It was a cold but beautiful day at Tawharanui Regional Park yesterday. I was up there searching for young robins (NZ North Island robin) which may have settled in the park. Between September and late January we banded 140 robin chicks(from 30 pairs) at Tawharanui and so far have found only 5 still in the park. Not a great hit rate. Young robins have a strong dispersal instinct which takes most of them out of the park each year. This year’s young all have a yellow colour band above a metal band on one leg, and other colours completing a unique combination on the other (the bird below is recorded as OW-YM.) With only 7 colours plus metal we actually ran out of combinations this year for the first time. My job through July and August is to find more of these YM birds before breeding starts again in late August – a great way for me to keep warm.
OW-YM photographed from behind to show the bands in the order they are always recorded – their left to right, top to bottom.