Roller's journey ended in Egypt

Bird ringing is a traditional tool to gather information about our strictly protected European Roller, for example by observing colour ringed individuals or recapturing the marked birds. Unfortunately, there are sad recovery reports as well...

Juvenile Rollers in an artificial nestbox in South Heves region (Bükk National Park Directorate) (Photo: Flóra Hák)

We received a report from the Hungarian Bird Ringing Centre about a European Roller from Hungary being shot in Egypt on 5th September. The birds’ ID from the ring has been sent via e-mail by locals. The bird was tagged as a juvenile in 2016 by Flóra Hák in the area of Bükk National Park Directorate, in the neighbourhood of Visznek municipality. Rollers are migratory birds, they are leaving to the wintering grounds in late August-September and return the next year from the beginning of April.

Pictures of the unfortunate bird were sent by the rapporteur

This individual fell victim close to Alexandria. It was a 3rd year bird which moved 2013 km from the breeding place towards Africa. Unfortunately hunting is very common along the migration route of these birds therefore this event is not unique.

Since 2014 with the support of the program called „Conservation of the European Roller in the Carpathian Basin” we have had the opportunity to tag birds with metal and colour rings in increased number to collect information about their movement. The most pleasant way to obtain data (besides following the satellite-tagged birds) is to observe tagged birds on field and read the characters of the colour ring straightaway or to take photographs of the bird. This year we were able to identify several individuals with this method. The bird shown below has been observed this spring, around the period of display.

The orange colour ring with the characters „FW1”on the right leg is clearly visible (Photo: Sándor Jakab)