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Wing Tagging Marsh Harriers  Circus Aeruginosus in Norfolk

The project co-ordinated by the North West Norfolk Ringing Group is a cooperative one involving the Hawk & Owl Trust, East Norfolk Ringing Group and individual Norfolk ringers including Paul Noakes, Allan Hale and Ray Gribble. It has been funded by donations raised at the Wild about the Wensum events, hosted by the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust.

Any Norfolk ringer with access to Marsh Harrier nest sites can join this county wide project.
The project is not just confined to Norfolk however and in 2013 Simon Evans from Suffolk also joined in this collaboration and a brood of three chicks were tagged at Lakenheath Fen. Simon tagged four more chicks in 2014 and seven in 2015, plus 3 more in 2016. In 2015 Tony Martin at Dunkirk near Ely in Cambridgeshire also joined the project and a brood of 3 were ringed and wing tagged.

The Project provided an ideal opportunity to further promote the toe span method which can determine the sex of nestlings which NWNRG had pioneered in the UK.

The project was started in 2011 with the objective of finding out more about how or if juvenile Marsh Harriers disperse from their natal area. It is now in it's 8th year and some interesting and in some cases unexpected results have already been obtained.  

In 2011 the birds were tagged with a Lime Green tag on both wings. The tags have an individual identifying combination of two letters or one letter and one number in White. From 2012 a combination of two letters or one letter and one number in Black on a lime green tag were used. In 2018 after all the lime green codes had been used, orange tags with black numbers or letters were used.

If you see a wing tagged Marsh Harrier please report your finding to the project co-ordinator


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North West Norfolk Ringing Group

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  Last updated June 2018

Web consultant  Kelvin Baldwin