Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Carrion Crow - White AL

Just before Christmas we visited Edinburgh Zoo for the day to celebrate our animal-mad wee boy's 6th birthday.

Among the exotic and exciting animals, my attention was drawn to a Carrion Crow which was kicking around beside Penguin Rock and was sporting a white colour-ring.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my binoculars with me but thankfully it was obviously used to people and I got close enough to allow me to read the code - "AL".

The bird flew up onto the roof of the coffee shop and I managed to get a couple of photos with my phone.

I checked the cr-birding website, but the only project I could find which matched was based in Belgium and I assumed there must be someone closer than that colour-ringing crows, so I asked via Facebook.

An email address was passed on and I contacted Dr Rachael Miller at University of Cambridge, who replied to tell me that she ringed AL as a sub-adult male in May 2011. This was one of 65 crows ringed in Edinburgh Zoo as part of behavioral studies she was supervising at the time, where they compared wild crow behaviour in birds in Edinburgh with those in Vienna, and several other urban zoo-using crows.

Despite not having moved very far in 6.5 years, it's still fascinating to hear what other researchers are studying and why.

Many thanks to Rachael for the information.

P.S. We also managed to see the pandas!

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