Contribute Sightings

A marked population comprising field-readable rings unique to individuals is a key component of our project. This enables investigation of individuals-based component of life history which would otherwise be impossible.

Since 2001 we have captured and marked over 3,500 individuals at sites in Canada, Iceland and Ireland. In Canada birds are caught as flightless (moulting) adults or as unfledged young in late July/early August using helicopter round-ups. 236 birds have been caught at 4 locations in 2005 and 2007 using this technique. Elsewhere we use explosive cannon-nets, catching 3,000+ individuals at 23 Irish and 16 Icelandic sites since January 2001.

Our database now comprises around 83,000 observations contributed by over 630 observers in 13 countries. It is a very important resource and we welcome every observation.

Birds are marked using single engraved digits (letters or numbers) on each leg-ring. The unique combination of engraved digit, ring colour and the leg that each rings are on is key to identifying an individual goose. We welcome your observations which you can contribute by two preferred means:

1. E-mail ring details, date/time, location to the project’s resightings co-ordinator

2. Most useful for observations of multiple birds, download and complete the spreadsheet and e-mail this to

What details do I need to record?

Right leg (the bird’s right leg!): Colour of the ring; the repeated character (letter or number)
Left leg: Colour of the ring; the repeated character (letter or number).

This information then provides the bird’s individual Code, which is made up of:

Right leg letter/number : Left leg letter/number : Initial letter of the colour of the right leg-ring : Initial letter of the colour of the left leg-ring.

(Colours which have been used to date: Yellow (Y) ; Blue (B) ; Lime-green (L) ; White (W) : Red (R))

The Codes for the three example birds shown in the photos below are therefore ILRY & KDRB and ABWW

Ringed Bird Ringed Bird
Ringed Bird