Colour rings with individual numbers increase the number of ringing recoveries of small waders


114 – 117

1 August 11

Włodzimierz Meissner, Szymon Bzoma

Włodzimierz Meissner
Avian Ecophysiology Unit, Department of Vertebrate Ecology & Zoology, University of Gdańsk, Al. Legionów 9, 80-441 Gdańsk, Poland.


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This study compares the ringing recovery rate and resighting rate obtained using stainless steel rings and coloured numbered rings respectively in 828 Dunlins caught at a southern Baltic stopover site. Birds were colour-ringed between 25 Jul and 17 Sep 2010 and 41 had been resighted by 30 April 2011. The resighting rate was significantly higher than the steel ring recovery rate obtained from Dunlins ringed during 2008–2010. Both ringing recovery and resighting rates differed significantly among age groups, being much lower in adults. However in the case of steel rings the recovery rate of juveniles was eight times higher than in adults, but the difference in resighting rate of juveniles was only four times that of adults. Our study shows that even small colour plastic rings can be read in the field and adding them to the normal metal ring greatly increases the recovery rate. Using colour rings with individual codes facilitates more detailed studies of wader movements.