Nuthatch Study Update

Our colour ringed Nuthatch study  is based in Jerry and Barbara's woodland edge garden in Silverdale North Lancashire and is in its fourth year. Our aim is to study how many different Nuthatch visit the well stocked feeders over a  period each year from July to June and compare years and survival. Even with intensive observation one very  rarely sees more than  two Nuthatch on the feeders at once.
From June to January this year we  have recorded 250 colour ring sightings. We only record a bird once in each day. Despite 12 ringing visits  we have caught five  new birds but only six  retraps of four birds, this  really shows the  value of colour ringing. We also record sightings of unringed birds usually around ten per month.

In total  since June we have recorded 13 different birds visiting the feeders, of   these  five  have been recorded many times each month and are visiting regularly, one assumes that they have territories close by and they often visit in pairs. The other eight fall ino two catagories. Five have visited  only occasionally and not at all regulary missing several months and  are probably birds which have a territory further away and are attracted at times by the well stocked feeders. The other  three wer all birds newly ringed in July and August. All three were recorded several times shortly after ringing but then disappeared. Possibly they died, but in past years we have had several  reports of birds caught in late summer establishing territories  several miles away and coming regularly to feeders. So some of these birds are moving through looking for territories.

Our oldest bird is in its fourth year and appears to be mated to a three year old bird as they regularly visit together. Numbers visiting this year  were slighly down in late summer but have been average during the winter.
John