Copenhagen Bird Ringing Centre

The Bird Ringing Data Collection of the Zoological Museum, known as the Copenhagen Bird Ringing Centre, comprises data from Denmark as well as the Faeroe Islands and Greenland.

Since 1998 the Copenhagen Bird Ringing Centre has been jointly financed by the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen and the Ministry of Environment and Energy, according to an agreement that runs in periods of three years.

The Copenhagen Bird Ringing Centre is a member of The European Union for Bird Ringing.

The Collection consists of ringing data for altogether c. 3.5 million birds as well as information on c. 120,000 recoveries. The annual number of ringed birds varies between 70,000 and 100,000. While the ringing data are still manually recorded, the main part of the recovery data is stored in a computer database.

The ringing data from Denmark go back to 1899 while the data from the Faeroe Islands and Greenland are from 1923/1926 onwards.

The records of the Copenhagen Bird Ringing Centre contain information on the largest series of ringing and recovery data in the world and comprise, apart from the Museum's own data (from 1931 onwards), material from the following, now abolished bird ringing centres:

  • H. Chr. C. Mortensen, Viborg, 1899 – 1920
  • P. Skovgaard, Viborg,1914 – 1975
  • H. Weis, Hellerup, 1917 – 1918
  • Holger Pedersen (Munk), Frederikssund, 1921 – 1931
  • The Danish Nature Conservation Council, Tipperne, 1928 – 1931
  • National Environmental Research Institute, Kalø, Rønde, 1950 – 1998
  • P.O.Box 547, Odense, 1964 – 1967

Thus, the Bird Ringing Data Collection consists of 50- to 100-year-old series of ringing and recovery data from Denmark, the Faeroe Islands and Greenland.

Some species have been ringed regularly on a large scale over the years, e.g., in connection with population investigations, and thus, the collection comprises comprehensive material on, for instance, Phalacrocorax carbo, Cygnus olor, Anas platyrhynchos, Aythya fuligula, Somateria mollissima, Vanellus vanellus, Calidris alpina, Tringa totanus, Larus sp., Sterna sp., Turdus merula, Sturnus vulgaris and Carduelis chloris. Ducks and waders were ringed during c. 1950-1970 in considerable numbers, whereas the material from the preceding and succeeding years is more modest. Birds of prey have been ringed regularly on a modest scale since the 1920s, which has resulted in an interesting recovery material.

From Greenland, special attention is drawn to material of Uria aalge, Falco peregrinus and Plectrophenax nivalis. Valuable material from the Faeroe Islands exists of Uria aalge, Hydrobates pelagicus and Oceanodroma leucorrhoa.

A valuable aspect is that virtually all original recovery letters are accessible.