Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) (Photograph: Jon Sadler)
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) (Photograph: Jon Sadler)
Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) (Photograph: Jon Sadler)
Birds are a familiar sight in our gardens and parks, but as you have probably noticed when you are out and about and when you read the news, they are declining. Cities and towns and the green spaces within them are key areas where birds live, feed and breed. We need to understand these green spaces and how birds use them to help prevent further declines of bird populations. Cities are complex landscapes comprising a rich mosaic of little bits of lots of types of habitats in combinations that rarely occur in nature. It is important that we strive to understand the types of habitat, the areas in which they are found, the connectivity of these patches through green corridors and the features and resources these patches provide for birds.
We are researching how the environmental quality of green spaces and the layout of the urban landscape influence the biodiversity and behaviour of the bird population. This will allow us to answer questions such as: 1. How do birds move through the urban environment? 2. What features are important to allow birds to move through a cityscape? 3. Which habitats do birds use in cities?
Project One - Garden and park birds Small passerine birds (Blue tits, Great tits, Robins etc.) are going to be marked with a small coloured plastic ring around their leg. If you see these birds in your gardens or out and about let us know! We will then be able to find out how far these birds move around the city. Our attention is focused around the Shire and Sutton Parks this year. This is now live!
Project 2: City Corvids We need you to spot Jays (Garrulus glandarius), Magpies (Pica pica), Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major) and Green Woodpeckers (Picus viridis) across the city and let us know (by post or via the website) where they are, what type of habitat they are in and what else is around. This information that you collect will let us find out where these birds are and what is important to keep their populations healthy.
Watch this space for more details for both of these projects.