These lapwing chicks are just a small section of what have been ringed this weekend by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) on one of our North York Moors estates.
Bird ringing generates information on the survival, productivity and movements of birds, helping us to understand why populations are changing.
The Lapwing is the most widespread of the breeding waders and a species associated with a wide range of open country habitats. These familiar birds mark the changing of the seasons, the arrival of migrating flocks signal the onset of cold winter weather and the tumbling display flight and “Peewit” call note the arrival of spring. It is a red listed species meaning it is of the highest conservation priority.
Ringing data make a major contribution to the study of population changes and to the understanding of species declines. Bird populations are determined by the number of fledglings raised and the survival of both juveniles and adults. Whilst ringers collect data on survival, volunteers for the Nest Record Scheme collect information on productivity. The results can be analysed in combination with population trend data, such as that collected through the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey, to determine at which stage of a bird’s life cycle there might be a problem. This enables scientists and conservationists to target appropriate mitigation measures.