By Lizzie Grayshon, Waders for Real Project Ecologist
We are now beginning to see our first broods of lapwing chicks fledging in the Avon Valley, which is a great relief and reflection of all the hard work put in by everyone involved in the project.
It takes lapwing chicks around 35 days to grow big enough to be able to fly, during which time they are vulnerable to predation. We have also had a couple of sightings of lapwing pairs who have managed to fledge a whole brood of four chicks. This is very good news for their recovery.
Once a brood reaches around 25 days we aim to catch them to fit colour rings. Colour rings are a great non-invasive and cost effective way to monitor birds.
Once rings are fitted there is no need for re-capture, each individual has a unique combination of colour rings and a black flag unique to our project. Without the need for recapture we are able to gather more data on survival and dispersal through sightings of birds.
If a colour ringed bird is spotted you can either register the sighting online or contact the project directly to report the sighting. Colour rings are a very popular method of monitoring wading birds as their legs are often exposed when roosting and feeding.
There are many different projects across the world using this method with some very exciting findings, including longevity records and details on migration. So make sure you check the legs for colour rings next time you are out bird watching!
Please support our lapwing work in the Avon Valley