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Ring the changes – Join in with a community Robin-watch project!

Wednesday 18th April 2018

Oxford bird-lovers are invited to get involved with a new community project to spot Stansfeld Park’s resident robins, inspired by a British Trust for Ornithology ‘ringing’ scheme which aims to support bird conservation efforts in the UK.

There is nothing more heartening to see than the beautiful red breast and plumped-up feathers of a robin as it swoops through the branches of a tree or comes to rest on a fence post. We see them regularly at Stansfeld Park and it always brings a smile to our faces. Over the past two years, we have been lucky enough to have regular bird surveys carried out in the Stansfeld woodland by a dedicated team of ornithologists, overseen by BTO licensed instructors Professor Andrew Gosler and Mr George Candelin. They have carried out several netting surveys and ringing and collected data including weight, gender, age and wing length; data which allows us to monitor behaviour, flock hierarchy, dominance, health and survival of our local population of birds.

The team has also put special coloured rings on any robins (Erithacus rubecula) that they have caught. These are more visible than normal tagging rings and provide a simple way of recognising and noting specific individuals without the need to handle them.

We are now hoping to add to the data we collect about the ringed robins by asking for your help. If you spot a ringed robin in your garden or around the local neighbourhood, let us know!

This information will help us to establish which birds are resident, and the extent of individual robins’ ranges.

We will need to know:

  • where and when you spotted the robin
  • the colour of the ring(s) you saw
  • and on which leg.

You can email us the data at [email protected], tweet us @scienceoxford or by calling our resident ecologist Roger Baker on 01865 810012.

More information on this scheme can be found at

Photo by Andrew Gosler. Female Robin ZO24824 – with green ring on left leg, first caught on 24th September 2016 and subsequently caught a further three times.


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