Find a splash of colour on our city high-flyers

Blue tit with colour tagOPAL is asking residents across Birmingham to help scientists with a major project that aims to understand how some of our best-loved garden birds survive in the city.

Working with the city council, teams from the University of Birmingham’s Schools of Geography and Biosciences have used coloured rings to tag 12 common garden bird species including the blue tit, great tit and chaffinch.

OPAL now needs your help to spot these colour-tagged birds. This will generate vital data on how far birds travel across the city.

Emma Rosenfeld, a PhD researcher at the University of Birmingham, is running the project. Emma says, “We know very little about how birds move around large cities to feed and survive. By getting people to look for the coloured rings, we will be able to get a picture of how far the birds in your garden fly to feed and what areas they use most often.”

If you spot a tagged bird, you can log the sighting through the project website, by e-mail or by post. The website has full details about the birds to look for and how to take part.


(Photograph: Katie Glover)