Tagged birds

Tagging birds with rings is a way of examining the migratory movements of birds and has for several species also provided many other valuable information such as, causes of death, age composition, etc. This is knowledge that can only be gathered through active participation from the entire population of Greenland. Many of the birds found are tagged abroad.

Tagging of wild birds in Greenland takes place with rings provided from the Zoological Museum, Copenhagen and takes place with prior permission from the Ministry of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture, cf. §20 of the Home Rule Executive Order no. 8 of 2 March 2009 on the protection and capture of birds.

Report a bird

If you catch, find or see a bird with a tag, notify the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

You can download a feedback form here (pdf form, 106KB)

We would prefer to receive the clipped foot with mark(s) on, either dried or wrapped in paper, to avoid putrefaction.

Write to our postal address with the following information:

  1. Ringnumber and other notes
  2. The species of the bird – if known or suspected
  3. Date and time of discovery
  4. Place – where the bird was found – and the name of the nearest larger, well-known town and region
  5. Cause – other information:
    • The condition of the bird: Alive, dead (recently dead or had been lying for a long time), found sick or injured, etc.
    • Finding circumstances: Shot, collided with ship, window or high voltage line, sick / injured and therefore killed, killed by another animal, bird captured and released, ring number read with binoculars / camera, only ring found, etc.
    • Finder’s name, contact details and account number so we can return with the ringing information and pay out any bounty

If a bird is marked with a metal ring, and the number and text can be clearly read, you can simply send the information by email to info@natur.gl. This does not give bounty.

Call or write to:

Greenland Institute of Nature
Kivioq 2, PO Box 570
3900 Nuuk, Greenland
Tel .: +299 36 12 00

A huge labeling effort

In Greenland, more than 280,000 birds of 53 species with metal rings from the Zoological Museum have been ring-marked. The ringing, which began in 1926, has been carried out by more than 300 ringers all over Greenland.

This great effort has resulted in more than 15,500 finds and readings of 43 different bird species. In addition, there are more than 2,000 birds that have been tagged abroad and rediscovered or read in Greenland. The foreign labels have added another 14 species to the list.

The majority of the reports are due to a large ringing effort after World War II until 1980. But especially due to foreign markings, between 50 and 100 birds are still reported annually.

New methods for marking birds

Especially within the last 20 years, several new methods for tagging birds have emerged. For example. such as color marking, with leg rings with individual code, which can be read with binoculars or photo without first catching the birds, as well as marking with satellite transmitters and especially data loggers. These methods of studying the birds are usually included in species-specific projects. The methods are significantly more costly than marking with metal rings. On the other hand, the new methods can provide more detailed data in a relatively short time.

Read if interested more about the type of data loggers called light loggers here (in danish)