What is bird ringing?
These two video clips reveal what bird ringing is and how it can help us to learn more about birds.
Bird ringing involves carefully catching a bird under a special licence, and placing a small metal identification ring on its leg. Measurements such as wing length and weight are usually taken before the bird is safely released back into the wild.
After five years of training with Chew Valley Ringing Station, I qualified as an A permit bird ringer and trainer for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in 2010. I ring a huge variety of birds from our common garden favourites to larger Peregrines, seabirds and Canada Geese.
I give public ringing demonstrations and often feature on the television showing how we ring particular birds such as Peregrines. I regularly ring birds as part of a small team at Pilning Wetlands, a site by the Severn Estuary between the two Severn bridges.
How to become a bird ringer
To become a bird ringer you need to be able to commit time to training be able to identify common birds. For more information about training visit the BTO's website, bto.org.
While many of these rings will never be seen again, the more birds that are ringed the greater likelihood that one will be recaptured in a net at a later date, or discovered alive or dead by a member of the public.
Reporting a ringed bird
If you find a ringed bird, dead or alive, please report all details of the ring's number, the bird, and its location to the BTO via ring.ac.