Who am I?

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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Wednesday 27 March 2013

How much longer can BTO ringing remain relevant?

I have absolutely no doubts as to the massive scientific advancements that have been made and as a direct consequence of the fitting of metal rings on the legs of birds, captured in mist nets, by legitimately licensed BTO ringers. Only a fool could argue otherwise! However we are now in 2013 and the BTO,  themselves, are using radio tracking technology to follow the migration of UK bred Cuckoos - so why is it that stupid metal bands are still being used? Colour ringing schemes are a fantastic method of gathering data on the movements and longevity of birds - the BTO metal ringing scheme is well past its' sell-by date. Like the advancement of mobile phones and laptops, light weight electronic tagging technology has moved on (very rapidly) thus removing this random attachment of metal rings. If ringing is continue to play a role, then colour ringing has to be the future. Why have I raised this issue today?

A female Greenfinch appeared at our garden feeding station, this morning, sporting a shiny metal band. Although I was within 25ft, the ring details are completely un-readable, thus useless - this sighting of zero worth to science, the ringer, the BTO or the bird! If the BTO wish to remain at the forefront of bird study, then this particular scheme must be replaced by something more in keeping with current times. I have no gripe with ringers or the BTO; I just feel extremely frustrated that this (and many other) encounter is of no scientific value whatsoever.


  1. i argee with you on this, i got a blue tit in my garden with it leg iron on,still trying to work out why o why they rung a blue tit,never been able to read anything on it,pointless

  2. Dylan, the similarities are getting spooky. I lived in Tring between 1962- 1970 and was going to go to Cavendish School until the family moved (to Hitchin). We could have been classmates!