We have been colour-marking Light-bellied Brent Geese since 2001 across Ireland, Iceland and the Canadian Arctic. Metal rings are fitted only in Iceland or Canada (2005 only) but otherwise most birds bear colour-rings on each leg. Smaller versions of colour-rings (red or blue) have also been applied - specifically these were fitted to young Brent Geese in the Canadian Arctic. If you see these you can be sure they were ringed in either 2007 or 2014 in the Canadian Arctic!
Since 2001 we have captured and marked over 3,500 individuals at sites in Canada, Iceland and Ireland. In Canada birds are caught as flightless (moulting) adults or as unfledged young in late July/early August using helicopter round-ups. Over 300 birds have been caught at 4 locations in 2005, 2007 or 2014 using this technique. Elsewhere we use cannon-nets, catching 3,000+ individuals at 23 Irish and 16 Icelandic sites since January 2001.
Our database now comprises around 250,000 observations contributed by over 630 observers in 13 countries. It is a very important resource and we welcome every observation.
Birds are marked using single engraved digits (letters or numbers) on each leg-ring. The unique combination of engraved digit, ring colour and the leg that each rings are on is key to identifying an individual goose. We welcome your observations which you can contribute by clicking below:
WHAT DETAILS DO I NEED TO RECORD?
Right leg (the bird’s right leg!): Colour of the ring; the repeated character (letter or number)
Left leg: Colour of the ring; the repeated character (letter or number).
For example in the image above the code for this bird is KSwb (KS white/blue read right leg, left leg)
This information then provides the bird’s individual Code, which is made up of:
Right leg letter/number : Left leg letter/number : Initial letter of the colour of the right leg-ring : Initial letter of the colour of the left leg-ring.
(Colours which have been used to date: Yellow (Y) ; Blue (B) ; Lime-green (L) ; White (W) : Red (R), Black (N), Orange (O)).