A TINY bird’s 11,000 kilometre flight from the Isle of Rum to Argentina has been revealed in a new report from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
The Manx Shearwater – weighing only about 400 grams and with a wingspan of around 80 centimetres – migrated from its breeding grounds in Scotland to the sunshine of South America.
It’s adventure was matched by a a Scottish arctic skua that flew to Brazil, notching up another 11,000km.
The birds’ journeys were able to be tracked because they had been fitted with rings around their legs.
Just over one million birds were ringed last year by around 3,000 trained and licensed bird ringers.
The rings also allow experts to study the ages of birds.
A fulmar caught on Sanda Island off Kintyre had been ringed 41 years, 11 months and 17 days earlier on the Isle of Canna, making it the oldest known fulmar in the British Isles.
A siskin caught near Tarbet in Argyll became the oldest known member of its species having been ringed at the same site eight years, six months and 10 days earlier.
Rob Robinson, associate director of research at the BTO, said: “Without fitting birds with uniquely numbered rings and monitoring their nests we wouldn’t be able to follow their lives and our knowledge of them would be much poorer.
“Many of our birds are in trouble and it is vital that we begin to understand why.
“The information we get from ringing and nest recording can’t be collected any other way.
“The data gathered by our fantastic volunteers help us to determine whether species are in trouble and, if they are, at what point of the lifecycle the problems are occurring.”
Read more stories about birds on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.