If you find a bird that has been ringed please contact the Ringing Unit at the British Trust for Ornithology. If the bird is large you may be able to read the ring without handling it. However, it will be difficult to do this on a small bird, in this case it is ok to pick them up but remember to wash your hands and any equipment you used to handle the dead bird.
Please report the ring number and if the bird is dead send the ring along with your letter. Provide as much information as you can about the location of where the bird was found, for example, the nearest town/ grid reference. Also include the date you found the bird and the species if it is known. If the bird was dead please also include any information on the cause of death. Also include your details so the BTO can be in contact.
BTO – Report a bird ring
In the interests of monitoring and understanding the spread of avian influenza (bird flu), Defra
ask that you report any dead waterfowl (swans, geese, ducks), gulls, or birds of prey you find. You should also report any other dead wild birds you find in numbers of five or more. You can contact them on the Defra helpline
(03459 33 55 77
). Do not touch or handle the dead bird if you can avoid it, but if you must, wash your hands thoroughly as soon as possible, keeping your hands away from your face and any food.
If the bird is a pigeon - rings can be reported to The Royal Pigeon Racing Association
Please remember to wash your hands after handling any dead bird.