Saturday, 14 February 2015

New Black Redstart longevity record?

Brendan sent me some photos recently of the Black Redstart on the Old College in Aberystwyth. In the various photos the last few ring numbers can clearly be seen as 893. This matches the ring number of the one and only Black Redstart we have ringed in Aberystwyth which was caught by Paul and I at the same location on 5th December 2010. The ring was read on previous occasions from photographs supplied by Janet Baxter and Kev Joynes and what is presumed to be the same bird has wintered on the Old College every winter since. 

Checking the BTOs online ringing reports (Robinson, R.A. & Clark, J.A.(2014) The Online Ringing Report: Bird ringing in Britain & Ireland in 2013 BTO, Thetford, the current longevity record is held by a bird ringed as a nestling in Sussex on 3rd July 1947 and retrapped by a ringer in Dover on 21st June 1952! It was 4 years, 11 months and 18 days between ringing and retrapping and since it was ringed as a nestling that is pretty much how old it was bar 7 days or so. The Aberystwyth bird was an adult when caught so was at least 16 months old already, making it at least 5 and a half years old! Unfortunately the age is measured soley on the elapsed time between ringing and recovery so we'll have to wait until next year to make it official but who said it wasn't worth ringing it ?!


  1. Let's hope it returns next year.
    Indeed, who did say that?? ;p

    1. Nobody worth mentioning mate!

    2. Excellent!! Turns out this ringing malarky might actually provide some pretty special scientific breakthroughs in the world of ornithology.... who'd have thought!?

  2. Hi Tony - just received this from Ina after I contacted Lee Barber at BTO - ring read from pics by Meurig Garbett as he photographed it on 7/12/15 and he came up with L321893. So if you wish to contact Lee yourself................? Best regards

    Pete Marsh (North Lancs ringing group)


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