Pied Flycatcher Study

Study of Pied Flycatchers by Peter M Wright

Strid Wood Bolton Abbey North Yorkshire

Pied Flycatcher (Male)

Nest boxes were first introduced to the east bank of the river Wharfe in Strid Wood in 1989 between Posforth Bridge and the upper extremity of the wood below the Barden aqueduct, when 21 boxes, 14 small-hole type and seven small open-fronted boxes were erected. By 1997 the configuration of the nest boxes had been altered by gradually replacing the open-fronted boxes and subsequent increases have raised the total number of small-hole boxes to 58.

In 1999 boxes were introduced for the first time to the west bank of the wood in the vicinity of Strid Cottage when 17 small-hole boxes were installed. This number was subsequently increased to 22 in 2002.

Strid wood Map.jpg

While the prime reason of the introduction of nest boxes was to provide additional nesting sites to encourage the Pied Flycatchers, the current total number of 80 boxes also provide nesting opportunities for other species such as Tits, Redstarts and Nuthatches..

Although a number of pulli were ringed during the early years after the boxes were introduced, the detailed study of the Pied Flycatchers did not commence until 1997.

The study now forms part of the BTO RAS (Ringing adults for survival) and nest-recording schemes. All the boxes are checked for occupancy from mid-May and those containing Pied Flycatchers are continually monitored. The pulli are ringed and as many adult birds as possible are trapped at the nest and ringed.

Over the course of the study, a total of 2195 birds have been ringed in Strid Wood, of which 259 were adults and 1936 were pulli. In addition to this, 411 adults have been re-trapped or controlled.

Please click on the following link for the combined data collected over the period 1997-2019.

Pied Flycatcher Analysis

Below are a number of distribution maps for birds ringed or controlled at Strid Wood by Peter over the study period. The first map shows one bird which travelled 1294 km and was recovered in Doiras Cervantes, Lugo, Spain as a road casualty, 71 days after it was ringed in Strid Wood. The bird was ringed as a pullus on 12 June 1999 and recovered in Spain on 22 August 1999.

Strid wood spain recovery.jpg

Four Pied Flycatcher, all ringed in the nest as nestlings, were controlled by EDRG at sites in Strid Wood and Abel Cross. See below for details.

Pied Flycatcher S429844

Ringed at Folly Hall, Otley on the 7 June 2018, and controlled on 10 June 2019 in Strid Wood

Pied Flycatcher S899429

Ringed at Low Snowden, North Yorkshire on 3 June 2017 and controlled on 31 May 2019, as a female, in Strid Wood

Pied Flycatcher ARB5179

Ringed at Moor Piece, Lancashire on 15 June 2018 and controlled on 13 June 2019, as a female, at Abel Cross, West Yorkshire

Pied Flycatcher S429602

Ringed at Folly Hall, Otley on 4 June 2017 and controlled on 25 May 2019, as a male, in Strid Wood


Pied Flycatcher Z026506

This is one of the birds ringed as part of the RAS Scheme based around Strid Wood near Bolton Abbey was ringed as a nestling on 4 Jun 2016 but sadly hit a window in Scott Hall, Leeds on 28 July 2016 and died shortly afterwards. It had travelled a distance of 31 kilometres.

Pied Fly scott hall.jpg

Pied Flycatcher D270818

Ringed as a nestling on 16 June 2014, this bird was controlled by the Merseyside Ringing Group on 24 May 2018 as an adult female at Penbedw, Flintshire. This bird moved 128km in a SW direction and was almost 4 years old.

Pied Fly flintshire.jpg


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