Survival of the prettiest – British Ornithologists’ Union – British Ornithologists’ Union

Why do some Black-tailed Godwits wear colour-rings?


The birdwatchers at Cley provide daily observations of the colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwits that turn up on the site, revealing some fascinating stories and contributing massively to migration research.

This blog was originally written for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s magazine, Tern.

Flock of Black-tailed Godwits at Cley: Pat Wileman Flock of Black-tailed Godwits at Cley: Pat Wileman

No two visits to Cley are the same; the birds change with the seasons and even from day to day.  If there are 200 Black-tailed Godwits in front of Daukes hide on Tuesday and only 100 on Thursday does that mean that half have moved on – or did all of the earlier birds leave, to be replaced by a new selection?  The fact that several individuals wear colour-rings enables regular godwit observers, such as David and Pat Wileman and Mark Golley, to help provide some answers.

The highest Cley counts of Black-tailed Godwits now occur in the autumn, when birds can be…

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Godwits and godwiteers


This blog tells a few stories about individual colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwits and the ‘godwiteers’ who watch them on the estuaries of the east coast of England. They’re part of an international network of 2000 birdwatchers, contributing to some fascinating science. 


The dots on graphs within scientific papers hide fascinating stories about individual birds. With the help of a small number of colour-ring readers, here’s an opportunity to eschew the statistics and to focus on a few of the Black-tailed Godwits that have been recruited to help answer scientific questions. The next colour-ringed godwit that you spot may have been hundreds of miles away just 24 hours ago or could break the longevity record for the species. At the end of this blog there’s a list of 18 published papers, most of which could not have been written without the help of colour-ring observers – our ‘godwiteers’.

figureWeBS data from 2009-14 illustrate…

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Ugandan Birds of a feather

ATC News by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome

A shared post courtesy of Charlotte Beauvoisin, a fellowKampalean, with her take on one of Uganda’s main nature
based events, the BIG BIRDING DAY … read on and
enjoy, and better even, mark it in your calendar and
be part of the next birdwatching event. Did you know that
there are over 1.000 species of birds found in Uganda?
What more is there to say but READ …

“Operation Shoebill, Big Birding Day #Uganda” – My first blog for Africa Geographic Blog @africageo @africageobirds

Operation shoebill at Big Birding Day – Africa Geographic Blog

Africa Geographic

A first-hand experience of Uganda’s Big Birding Day annual 24 hour birding event.


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Uganda aims to become Africa’s number one birdwatching destination

ATC News by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome


(Posted 11th May 2017)

(Uganda, besides being Africa’s top ranked birding destination is also the most affordable gorilla destination in Eastern Africa)

Home to more than half of Africa’s bird species, Uganda is the continent’s richest birding destination. Birders from around the world flock to Uganda hoping to get a glimpse of 1,072 species, including several found nowhere else on earth. These birding enthusiasts are in luck as, with the right itinerary, it is possible to identify as many as 200 species in a single day.

Much of Uganda’s premier birdwatching takes place in the Albertine Rift, one of the most biodiverse regions in Africa and home to 24 endemic bird species. In this strip of mountains and volcanoes in the west that borders Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the black-rumped buttonquail, African skimmer, Chapin’s flycatcher, black bee-eater, and handsome francolin…

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