Bird ringing is a process whereby birds are caught in a special mist net, set up early in the morning while it is still dark. The caught birds are removed from the net and taken to a table set up to capture the details in the register. These birds feather moult is inspected, they are weighed and measured, the gender is noted if possible along with any other conditions. Then they are ringed and set free again.
Collecting information recorded at ringing outings also helps the managers of these habitats to manage these Reserve areas. We are always learning that birds and habitats are dynamic, and ever changing and adapting to the prevailing conditions.
You will get no closer than this, when “ringing birds” – see the detail, understand the reasons for inspecting and recording the information of the different birds.
In trained fingers, observe the colours and appreciate the size of a Malachite Kingfisher, it is a remarkable experience.
If you find a dead or an alive bird, with metal or plastic rings, please enter the information at: http://safring.adu.org.za/found_ring.php (you will be prompted for the info needed).
University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, 7701.
Phone: 021 650 2421
Why not join in on a bird ringing excursion to see what it is all about, perhaps lend a hand, you might end up loving it and be inspired to become a bird ringer yourself.