Marsh Award for Local Ornithology

Run in partnership with the British Trust for Ornithology, the Marsh Local Ornithology Award, is awarded to a bird club or group that publishes a book, completes a study or conducts any other exceptional activity that advances knowledge about birds.

The 2016 winner is The Cross and Stratford Welsh Chough Project

The Cross and Stratford Welsh Chough Project began in 1991 and since then has colour ringed in excess of 3,000 Welsh Choughs. The colour ringing is mostly done during the breeding season in spring, and involves many helpers across North and West Wales. The birds are all fitted with individual colour rings which allows them to be tracked visually throughout their lives. Thanks to the efforts of this project, a detailed picture of seasonal movements of non-breeding birds has been identified, important feeding areas have been recognised and the relationship between grazing density and Chough feeding habits has been unpicked. Following the highlighting of important nesting areas in parts of Wales, large nesting boxes have been fixed into these areas, encouraging breeding across several generations and therefore an increase in population. In the 1990-2000’s, when egg collecting was a major threat to rare breeds such as the Chough, the teams’ records helped in the conviction of several well-known egg collectors, and to this day when examining nests most eggs are marked to act as a deterrent to egg collectors. The success of the team would not be as it is without the help of a large number of volunteers and helpers each year who climb to nesting sites and want to seek extra experience in ringing. All the equipment used by the group is supplied voluntarily and it is mainly the support, help and friendship of the many landowners who have cooperated which has helped the growth of this project.

Pictured: Tony Cross and Adrienne Stratford with Emma Haworth, MCT Ambassador


British Trust for Ornithology
The Nunnery
IP24 2PU
Tel: +44 (0)1842 750050
Fax: +44 (0)1842 750030
Registered Charity Number 216652