Bird Ringing at Kanneliya Forest Reserve


Bird ringing is an interesting activity done by birders and ornithologists. Bird ringing is a way of studying wild birds by attaching a metal or plastic ring to bird’s leg, so that various aspects of bird’s life can be studied.

For example, suppose a birder in Himalaya area capture and rings a bird. Ring itself contains only a number and he has all the details (Location, size, weight & etc.) about the bird he records in that instance against the number. If we manage to re-trap the same bird at Sinharaja Forest in Sri lanka, from the number on the ring direct us to the previously recorded information about the bird. So we can reveal some information about the bird by comparing the old details with the current condition. Specifically, it proves that the bird has migrated from Himalaya to Sinharaja!

For me, most interesting study is identifying of bird migration through bird ringing. Migration is one of the most wonderful scenarios in the nature. It is simply the move, made by birds, when environmental conditions are not that favorable for them. In much comprehensible words; most significant bird migration in the world is the birds of northern hemisphere, when it is winter, fly to feeding grounds near tropical countries. Once winter is over, they used to fly back to their countries. Distance they cover on the way is sometime more than 10,000km!

We better discuss about bird migration in detail, in some other post. Anyway, this is the reason that you (Sri Lankans) see some strange kinds of birds in your garden in September-October season and vanish again in April. At least you should know, definitely they are the guests who visited you from most faraway places.

Below photos were taken in Kanneliya forest reserve of Galle district, while we were doing some bird ringing with a team of ornithology students from University of Colombo, led by their ecologist Dr. Nihal Dayawansa. (Photography by Roshan Kumara)

Preparing the traps

Bird is trapped in the mist net.

Bird is being carefully removed from the net for ringing.

Black Headed Bulbul

Yellow fronted Barbet (an endemic Bird)

Brown Capped Babbler (an endemic bird)

Team who participated the program.


Kirigalpoththa said...

Interesting study!
what are the chances of catching the same bird by anoter scientist somewhere else?

sumedha Obeysekera said...

Well, this is really depending on the regions where bird ringing is done in mass scale. Ex: UK: birding is very famous and very much improved there and they do a lot of ringing so they have gathered more information on their birds. In Sri Lanka, this is not much practiced as I know. Any way, there had been some records where birds had been re-captured where original ringing had been done in north India. If I come across any statistical data, I will share with you.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Thanks for the information! I think this needs a lot of patience..

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