Tag Archives: Bird Banding

Where did Canada Goose RH50 come from?

On November 2nd, I photographed a neck-markered Canada Goose at Tannery Dam in DuBois, PA. The bird supported a yellow neck marker that read RH50.

Canada Goose with RH50 Neck Marker photographed at Tannery Dam in DuBois, PA on 2 November 2012.

Upon observation, I submitted the data to the Bird Banding Lab for information on where the bird was originally banded. Monday, November 26, I received an email with details on where, when, and by whom the bird was banded.

This Canada Goose was banded on June 22, 2005 as a male, hatching in 2004 or earlier, by Mr. Thomas D. Sutter near Savannah, New York. I found the goose ~170 miles from the banding location.

Map generated in Google Earth to show the distance between the banding and resight locations.

If you encounter a banded or marked bird, make sure report the information on www.reportband.gov. Valuable information is gained through the recovery of bands, but only if you report the information.

“Data from banded birds are used in monitoring populations, setting hunting regulations, restoring endangered species, studying effects of environmental contaminants, and addressing such issues as Avian Influenza, bird hazards at airports, and crop depredations. Results from banding studies support national and international bird conservation programs such as Partners in Flight, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and Wetlands for the Americas.”

If you’ve reported bands in the past, let us know in the comments! Also, if you’ve blogged about your findings include a link in your comment.

Are we going cuckoo?

We may be going cuckoo for cuckoos in the Kern this season, but we’ve ended our streak of getting skunked during banding. We banded one bird on July 29, named Gluttony, and another bird today, August 2, named Envy. I think we’ve been skunked the past six times we’ve tried banding, so it’s been pleasant to finally capture birds again.

Gluttony was captured and banded on 7/29/2012

Envy was captured and banded on 8-2-2012

Banding Yellow-billed Cuckoo Nestlings!

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of banding the nestlings from our first Yellow-billed Cuckoo nest of the year. The nest held three nestlings, with the oldest being 5 days old. The other two were 4 and 3 days old. Each nestling was equipped with a federal silver band and a color coded band. We also took wing, tail, tarsus, and bill length measurements. Today, we found one more nest and have our sights set on another nest. Hopefully there will be more nestlings to come! Here are some photos from the banding session:

Banding Yellow-billed Cuckoos in the Kern River Valley

An integral part of our Yellow-billed Cuckoo research in the Kern River Valley of California is color banding and attaching radio transmitters. We are using a four high mist net setup. That is four mist nets stacked on top of each other and are raised and lowered using a pulley system. The net is 11 meters high and 9 meters long.

Net placement is key in capturing cuckoos because they like to fly from tree top to tree top. If the set up is in an area where the trees surrounding the net are taller than the net, then the cuckoos will most likely fly over and around it. Each time we set up is a constant struggle to find a net lane with trees shorter than the net. Once we have the net set up, we place the speakers we use to call the cuckoos in perpendicular to the net. After a quick sound check, we set up our camouflage and start calling for cuckoos!

Once we lure a bird into the net, we rush the net and extract the bird. When the bird is in the hand, we place a metal color band and a silver federal band on the legs. We then take the usual measurements on the bird. More details on the Bird Banding Process can be found here.

We decided to name our birds after the seven deadly sins. We named our first bird Lust, who we think is a female and captured on the first netting attempt on 6-20-2012. Female based on size and vocalizations.

Lust was banded on 6-20-2012

The very next day, we netted another Yellow-billed Cuckoo. This bird was very loud in the net, therefore attaining the name Wrath, presumably a female. Female based on size and vocalizations.

Wrath was banded on 6-21-2012

The next time I was banding cuckoos was on 7-6-2012 in which we captured our third bird, Pride. We think Pride is a male based on size and vocalizations.

Pride was banded on 7-6-2012

Since the banding of Pride, we have struck out many times during banding sessions. We have had a ton of birds approach the net and have had a few bounce out as well. Tomorrow is our next netting session so we have our fingers crossed. Cuckoos are getting harder to capture as each day passes, so we’ll see what our luck brings us tomorrow.



Black-and-white Warbler at MAPS Banding Session 5-3-2012

During my survey this morning, I heard an interesting song and immediately thought Black-and-white Warbler. I couldn’t get a visual on the bird, so I shrugged it off as me being crazy. A few minutes later, I saw my field partner and she said she thought she heard a Black-and-white Warbler too! I went of the heezy. I tried to track it down, but had no success. I told the MAPS banding crew that there could possibly be a Black-and-white Warbler in the near vicinity and one of the guys said that he may have heard the bird near one of the nets. I searched the area, but came up empty. I went on the next net run with Chris Dodge and the first net we checked was holding this beautiful male Black-and-white Warbler!

Black-and-white Warbler banded at Beal Restoration Area on Havasu NWR on 5-3-2012

Cheryl and I thought we were crazy until the bird found its way in to the net! What a great state bird! The banding crew said that they either see or band a Black-and-white Warbler during migration each spring. We spent an hour and a half at the banding station and had three Wilson’s Warblers, one Green-tailed Towhee, two MacGillivray’s Warblers, and two Western Flycatchers.

Wilson’s Warbler banded at Beal Restoration Area on Havasu NWR on 5-3-2012

Western Flycatcher banded at Beal Restoration Area on Havasu NWR on 5-3-2012

MacGillivray’s Warbler banded at Beal Restoration Area on Havasu NWR on 5-3-2012

Bird Banding at Idaho Bird Observatory

Here is a nice video that Wild Lens put together describing bird banding by biologists from Idaho Bird Observatory at their Lucky Peak banding station.

I did a post last fall about The Bird Banding Process and that can be read here.

Have you banded birds before? If so, leave a comment and tell us where you banded birds, your favorite bird to band, and your favorite part of bird banding!

Wordless Wednesday