BTO Nest Recording Scheme (NRS) – surveying nests for research

This is the second year I have been taking part in the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) Nest Recording Scheme (NRS), surveying the 35 nest boxes that I am responsible for checking on the shores of Chew Valley Lake. You have to survey and record what you find in terms of whether the nest boxes are empty, partially lined, fully lined, eggs warm, eggs cold, adult on nest, chicks etc.

As I am also a trainee ringer, I also ring the pulli (the scientific work for chick) but it has to be when they are old enough but not old enough to try and fly out. So long as you follow all the regulations and have someone experienced with you, and are careful, there is virtually no chance of injuring the chicks.
Training to get your full “C” Licence for ringing is pretty tough as you have to know a lot about bird ID before you can even start and then have to learn a lot about bird ringing safety and the technical aspect of extracting birds, ringing them and how to assess details such as age and sex of birds that look the same. If you have a couple of years to give to it, then it is very worthwhile. I do think that the BTO need to do work to make ringing more inclusive.

These photos are from last night, before going out to see a band in Bristol for my 15th birthday (which was yesterday). The first two photos are a Great Tit pulli (chick) which were pretty early for Great Tit and the last two are of a Dunnock pulli. It’s quite delicate work ringing pulli, but great for me with my smaller hands.

This is an early Dunnock Pulli I ringed on 27 April 2017 from one of my nest boxes.

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig ringing a Dunnock Pulli at Chew Valley Lake
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig
Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig ringing a Great Tit Pulli at Chew Valley Lake
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig
Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig ringing a Dunnock Pulli at Chew Valley Lake
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig
Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig ringing a Dunnock Pulli at Chew Valley Lake
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

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