Raven about Frodsham Marsh

Colour-ringed Raven.

Colour-ringed Raven annoying a Common Buzzard (centre bird) on No 5 tank. Image by WSM.

Listed below details of this bird from John Lawton Roberts who ringed it.

Thank you very much indeed for sending in the record of a CR Raven at Frodsham to the BTO.

We’ve been colour-ringing nestling Ravens on the surrounds of Ruabon Mountain since 2009 and yours, at Frodsham, is the most distant sighting of one of our birds to date. Black/Orange on left leg, orange/BTO ring on right was ringed by me on 11 April, 2011 in a forest on the east edge of the above moor.

We’ve been studying the expanding Raven population in the above mentioned area since the 1970s, looking at numbers, spacing of pairs and clutch and brood size. The three years of colour-ringing to date (I broke my back in July 2011 and wasn’t able to do any ringing this year) are part of a programme which will hopefully answer questions about dispersal of young, age of first breeding, site and pair fidelity etc.(I’m hoping to enlist the help of climbers next year so that we can resume the ringing.

Numbers of breeding pairs fell slightly a few years ago, this tending to involve the last territories to be occupied. We suspect that this may have been a result of the ‘fallen stock’ law.

A Raven reported as ringed green over yellow on left leg, green on right leg, was reported by a different observer at Frodsham Marsh on 5 November of this year. However, checking my records I cannot find such a combination of rings for any pullus ringed  in our project. Has anyone else seen this bird and has it, to your knowledge, been photographed? We have used the combination in question but on different  legs.

A feeding station near Ellesmere has drawn in several  Ravens from our study in the last three years and hopefully, given the bird’s ability to communicate news about good feeding places to their fellows, Frodsham may do the same. However, this will depend on the regularity with which suitable food becomes available there. (They love large lumps of fat, by the way. As long as they’re cleared up quickly by the birds, I understand that this doesn’t contravene the law).

With all best wishes and thanks, again.

John Lawton Roberts

Check out the Welsh birding at the Ruabon Mountain Black Grouse Hide which is based on the edge of Ruabon Moor at the Llandegla Forest Centre. See the RSPB website for more details on Ruabon. Eds

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