The latest report from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) shows just how amazing some of our birds are. During 2019 some of them undertook incredible journeys, taking them from Britain & Ireland to distant shores (or vice-versa). Top of the list of long-distance travellers was a Manx Shearwater that journeyed more than 11,016 km from its breeding colony on the Isle of Rùm in Scotland to the seaside resort of Las Grutas in Argentina.
During 2019 around 3,000 trained and licensed bird ringers fitted uniquely-numbered rings to 1,047,521 birds, enabling them to be identified for the rest of their lives, providing insights into the journeys they take, the pressures they face and how long some of them live.
Other long-distance voyages recorded included a Scottish Arctic Skua that flew to Brazil (a straight-line distance of 11,016 km), a Swallow that covered 10,358 km to make it to South Africa, and a Sanderling and Sandwich Tern travelling distances of 10, 295 km and 10, 218 km respectively, also to South Africa.
Dr Rob Robinson, Associate Director, Research at BTO, said, "Without fitting birds with uniquely numbered rings and monitoring their nests we wouldn’t be able to follow their lives and our knowledge of them would be much poorer. Many of our birds are in trouble and it is vital that we begin to understand why. The information we get from ringing and nest recording can’t be collected any other way. The data gathered by our fantastic volunteers help us to determine whether species are in trouble and, if they are, at what point of the lifecycle the problems are occurring."
He added, "None of this would be possible without the dedication and commitment of our volunteer ringers and nest recorders who monitor these birds each year and we thank them all for their contributions to the Schemes.".
More information can be found in the, the Online Ringing and Nest Recording Report