The pupils and their parents got up close and personal with some of the feathered friends that live and share our school grounds. Mr Aidan Crean, who works closely with the British Trust for Ornithology (B.T.O.) and who is highly trained and experienced, safely netted and caught four birds. The first was a ‘Gold Crest’ which is the smallest bird in Ireland. The second was a ‘Long Tailed Tit’ who was a rather cheeky chap. The remaining two were ‘Mr and Mrs Great Tit’. Mr Crean commented that St. Anne’s has wonderful wooded grounds supporting a wide variety of bird species.
The pupils were given the opportunity to gentle stroke the birds, looking closely at their body and beak shapes and markings. Mr Crean measured their wing spans and then attached an aluminium leg ring to each of the four birds. These rings allow the B.O.T. and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (R.S.P.B.) to monitor bird population and to track migration patterns, not just in Ireland but all over the world. All of the birds were then carefully released back into the wild to get on with the important business of nest-building and insect-eating.