Khurkh Bird Ringing Station - Mongolia

The Khurkh Bird Ringing Station (KBRS) is situated ca 200 km ENE of Ulaanbaatar. It is a superb location for avian research activities in Mongolia due to its landscape features and location on the flyway.


The site provides excellent opportunities to observe the passage of song birds migrating to and from southern Siberia.  Khurkh Valley is a famous place for its wetlands that support five species cranes; Hooded, Siberian, White-naped, Eurasian, and Demoiselle cranes, of which the latter three are breeding species.

The aim of the KBRS is to carry out a long-term bird migration monitoring study and to train younger generation of biologists in Mongolia. Apart from the regular ringing program KBRS also carry out project concerning colour-ringing and geo-tagging of Yellow-breasted Bunting, leg-flagging on shorebirds, raptor banding, local breeding bird survey and other activities including educating visiting students.

THE RINGING PROGRAM, example from 2018:

Spring season

During spring 1408 birds of 80 species were ringed between 23th of April and 13th of June. The field team operated 50 ringing days, and the average number of birds ringed per day was 28. The most commonly ringed species was Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla) with 194 individuals, Taiga Flycatcher (Ficedulla albicilla) with 188 individuals and Dusky Warbler (Phylloscopus fuscatus) with 106 birds.

Autumn season
In autumn, 5971  birds of 111 species were ringed between 10th of August and 10th of October (an average of 97 birds captured per day). September was the busiest period. The species caught most often was Siberian Rubythroat (Calliope calliope) with 884 individuals, Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) with 828 individuals and Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla) with 570 birds.

Ottenby Bird Observatory and Khurkh Bird Ringing Station have carried out a couple of research projects together, and several volunteers from Ottenby have been participating in the work at Khurkh.

In 2018, the team at Khurkh also opened a new ringing site at Khovd in western Mongolia, wich would give volunteers an option to expand their experience.


If you, as a voluneer at Ottenby, are interested in working at Khurkh, contact Magnus Hellström for further information and for a letter of recommendation.