A team of scientists has launched a research project looking at how garden birds survive in the urban jungle.
Working with the city council, teams from the University of Birmingham’s schools of geography and biosciences are ringing 12 common species including blue tit, blackbird, robin and chaffinch.
The birds were given coloured rings in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, and Shire Country Park, which follows the River Cole between Yardley Wood and Small Heath, before being released.
The researchers want people across the city to spot the colour-ringed birds, which will provide them with vital data about how far they travel.
Emma Rosenfeld, running the university project, said: “There has been a lot of work on long distance migration, but we know very little about how birds move around large cities to feed and survive.
“By getting people to look for the colour rings, we will be able to get a picture of how far the birds in your garden move to feed and what areas they use most often.Although the birds were ringed in Shire Country Park and Sutton Park, individuals could turn up anywhere in the city.”
The research is part of the national Open Air Laboratories project, which aims to encourage people to explore, study, enjoy and protect their local environment. It received a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to help bring communities and scientists closer. Other Birmingham studies will look at bees, moths and bats.
Dr Jon Sadler, from the University of Birmingham, said: “Much of Birmingham doesn’t seem very promising habitat for small birds, but they have adapted to survive and flourish. What we want to know is how much birds move around from green oases like parks into our gardens. This will help us know what areas in a city are important.
“But for us to get the best possible picture of how our garden birds behave we really need people to help. So we would encourage everyone to get their binoculars out and get spotting.”