Blackbird links Lambourn, England and Backebo, Sweden

John Swallow is a volunteer who comes to survey birds at at Sheepdrove Organic Farm near Lambourn each winter. John is a qualified ringer (and trainer) and the little metal leg-rings can be a brilliant way of monitoring birds.

John, along with fellow ringers Andy and Mike, have banded hundreds of birds at the farm. Of course lots of birds don’t live very long in the wild, but occasionally they recapture one, which provides clues about bird ages and numbers.

To have a bird found by somebody else is rare too. When it happens, it’s usually because the bird has died, and somebody has reported the find, using the leg ring number. (Contact the BTO if you find a ringed bird.)

A female blackbird ringed HERE at Sheepdrove Organic Farm exactly 2 years ago, on 14 December 2008, was found in SWEDEN in August 2010. I knew that winter birds here might often be migrants from Skandinavia, but this is still really interesting to know – especially because John kindly provided a link to the exact location at Backebo, Alsterbro, Kalmar, Sweden!

Jason Ball

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