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Friday, June 13th 2014

On Wednesday night members of the ringing team started visiting the many Buzzard nests around the training area to ring the chicks. The first was on a steep slope and from a high vantage point you could look down and see the chicks sitting in the nest.

A local tree surgeon, Sean, helps us with this by climbing the trees and then lowering the chicks down to us on the ground to ring.

Buzzards nest high up in the trees and often pick the larger, taller trees in the woodland making the job of getting to them much more difficult.! Here Sean was almost 20 metres off the ground with about the same distance to go before he reached the nest which you can just make out alongside the trunk of the tree.

Once the birds are lowered down they are ringed and this year we have also been colour ringing them. The colour rings have large bold numbers which can be read through a telescope and aid identification of specific birds in the field. These three happily posed for a picture before they were put back in the nest.

The birds here are about three weeks old and their feathers are just beginning to develop at this stage. They will spend about another three weeks in the nest before taking their first flight.

In the last 20 years the number of Buzzards in the area has increased dramatically. There were only a handful of nests in the area in the early 1990s; this year we have over 15 nests to visit! Already we have been to three of these and ringed eight chicks - a very promising start!

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