Returning home from a walk one Sunday afternoon in mid-June, Liz and I found a dead great tit (Parus major) lying on the pavement a few streets away. It looked as though it had probably been hit by a passing car.
As the little bird had a ring attached to one of its legs, I picked it up and took it home. Removing the ring was a bit tricky - eventually I had to cut through the leg in order to get it off.
Once unfolded, the ring measured about 5mm x 10mm. It was inscribed with the address of the British Museum and a seven digit reference code.
As I hadn't come across one of these rings for many years, I decided to check the return procedure on the 'net. A quick search turned up a useful website called Euring, where I was able to enter the details on-line.
Yesterday I received a letter from the BTO giving details of when and where the great tit was ringed: 19th May 2007 at 53° 23'N, 1° 31'W. I was rather disappointed to discover that it had travelled a grand total of 0km in the 29 days since it had been ringed!
The BTO publishes a very informative leaflet about bird ringing, which can be downloaded from: