Hellenic Ornithological Society, photo: Th.Kominos
Bird Ringing

Short Description

Bird ringing at the Antikythira Bird ObservatoryBird ringing is a scientific research method based on the individual marking of birds. All records of ringed birds, including that of the first capture, the recapture at the same or another place, even that of the final recovery as a dead bird will give us plenty of information about its life. Bird ringing is one of the most effective and old method to study the biology, ecology, behaviour, movement, breeding and productivity and population demography of birds. The main am of bird ringing on Antikythira Bird Observatory is the monitoring of bird migration, the breeding and wintering bird population using constant effort. The unique combination of each ring allows the researchers to draw migration routes and the life span of the birds, as long as some birds are recaptured or found in another area.

Furthermore, during the ringing process several more biometric data can be retrieved that, compared to data of previous years can help drawing conclusions for the migration in general and for the status of the wintering and breeding habitats.


Standardised bird ringing takes place every day from dawn and up to eight hours, except for days with adverse weather conditions. Species determination, as well as aging and sexing of birds are carried out according to Svensson (1992) and Jenni & Winkler (1994). The basic measurements taken are maximum wing length, the length of the 8th primary, tarsus length, fat and muscle scores according to Bairlein (1995) and body mass. Positions and total length of nets. Birds are caught with special nets (mist-nets). The position and size of the nets are constant during sampling and between sampling seasons.

Ringings are performed according to international standards under the supervision of the Hellenic Bird Ringing Center. Ringing takes place without the use of luring.

Extra mist nests and the use of luring takes place only during special projects held on ABO.

This action takes for about 5 months a year, from the 15th March to the 31st May and from the 25th August to the 10th November.  

The objective of all ABO actions is the collection of valuable data about the migratory birds of Europe aiming at their conservation.

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