legs.

The parent bird (mum or dad - don't know) also visit the table but they are normal in colouring.

Are these birds tagged? Or is this their normal juvenile colouring? Seems far too luminescent to be natural. Who would tag them and why?

Mystified :scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: Woodpeckers
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:08 pm 
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There's a lot of bird ringers out there - the purpose of ringing is to collect data from where birds turn up dead or from reports of the birds being seen with the rings - the number on the rings need to be read or there could be a colour combination of rings on one or both legs. I expect the youngsters were ringed in the nest which is why the adults are unringed.

Identification of the adult birds is not too difficult, the juveniles will have red feathers on the top of the head, the adult male has red feathers on the nape of the neck, the adult female has no red on the head.

Depending on the age, the adults are likely to still be feeding the juveniles, but strangely they will fight the juveniles to keep them off of a nut feeder and then give the juveniles what they subsequently get from the feeder. I've been watching them do exactly this on a feeder I have out in the Forest.

I'll do a bit of digging to see if I can find the nearest ringers to you, the BTO may have that info.

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 Post subject: Re: Woodpeckers
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:29 pm 
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Over 2000 GSW were ringed in 2015, (latest data available).

Here's what it's all about:- https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/ringing

.......and a list of ringing groups by area/place name:- https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/r ... ing-groups

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 Post subject: Re: Woodpeckers
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:42 pm 
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Thanks for that and those interesting links :thumbright:

I don't think this is a case of ringing - it looks more like a 'ribbon' than anything else I can describe. I'll try to snap a picture of it tomorrow but we're thinking it may be a case of them having something caught on their legs :dunno: but since TWO of them have them it seems rather too much of a coincidence.

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 Post subject: Re: Woodpeckers
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:27 pm 
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The ringers use many different systems to help them identify things more easily.

This one's got a numbered ring, these can be difficult to read unless the bird is re-caught (or found dead) but it's also got a fair bit of other bling which can be logged much more easily, no problem to spot the colour combos with just a pair of binoculars.


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 Post subject: Re: Woodpeckers
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:44 pm 
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A closer look with the bino's and I can see that it looks like something tied (or caught) around one foot. The bird isn't using that foot when holding onto the feeder. It's definitely a ribbon of some sort, almost looks like it's been tied in a bow around its leg.....

Can't imagine how it got there and since there are TWO such birds with the same issue it becomes even more perlexing :scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: Woodpeckers
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:25 pm 
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It does seem unlikely that two separate birds could both have fallen foul of some wayward ribbon, which suggests that it's been put there deliberately, either with malicious intent (not unusual when it comes to any species of bird) or just plain stupidity. It could also be some sort of ringing attempt gone wrong, although licensed ringers do undergo fairly lengthy training, ringing is not something you can just fall into on a whim.

I'd suggest getting in touch with your nearest RSPB group and see if they can do anything. There will almost certainly be a licensed ringer in the group, they could mist net the birds and assess/solve the problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Woodpeckers
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:41 pm 
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Strange

We have a pair of nesting wood pigeons in our false acacia they have been here quite a few years running - wonder if its there offspring returning


Watching birds through bino's in this hot weather can get you arrested - no blue tits mind


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 Post subject: Re: Woodpeckers
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:33 pm 
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Bumped......

because we now have a young Bluejay with exactly the same type of fluorescent 'tab' attached to its foot..... :scratch: This is more than just co-incidence and the tab seems too contrived to be accidental.

I'm going to contact the RSPB to ask if they know of a reason behind it.

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 Post subject: Re: Woodpeckers
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:48 pm 
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Unlikely to be a Bluejay, Cyanocitta cristata, that's an American species, it's almost certainly just a Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius (which does have some blue plumage).

If it is a Bluejay, prepare for twitchers. :mrgreen:

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