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Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit Project

Pictures: Jim Wilson

Here is an opportunity to get involved with a major international wader project designed to learn more about the Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit and to help protect our wetland habitats.

In recent years a dedicated group of amateur and professional ornithologist's have been putting light plastic colour rings on the godwits both in Iceland where they breed and in western Europe where they spend the winter.

The rings are very light and this study has shown that the rings do not cause long term problems for the birds. Over 2000 godwits have been ringed in this way. The information that has been gathered through people reporting sightings of these colour ringed birds is helping to build a detailed picture of the life history of this fascinating bird.

Godwits colour ringed over ten years ago are still been seen on the breeding grounds in Iceland and here in western Europe. The more we know about them the easier it will be to protect the habitats where they live and secure the future for them and other waders.

If you manage to read part of all of the colour ring combination of a colour ringed Black-tailed Godwit, send details of the colours and position of the rings on the birds legs and where and when you saw it to j.gill@uea.ac.uk.

You will then receive the history of the movements of "your" colour ringed godwit. Getting the information can take some time so please be patient.

One word of caution - if you have any doubts about the colour of any of the rings DO NOT guess as this will lead to incorrect information being collected.

For more information on this project go to www.uea.ac.uk/~b072834/page2.html

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