Monday 22 July 2024
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Do goldfinches visit your Nottingham garden?

Do goldfinches visit your garden? You could help to understand where they go and how long they live. South Notts Ringing Group have launched a colour ringing project to learn more about this species, and they need your help to monitor the colour-ringed birds.


South Notts Ringing Group have launched a colour ringing project to learn more about goldfinch survival, distribution and movement in the Nottingham area.

This is the first project in Europe to use alpha-numeric colour rings on this species, and the success of the project relies on members of the public getting involved.

Each year the group collects data on over 300 goldfinches, but the recovery rate is less than 0.5%. The aim of their project is to understand where those birds go, and how many juveniles survive to become adults. By using colour rings, it allows individual birds to be identified and recovered without the need to catch them twice. 

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If anyone sees a colour-ringed goldfinch, they should record the two-letter code as well as the date and location of their sighting and email it to:

Goldfinch photo with colour ring

They will receive the history of that bird, including where and when it was ringed, and where else it’s been seen. The rings are yellow with black text.


The colour ringing project is licensed by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and is being conducted at sites in The Meadows and Sneinton. Birds are most likely to be seen within 10km of these sites, particularly in gardens where people are putting out food for birds.

Goldfinch Twitter post

South Notts Ringing Group has been run by volunteers since 1971 with the aim to collect and interpret data on bird’s distribution, migration, abundance, and climate related impacts.

Bird ringing is a highly skilled activity and volunteers are trained to catch and handle birds so as not to harm them.

The group is already involved in several long-term projects such as a constant-effort site at Attenborough Nature Reserve, 300+ owl and kestrel nest boxes, and colour-ringing peregrine, grey heron, cormorant, house sparrow, and little egret.


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