Orkney Ringing Group

Orkney Ringing Group

Grey Lag

Bird Ringing

Bird ringing in Great Britain is controlled and co-ordinated by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). In addition to issuing the licencing of ringers and rings to ringers they also hold the database of all birds ringed in Great Britain.

Bird ringers come from a variety of backgrounds with the vast majority being dedicated amateurs, whilst a few ring as part of their profession or for academic studies.

As the welfare of the bird is paramount all potential ringers undergo a rigorous training period, usually lasting about two years, before they gain their Ringing
Permit. At present there are approximately 2,300 trained ringers in Britain who annually ring about 800,000 birds. There are arouind 14,000 recoveries of ringed birds per annum.

2009 marks a centenary of Bird Ringing in Great Britain and since 1909 over 35 million birds have been ringed. Initially the aim of bird ringing was to study migration. Nowadays, much more emphasis is put on studies which measure survival and breeding success and national projects such as Retrapping Adults for Survival and Constant Effort Sites have been devised to meet this requirement. Ringers are also encouraged to ring birds of major conservation interest by being given subsidies on rings used on these species.