Marsh Harrier >>Objectives>>Results >> Recoveries

Wing Tagging Marsh Harriers  Circus Aeruginosus in Norfolk

Between 1990 and 2010 North West Norfolk Ringing Group had metal ringed 213 Marsh Harrier nestlings only 7 were ever recovered, all were found dead.
According to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) between 1909 – 2012 a total of 2569 Marsh Harriers were ringed with metal rings, few were ever reported and most of these were recoveries of dead birds.

The wing tagging project began in 2011 and by the end of 2017, a total of 384 nestling Marsh Harriers had been ringed and wing tagged. This has resulted in a recovery/sighting rate of 32.03% a result that could not have been anticipated.

Individuals that have been marked in this project have been reported and photographed all over the UK. Many have involved multiple sightings of the same bird providing a fascinating snapshot of their ‘life’ history so far.  Many of these birds that have been tagged in this project have been seen abroad in Belgium, Portugal, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and Norway.
Conventional metal ringing alone would never have produced such extraordinary results.

Unconfirmed but 99% sure was a distant sighting in Senegal on the 24 Jan 2013 by a French Ornithologist Jean Francois Blanc who was studying Montagues Harriers of a green wing tagged Marsh Harrier who thought that the markings were black OO. Disappointing because OO has not been used but CC had, was it that bird? It would have been the first recovery of a British ringed Marsh Harrier in that country. Round about the same time this same guy also observed two Belgian wing tagged Marsh Harriers. 


Some details of  recoveries and sightings that have been received can be viewed here.

Sightings of wing tagged birds should be reported to the project co-ordinator

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Last updated January 2018