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WNF Hawfinch survey - call for volunteers

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

Marcus writes:

From late March we will be embarking on the second year of GPS/radio tracking Hawfinch in the New Forest.

Adult male Hawfinch 'DN (IP)', tagged in 2019, was found to commute 1.5km from his breeding site in mixed mature deciduous woodland, to feed in a holly holm pre- and post-roost

The main purpose of the study is to get a better understanding of the foraging behaviour of off-duty male Hawfinch during the breeding season, with a view to ensuring that key feeding sites are understood, mapped, and ultimately protected. The tracking also provides the opportunity to look at other poorly understood aspects of Hawfinch life, such as roosting behaviour, range, and post-breeding behaviour and creches.

Part of the team at the 2019 training day

This is a great opportunity to get involved in an exciting project - the main tracking period will run from late March through to early July and will be based around a central New Forest location, though as we discovered last year Hawfinch can range quite widely.

The tracking will be co-ordinated via a rota system with three shifts (morning, afternoon and evening) working in pairs where possible. Full training will be given, and we are looking to organise a training session at the end of March that will run through the logistics, aims of the project, and how to effectively track birds in the field using telemetry.

Above all it is great fun and hugely addictive – there is no pressure to commit large chunks of time, but as with anything of this nature, the more you put in, the more you get out of it!

Adult female Hawfinch 'H9'

I will be presenting results from this year’s tracking at the Hampshire Ornithological Society Members Day in Winchester on Sat 28th March (further details available on the HOS website).

Andrew Colenutt will be co-ordinating the tracking side of the project – if you are interested or would like further details, please contact either Andrew or myself via the following e-mail addresses:

Andrew Colenutt:

Marcus Ward:

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