Aims of colour-ringing

Colour-ringing, or generally speaking colour-marking, is a valuable research tool for a variety of bird studies.

Short term research, such as detailed behavioural investigations of activities and interactions of a particular set of birds in a restricted area, or long-term research on demography and population dynamics, movements between breeding and wintering areas, phenology and migration strategies may be greatly improved by colour-ringing.

The use of colour marks, which are visible and legible at distance, dispense with the need to recapture birds to read the ring inscription as is typical of conventional metal rings.

Some examples from pictures taken in the field
Colour-ringing projects
Webmaster: Stefano Volponi
stefano.volponi @
Last updated: 27-03-2024

More details on colour-ringing

For an introduction on colour-ringing techniques and information on projects in Europe navigate the Dirk Raes colour-ring birding new site (old version is here).

For more information on what is scientific bird ringing, what are methods of bird ringing and what is the role of bird ringing for understanding bird biology and ecology, as well as recognizing and addressing population and habitat conservation issues see the EURING brochure on Bird Ringing in Science and Environmental Management.

For examples and information on colour ring coding:

Cormorant colour-ring styles
How to code colour-marks: the BTO code
link - pdf / Français: link

P. carbo projects

Arranged by:

Ring style 26 Jun 2023
Ring colour 26 Jun 2023
Country of origin 26 Jun 2023

See also the Old UK combinations (1980s and eraly 1990s projects) from which there are no longer reports of birds

Untraced cr-cormorants

most recent entries

Country Left Right Date



Other cormorant species projects

Pygmy cormorant P. pygmeus 27 Mar 2024
European shags P. aristotelis 1 Oct 2023
Double-crested cormorant P. auritus  
Other cormorants Phalacrocorax sp.  

Ringing resources

Bibliography (links):
General - Aging/Sexing - Special markers - Technics
Supply (links): BBL -
Important Remark on Colour-ringing in Europe
ALL recoveries of metal ringed birds MUST be reported to the finder's national ringing centre or to the address on the ring (see European Ringing Schemes at the EURING website);
If not otherwise stated, ALL recoveries of birds wearing color-rings as well as ALL colour-ring readings must be reported to the finder's national ringing scheme.

- For birds recovered or seen in the following countries all data
MUST be reported to the national ringing centre, respectively at the Helgoland Ringing Office for Germany, Vogeltrekstation Arnhem for Netherlands, the National Ringing Scheme at the ISPRA for Italy. This is a legal requirement and condition of being issued with a license to colour-ring birds.

- In some countries data on colour-ringed birds should be instead reported to the national colour-ring coordinators: for Denmark Jacob Sterup / for France L. Marion / for Belgium Jérémy Simar / for Finland the Ringing Centre / for United Kingdom see addresses under project list

In order to avoid overlapping of colour ringing project - well before starting a colour-ringing project - all ringers MUST contact their national ringing centre and the cormorant colour-ring coordinator/s

CRG coordinators for all European colour-ring projects are: Stef van Rijn - stef @ & Stefano Volponi - stefano.volponi @