Ringing of birds

The ringing (or banding) of birds is a scientific method for gaining knowledge about birds and the environments in which they live. In principle, the method is to fasten a metal ring around one of the legs of a bird. On the ring, a unique number and a contact address are printed.

Traditionally, bird ringing has been used to increase our knowledge of bird behaviour. The most common questions we have wanted answers to are where birds have wintered, where their migration routes go, their important resting places and causes of death, how long they live and how fast they move (migrate). Now that this basic knowledge about various species has improved, the goals for bird ringing have become more nuanced. New goals and new content on the ring markings enable the study of such things as changes in bird-populations. This is an important contribution to current environmental monitoring. In many research projects, ringing is used as a sure method for recognising individual birds throughout their life.

Knowledge gained from ringing is often based on members of the public finding the ringed birds and reporting their finds to a ringing centre.

The Norwegian Bird Ringing Centre are managed by Museum Stavanger. Here you will find more information about bird ringing (banding).