Garden Warbler visits Museum again a year later

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On 28th January 2014 at National Museums of Kenya grounds, Nairobi Ringing Group members were ringing birds, hoping to catch some migrants from Europe or Asia. Little did they know that they were going to be lucky?

(Ringing involves capturing birds in fine-mesh nets, carefully extracting them and taking measurements. The birds are then fitted with a tiny, lightweight aluminium ring with a unique number, and released.)

First net round we capture three migrants – Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin), Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) – and some local birds. We ring and release them. The second net round we find another two migrants and one has a ring! So we think the ringed Garden Warbler is the one we have just released.

We take the Garden Warbler to the ringing site to confirm the ring, but immediately we check the ring number of the released bird we find it’s not the same! We flip pages of the ringing book back to find more about the bird in our hands. We find that this Garden Warbler was ringed on 29th January 2013 by Kevin Gichuki here at the NMK grounds!

It’s our call to birders and ringers everywhere to be keen on birds especially migrants, because information is power