Episode 80 – A bird in the hand

In our latest interview, Joey Humble and Taya Forde chat with Paul Baker – a Lecturer in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Glasgow Caledonian University and self-described ‘twitcher’ (or ‘birdwatcher’ for those who don’t know the lingo!). In fact, Paul now works on several bird monitoring projects connected with the University of Glasgow. Tune in to learn why bird ringing is still a vital tool for modern ornithology, how this type of research can uncover larger population trends, and just how to tell your house sparrows from your tree sparrows. With both UK sparrow species now on the Red List of conservation concern, Paul also explains why, now more than ever, we need these types of research projects. So next time you’re out and about, keep your eyes peeled for one of Paul’s nest boxes or report your sightings to the British Trust for Ornithology. Listen in below to find out more!

Left: Eurasian tree sparrow. Right: house sparrow. Images courtesy of K. Bahr and Fabiano Roggio, public domain via Flickr.

Blue tit with a silver ring helping to identify the bird before it is released again. Image credit: Emma Plant, 2021

For more information on bird ringing or any of the research and monitoring projects mentioned in this episode, check out the links below:

C:\Users\pba9\AppData\Local\Temp\birdtrends_graph-1.gifCBC/BBS England graph

Graphs courtesy of the British Trust for Ornithology and JNCC BirdTrends Report via data from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Common Birds Census (CBC)

Checking for the presence of a brood patch on a Eurasian blue tit. Image credit: Alexa Roditi, 2021


Feature image: Alexa Roditi, 2021  

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Intro and outro music sampled from: “The Curtain Rises” and “Early Riser” Kevin MacLeod [CC BY 3.0] 

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