Ringed adult male Greenfinch (Maria Mak)

Recoveries are birds ringed at Rye Meads which are later reported from elsewhere, either found by members of the public or sometimes trapped by other ringers. These can be important for our understanding of where birds go and at what times of the year – although the Blue Tit found long dead in a lorry radiator grille could have died at any time and almost anywhere in the country!

We are notified of around 30-50 recoveries a year, so only about 1% of our birds ringed. Of these, many are short term and local, so tell us little, but some range far and wide, such as the Teal reported from Siberia or the Swallow from South Africa.

Controls are birds ringed elsewhere which we subsequently catch at Rye Meads. We control a lot fewer birds than we get recoveries from those that we ring, but it is always exciting to catch a bird with a strange ring, especially if that ring is from a foreign ringing scheme.

Also included here are the more interesting retraps (birds ringed here and later caught here again). These can also tell us a lot about site loyalty and survival of migrant species.