BASC launches first ever Wing Week

Geese in flight

BASC’s inaugural Wing Week will take place from 26 February – 4 March 2024, marked by a series of events centred around wildfowl and waders.

Wing Week is a BASC initiative designed to help members to take part in it’s wing survey, a long-term project which monitors data on the age and sex ratios of quarry species. 

The BASC Wing Survey is a voluntary initiative to which anyone shooting wildfowl and waders can contribute. To take part, we ask shooters to remove one wing from each duck, goose or wader they shoot and submit it to BASC along with the date and location it was shot. For goose wings, there is also the option of using the Epicollect app to submit wing data via a photograph, negating the need to remove the wing.

During Wing Week, each BASC regional team will host an interactive event at which we will be accepting wings that you have collected. Local BASC teams, combined with guest speakers, will explain the importance of the wing survey, what it can tell us, plus covering a range of topics related to wildfowl species and wetland habitats.

Why is Wing Week important?

With increasing scrutiny and regulation – often based on a lack of scientific certainty – having evidence that supports shooting’s sustainability is becoming an ever-increasing necessity. A better understanding of our migratory bird populations, particularly the numbers harvested, population trends and changing distributions, will also help shooting adapt to ensure it remains sustainable for the long term.

The wings of birds can tell us a lot about the populations we are shooting, which in turn can help us identify pressures affecting wildfowl populations, not only in the UK but across the flyway. With our collaborative working relationships across Europe, we can use wing survey data to inform management and conservation work in the UK and across the migratory flyway. 

For the wing survey to be successful we require a good sample size of wings per species so that we can make it as representative as possible to the UK shot population.

How do I get involved in Wing Week?

By taking part in the wing survey, anyone harvesting ducks and geese both inland and on the foreshore can contribute to this valuable dataset. 

Details of all Wing Week events will be posted on our website in due course. If you would like to submit any collected and frozen wings to the survey in the meantime, please contact your local BASC team to find out more about delivery or collection.

More information on the BASC Wing Survey can be found here.