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Colour Ringed House Sparrows

This is the place to discuss anything to do with birds or birding in the Outer Hebrides
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MisterT
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Colour Ringed House Sparrows

Post by MisterT » 25 Mar 2012, 19:39

Since November 2010 we have been colour ringing House Sparrows in Askernish as part of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Retrap of Adult for Survival (RAS). Because our birds are colour ringed, it is possible to follow them year round which means that we can gain additional information over and above that collected for RAS.

One such thread is dispersal. We are now receiving reports of our colour ringed birds from other parts of the islands including South Glendale on South Uist and Bayhead on North Uist. This additional information is beginning to give us an insight into the movements of sparrows here in the Outer Hebrides.

Should anyone at any time see one of our colour ringed birds, we would welcome a report. This can be posted here on this forum or email the details to askernish.sparrows@gmail.com The colour rings are easily visible being white with black lettering as can be seen from the photograph below.
HOUSP-B64-F Posting.jpg
HOUSP-B64-F Posting.jpg (61.09 KiB) Viewed 6833 times
Last edited by MisterT on 17 Apr 2013, 17:45, edited 4 times in total.

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A37 Seen in Bayhead, North Uist

Post by MisterT » 20 Apr 2012, 22:11

A sighting of a colour ringed House Sparrow (A37) was reported today from Bayhead, North Uist. This bird was originally ringed in December 2010 here in Askernish and then subsequently seen in June and October 2011 in Bayhead, North Uist. It had not been seen again until today but would appear to be resident somewhere in Bayhead area. Many thanks for taking the time to report this sighting.
A37 Paible N Uist.jpg
A37 enjoying life in Bayhead, North Uist (Brian Lowe)

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Re: Colour Ringed House Sparrows

Post by MisterT » 06 Jul 2012, 09:57

We are now just over half way through the RAS recording period (April - August) and we have already colour ringed over 100 additional birds. The vast majority of these have been juveniles indicating that the House Sparrows here at Askernish are enjoying a successful breeding season.

The new birds carry the same white rings with black lettering in the series C00 - C99 and F00 - F99. Already many of these birds have not seen here for some time so may have already dispersed to pastures new.

If anyone should see a colour ringed House Sparrow in their garden or on their travels, a report of the sighting would be gratefully received. They can be reported here on the forum or email to askernish.sparrows@gmail.com

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End of season review - 2012

Post by MisterT » 04 Sep 2012, 15:20

With the RAS season at an end, now is the time to review and analyse this years data, which consists of 3783 records taken during the 5 month period, April to August.

Breaking it down to its simplest form, this years flock consisted of 57 adults who have remained within the study area, an increase of 3 on last year. They were joined by an additional 19 adults, the vast majority of these being caught during bad weather in a period when they were probably feeding chicks in the nest. These birds could therefore be having to venture a little further afield from nearby areas attracted by the food we provide. This is borne out by the fact that these birds are very rarely, if ever, seen again.

As for juveniles, the number of individuals caught and colour ringed increased from 81 last year to 183 this. This is in part explained by some additional effort by us, but mainly due to an exceptional breeding season, with many pairs double brooding.

Numbers peaked in July when a total of 160 individuals were recorded. This fell away sharply in August, probably due to dispersal and also the presence of one, sometimes two Sparrowhawks in the immediate area.

The majority of the juveniles have now dispersed and most will find pastures new. Having said that, a larger number of individuals have remained in the study area this year and several more can be found on the machair around the local fanks some 1 km away.

September and October is a time when we expect an influx of new birds as juveniles from other areas disperse and integrate with local populations. We would really like to know where our birds go on their travels and where they finally settle. Once again, I appeal to anyone who sees one of our colour ringed birds to report the sighting on this forum or email us at askernish.sparrows@gmail.com. There are now some additional 200 birds sporting colour rings which are white with black lettering which consist of A00-99, B00-99, C00-99, F00-99 and G00-99. I would hope one would eventually turn up in your garden.

Once again, our thanks go to Bill for the time and effort he expends helping us with this project. His records are always concise and accurate and the project would be all the poorer without him.

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Re: Colour Ringed House Sparrows

Post by Paul » 12 Oct 2012, 13:51

C58 (female type currently in my garden at Carnan in a flock of over 60 birds. Only other ringed bird is a male with just a metal BTO type ring.
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Re: Colour Ringed House Sparrows

Post by MisterT » 12 Oct 2012, 19:56

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the information. I am on the mainland at present and shall not be returning until the end of next week. I am unable to provide you with any information until then. As for the bird wuth a metal ring only, it may well be one of mine ringed prior to the colour ring project, but we shall never know - unless you can read the number with binoculars/telescope, or i come and catch it!

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Re: Colour Ringed House Sparrows

Post by Paul » 15 Oct 2012, 15:46

Today I also have C74 (male) in garden along with C48. We're actually away from this Sunday until 16th November so won't be seeing many more for a while.
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Re: Colour Ringed House Sparrows

Post by Paul » 19 Oct 2012, 16:17

Today I also have B43 (Female) along with the previous two birds.
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Re: Colour Ringed House Sparrows

Post by MisterT » 21 Oct 2012, 17:41

Hi Paul,

Back at home now and so have been looking at the records for the birds seen in your garden. I don’t know if this is a trend but this is the second time a small group have turned up in a different location.

C58 was first ringed as a juvenile on 23 June 2012 and seen 3 times in the following 5 days, not being seen after 28 June.

C74 was ring as a juvenile on 25 June 2012 and never seen again.

C48 was also ringed as a juvenile on 7 June 2012 and seen 3 times in the next 8 days, not being seen again after 15 June.

B43 is a bit more interesting. This bird was also ringed as a juvenile but in 2011 on 7 June, and has never been seen since, so it has spent a whole year – somewhere.

Thanks once again for taking the time to report these sightings, I very much appreciate it. Could I also politely request an update from time to time via this forum or email if these birds move on or remain in your area. The other alternative is that you may well find me skulking in your bushes every time I pass

Many thanks.

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Re: Colour Ringed House Sparrows

Post by MisterT » 26 Oct 2012, 20:53

I have just been informed that there have been some 20 colour ringed House Sparrows sighted in a garden at South Glendale since mid September. This includes a long staying bird (B25 – now resident and breeding), the other 19 were all ringed this year as juveniles. Our expectation is that the juveniles will disperse and move from place to place, but the number that are congregating or passing through South Glendale is unexpected.

Included in the records are sightings of 2 individuals C48 and C58, the same birds reported by earlier Paul at Carnan on this forum. The initial assumption was that these birds travelled together but looking at the dates, these birds travelled independently of each other and in opposite directions! C48 was seen at Carnan on 15 October and arrived in South Glendale 26 October. C58 was seen in South Glendale 7 & 8 October and arrived in Carnan 12 October.

Only 1 other bird has previously been known to “commute” between 2 sites (B01) when it moved several times between Askernish and South Glendale during November and December 2011.

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