NLRG was formed in 1957 to help in the study of birds in the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society area. There are currently 12 active ringers. Species currently being studied include: Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Sand Martin, Twite, Goosander, Oystercatcher and Grey Wagtail. Migration has been studied for 28 years at Heysham. We welcome anyone who wants to observe, help or perhaps wish to become a ringer. Photo: A Heysham-ringed Twite on the Mull of Kintyre (thanks to Eddie Maguire)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Paired for Life

Colour-ringed Bearded Tit

This week I have been watching a  pair of Bearded Tits feeding their first brood. My main reason is to get the colour ring details as part of my long term study of this charismatic species.

Once I had obtained the colour combinations I can search through my records and  track their history. The male (pictured above)was ringed as a nestling on 25th April 2009. The female was ringed as a juvenile on 10th July in the same year. The male was seen or retrapped on five occasions later in 2009 but the female was not seen at all.

In  2010 the male was seen or retrapped seven times and the female only twice. But on November 11th they were seen together on the grit trays. In October and early November 2011 they were seen together on the grit trays acting as a pair on 12 days. They were obviously  paired and the male was seen to chase off other males.

These sightings confirm  many other sightings that show that Bearded Tits stay together as a pair riight through the year.

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