Bird Bling, jewelry, leg irons ... all are terms of endearment to waterfowl hunters
used to describe Waterfowl bands. “Those beautiful little rays of sunshine.” Talk
about gett’n the blood pump’n, Bang, Bang, Bang and here comes ole buck back to the
layout blind carrying a fat plump Mallard in his mouth.
You take a closer look, heck yeah this bird is sport’n jewelry. Duck bands and Goose
Bands are easy to report. You can call 1-800-327-band, or go online, www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl
and fill out a simple form available 24 hours. You’ll be asked for the information
on the band, along with where and when the bird was taken, and how, that’s about
it. You get to keep the band and you’ll be sent a certificate of appreciation.
The certificate contains the history of your bird. The species, sex, age, where and
when it was banded. The reported information is studied by wildlife biologists. This
is very helpful in tracking migration patterns, setting hunting seasons, and limits.
Waterfowl hunters are vital to biologist research.
The banding of birds has a long rich history dating back a thousand years, with pidgins
being among some of the first being recorded. Now day’s waterfowl are banded by certified
bird banders. The bird bander will sometimes use large nets that are deployed by
ground rockets to catch the birds.
All information about the birds is documented, species, sex, age. A band is placed
on the bird‘s leg with special pliers. The band has a set of numbers that is associated
to that particular bird. The bander will record the numbers and include them in their
Leg bands are made from aluminum, plastic, and stainless steel. Stainless steel is
used to prevent corrosion.
Some species are banded with a neck band ... these bands are plastic and are typically
worn by geese.
Leg bands have been recovered with most of the numbers worn off. These bands can
be sent in for identification. For more info go to www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl. There the
bands are treated with chemicals, and in some cases the numbers are revealed and
can be identified.
Happy Hunting ... Report Those Bands!
Report Waterfowl Bands
Wear that Bird Bling!
May your hunts be prosperous and your stories close to the truth.