This web site is meant to be a meeting place for banders/ringers and birders being involved in bird observatory work. We apply a rather loose definition on the term "bird observatory".
What makes a bird observatory?
This Community applies a liberal definition for the term bird observatory. Some bird observatories are well established, prime examples are (among others) Cape May (US), Spurn (UK) and Falsterbo (Sweden).
However, there are many, many banders/ringers and birders, “out there” quietly working in an area, or on a specific species, or set of species. For instance, those who monitor large raptors do a tremendous job, but the very nature of this work put their “bird observatory” on four wheels.
Yet other schemes are run by one, or several, enthusiasts. Sometimes banding/ringing is the main focus, at other times migration monitoring.
All these initiatives might be a bird observatory, or slowly by slowly, becoming one.
All are welcome to this community.
Banding or ringing?
This web site is intended for those who knows banding/ringing. Nevertheless, a good background article on the subject can be found at Wikipedia.
Catching birds, and putting rings on them, is most the common way to mark birds with individual identifiers. Other methods exists as well, but are far less commonly used. Unfortunately, in English, two lines of linguistic logic is applied to this "putting-a-ring-on-a-bird" practice. In Europe and other parts of the old world, focus is on the item used: the ring, thus ringing. However, rings are put on fingers/toes. Around a wrist or ankle we wear a band, i.e. a "wristband", even if this isn't a band at all. Following this, in US and other parts of the world, the term "banding" is used, as it appears the marker is put on the leg. However, it gets even more complicated, as the tarsus is a part of the foot..
Leaving these technicalities behind, we are faced with two terms for one common concept. Until someone coin a new term, acceptable to all, we will have to live with this. This web site strives to use banding/ringing and banders/ringers. It is a bit clumsy, but it is all-inclusive.
Why become a member?
To be written..