8 June 2016

Last of the Choughs

Not quite as ominous as it sounds, but this week saw us ringing the final brood of Chough chicks for the year. A small but very experienced rope team joined us to help us access this new site on National Trust land. A short abseil and some inventive ladder-work later and we found the nest, with three small but healthy chicks. This is rather notable as the female here is just one year old and breeding in their first year is exceptional in Choughs. Her partner is a three-year-old male so almost as inexperienced.

Choughs do always pick the most stunning locations to nest
...although this can make access 'interesting'!

The three chicks were big enough to ring but not big enough to know their sex, which is normally judged on size (by measuring leg length). All were good weights though, so hopefully will all fledge in the coming weeks.

This brings the number of Cornish chicks colour-ringed this year to 15; slightly down on previous years, but a great result considering several of these broods were raised by young, inexperienced birds. Many thanks to Alan, Roo, Christian and Will for their expert advice and help in safely accessing the site and to the RSPB staff and volunteers for monitoring the site in advance of our visit.

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