Marked Birds Database Manual – Working with Markers and Marker Events

This article is part of the Marked Birds Database manual and describes how to work with Markers and Marker Events.

A Marker is the ring, wing tag, neck collar, etc that is fitted to the bird to make it individually recognizable. Each Marker will always have at least one Marker Event and sometimes multiple Marker Events.

A Marker Event is the action that was performed on the Marker: it was fitted, lost, replaced, damaged, and so on. A Marker Event is always associated with a Marker.


When adding a bird, you indicate which the Marker(s) that the bird is fitted with. You do this either manually, or you will have done this in the BirdRing app.

When the bird is created, each Marker is also created, together with a Marker Event named ‘Marker fitted’.


Updating a Marker or Marker Event (for example when you have received the ringing details) is done in the Marker Events screen.

It is accessed by doing one of the following:

  • From the main menu, choose Marker Events
  • On the Bird Overview screen or Observation Details screen, click Quick View > Marker Events > Edit.

When updating the information for one Marker and its Marker Event, add the same data to any other Marker / Event combinations on the screen by using the Copy Event / Paste Event buttons or by using the Use Event for All Markers button.

Remove preceding dots from marker code

When copying a code from a metal ring in a life history, the code could be preceded by a dot (‘.1234567’). Such dots are automatically removed when they are added to the Code field in the Marker Events layout.

This functionality can be disabled via Manage MBDB > Preferences > Features > Marker Codes > Remove preceding dots.


The list of people shown in the ‘Ringed By’ field in the Marker Events screen are all persons that exist in the system (see Manage Database > Observers/Ringers) and for whom the option ‘Ringer’ has been enabled.

This way you can keep the list short by only showing ringers and not people who are only observers.


Locations that are often used can be stored in the system via Manage MBDB > Locations. Each of these locations appears in the Name list in the Marker Events screen.

When choosing a location from the list all the other relevant fields for that location (country, province/state, province/state code, and coordinates) are automatically filled (as long as they have been saved in the system for that location).

When adding a location in the Marker Events screen which does not exist in the system yet, it can be quickly added by clicking the green + icon.

Visual Display

Depending on the project, the way that rings are fitted can be shown in a graphic referred to as the Visual Display. When such a display is not available, a list view is available instead.

The correct Visual Display is automatically set when the bird is added but can be changed via the Main Menu > Marker Events or Main Menu > Bird Settings.

When rings are not displayed correctly or not displayed at all, check the following settings for that ring in the Marker Events screen:

  • The ring position should not be the same as the position of another ring.
  • The reading direction for Markers with a code should be set.
  • The Current Marker field should be set to Yes (does not apply to List View).

Adding additional Markers

Bird are sometimes fitted with an additional ring or it can be that damaged rings are replaced.

Adding an additional Marker to a bird in the database is done via the Main Menu > Add Marker and Event.

Adding additional Marker Events

When a Marker is observed lost or damaged, or is replaced or refitted, a new event for that Marker can be created via Main Menu > Add Event to Marker.

This will create a ‘life history’ of that Marker which can be viewed in Main Menu > Marker Events.

Markers that are not fitted anymore

Markers are sometimes lost or replaced. This can be indicated by setting the Current Marker field in the Marker Events screen to No. That Marker will then also disappear from the Visual Display (does not apply to List View).

Deleting a Marker Event

Do this in the Marker Events screen by clicking the red cross icon in front of the location details.

When the event is the only event for that Marker, the Marker itself is also deleted (a Marker cannot exist without a Marker Event).

Deleting a Marker

Do this in the Marker Events screen by clicking the red cross icon in front of the code. The associated Marker Event for that Marker is also deleted.

Updating the observation age

When the ringing date and/or ringing age has been changed and you click Save, you are asked if you want to have the observation age for all observations of that bird automatically updated.

Updating the Current age

When the ringing date and/or ringing age is changed, the Current age for the bird is automatically updated.

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