Wing tagging and ringing
Monday 15th October 2012
Highlight of the evening was the recording of F6, the rehab juvenile kite that was injured when it was blown out of the nest at Derwentcote.
Interestingly, its mother, WT63, was also identified at pre-roost.
Monday 9th July
The tagging and ringing of chick F6
This took place not in a wood, with the usual tree climbers, but in a rehabilitation pen. Why?
This chick was found on the ground under a nest in which another chick was found dead. It was injured, and taken to a local Vet, who happily reassured the volunteers that its injuries were superficial and easily treated with antibiotics.
The chick was then taken to the pen, kept from the re-introduction project and settled in.
Human contact is kept to a minimum. The chick has been well-fed; W******* chicken fillets at first, then a large hare which was brought from up-county by a friend - it had been a road-kill. Wild rabbit is also on the menu when available. The chick is thriving and so on Monday, 9th July, the decision to ring and tag it was taken.
These procedures are carried out by members of FoRK who are licensed to handle Birds of Prey which are Schedule One birds. Keith Bowey and Ian Kerr were kind enough to offer their services.
Here we see Keith Bowey attaching the wing tag along the leading edge of the wing where there are no blood vessels or nerves, thus ensuring that the chick feels no discomfort.
Trai Anfield, our Patron records details of these procedures.
and, as a professional photographer, Trai films Ian Kerr as he carries out his task.
The job done, the Team pause for a photograph outside the pen where F6 will continue its rehabilitation, until the time comes that it can be safely released.
Ken Sanderson, Kite Officer, Allan Withrington, Sylvia Jones, Ian Kerr, Keith Bowey and Trai Anfield.
and finally, F6, the chick which was rescued and hopefully will recover well and grace our skies.
Images courtesy of Ken Sanderson and Allan Withrington
Here is the first chick of 2012, F2
Image courtesy of Mick Render
Ringing and wing tagging Red Kite F5 in Gateshead's Derwent Valley.
Click on this image of F5 for a Powerpoint presentation of this important process:
This is Wing Tag 16, Flag. Her number shows that she is a red kite from North East England, and was one of the first batch of twenty chicks, donated by the very successful Chilterns Project, in 2004.
The tag on her left wing is pink, denoting north east kites, with a band of yellow which is similar to the tag she wears on her right wing. Anyone seeing her would be able to work out both the year of her release and where she was released.
In this image two red kites can be seen. One is wearing a green tag, denoting a kite released in 2006; the other has a blue tag, which is the designated colour for 2010. Location: lower Derwent Valley.
Tony Cross of the Welsh Kite Trust kindly shares his news about the oldest BTO ringed Red Kite.
"Orange/Orange R has made it through the big freeze of 2009-10. It isn't from Yorkshire, as its tags would initially suggest, but a real old timer from mid-Wales and is now the oldest recorded BTO ringed Red Kite! The current listed record stands at 20 years 1 month and 15 days but this bird has already exceeded that. It was ringed on 19th June 1989 by Peter Davis & myself in a nest near Rhandirmwyn. It was picked up near Tregaron with a minor wing injury in August 2009 and after a short spell in care at our Rehabilitation Centre at Gigrin Farm was released on 27th September 2009 at Pont Einon, Tregaron (with a new set of wing-tags in their original colours). I'm really pleased to hear it's still alive and look forward to trying to find where it nests so that we can keep a closer eye on it. The oldest recorded wild Red Kite ever was a German bird at 25 years and 5 months."
Here are the chicks ringed and tagged in 2011
And here are the first thirteen chicks of 2010!
D1, D2 and D3 were born at Priestfield, D3 at Beda Hills, D4 and D5 between the top of Paddock Hill and Lockhaugh, D6 and D7 in the West Wood at GibsideD8 and D9 in Chopwell Woods, E0 and E1 at Derwentcote and E2 in the Blaydon Burn. E0 is here being given a final check.
First of all, the licensed group must locate the nests, then the accredited Tree Climbers scale the tree,
Once on the ground, the work of fitting leg rings, with a unique number for each chick, and the two wing tags is begun by licensed Team members, working swiftly in order to avoid any distress to the birds. Notice that the chicks' heads are covered to keep them calm, and records, including the weight , are kept of each kite. Here Ken Sanderson, Chairman of FoRk, Ian Kerr and Keith Bowey, who was the Leader of the very successful Northern Kites Project, are busy carrying out the procedures.
Here E1 is being tagged. The left tag is pink for northern kites, with the blue band for 2010.
Comprehensive details of each chick are recorded for data purposes. In receiving funding, FoRK accepts a degree of accountability in maintaining the records begun by the Northern Kite Project.
Once the wing tags and rings are fitted, the chick is given a final check,
before being popped gently into a blue bag,
ready to be taken back up to the nest by the Tree Climbers.
Without the assistance of local residents, some nests might not have been located. Here, Ken Sanderson is with John Harrison, who owns a smallholding in Beda Hills. He informed us of a nest and subsequently Chick D3 was found.
Gary and Vikki Ford of Chopwell Village discovered a nest in Chopwell Woods and reported their find. Two chicks were in this nest. They were tagged D8 and D9.
Shania and Gary Patey also located a nest in Blaydon Burn. This chick was tagged E2
The Friends of Red Kites welcome and appreciate the interest and support shown by local people.
Equally the support and co-operation of the National Trust at Gibside is greatly valued. Here, Phil Bolam, Landscape Manager, is coming eye-to-eye with chick D7, which, along with its sibling D6, was born in the West Wood on Gibside Estate.