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The Lund Blackbird Project

Have you seen a blackbird with colour rings?

There are almost 200 birds around Östra Torn and the Ecology building at the university campus that have been marked with colour rings. If you think you have seen one then please contact us!

See below for more information.

We need your help

Do you want to participate in our research? Please, report sightings of colour-ringed birds to us. Each sighting will be highly valuable to the project and add knowledge to our understanding of the behaviour and ecology of urban blackbirds.

What information do we need?

To identify which individual you have seen and for us to be able to use this information in the project, we will ideally need the following details:

  • Colour of the ring on the right leg (blue, yellow or red)
  • Colour combination on the left leg (starting at the body and working down to the foot)
  • Date of sighting
  • Location of sighting
  • Whether the bird was male or female

You can also send in a picture if you are able to photograph the bird with the rings visible.

How do you know if your bird has been colour-ringed by Lund University?

A bird with a blue and a red ring on its leg. Photo.

The left leg will have three smaller plastic rings with a unique colour combination. These are read from top to bottom. There are six possible colours (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, white and black). Beware! Blue and black colour rings can look very similar.

A blackbird is drinking water. Photo.

There will be a plastic ring with the letters ‘LU’ on the right leg, along with a metal ring below. The different colours on the LU-ring indicate which year the bird was first caught. A blue LU-ring means 2019, a yellow LU-ring means 2020, and a red LU-ring means that the bird was first caught in 2021. Photo: Michael Gehrisch.

Where are you most likely to see our birds?

The majority of our birds have their home territories on campus (left) or in Östra Torn (right). Occasionally we find that some individuals (particularly juveniles) can move beyond the area where they were originally caught, so it is always worth keeping your eyes peeled, wherever you are in Lund!