Goose Banding Report: Special report from Brian Ferguson “June 12 was the first round of the annual goose roundup on the refuge. This program is the State Division of Wildlife Resources effort to band geese in northern Utah. It is truly a partnership effort between the State and US Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor goose movements through this flyway. State employees, Refuge staff and volunteers, and other volunteers from the public including members of Ducks Unlimited and dedicated waterfowl hunters joined in on this effort. This is the time when adult geese are molting and are not able to fly and the young of this year have not developed flight feathers. Four air boats were used with an operator and four crew members to catch the geese and transport them back to a central location for banding and data recording. Hanging over the front of an airboat as it speeds along its way and grabbing geese out of the water is rather an invigorating experience. One hundred geese were delivered to the banding sight and after the required information was taken (age and sex) they were released back to the wild. There were a number of geese that had been previously banded and their band information was recorded. This information goes into a data base where managers can track where they were banded , recaptured and if they are harvested during the waterfowl season, the band information would give managers an idea of movement and how long they have been in the wild. One of the State employees commented that a bird captured earlier this season had been banded 15 years prior. This is one of those projects that really makes volunteering really exciting, thanks to all that participated!”
Thanks to Brian Ferguson for this great inside look at banding!
Exerpt from Refuge Volunteer Newsletter July 2013