Migratory Bird Management
Alaska Region



Waterfowl Banding in Alaska

Region 7 Migratory Bird Management Division and several national wildlife refuges in Alaska have captured and banded ducks since 1990 as part of a pre-hunting season banding program for the Pacific Flyway. The objective of this effort is to determine the breeding areas of ducks that are harvested in the lower 48 states. Biologists go to marshes in late July and spread barley or some other grain to attract the birds. They then set out traps made of wire or netting in the baited areas. Ducks swim into the traps but can't swim back out. Trapping occurs from about August 1 to August 20. Biologists check the traps every day and put metal leg bands on the ducks that they capture, then release the birds. Trapping by the Anchorage Waterfowl Management Branch occurs on the Susitna Flats State Waterfowl Refuge in south central Alaska, just west of Anchorage. Pintails, mallards and green-winged teal are the most common ducks caught. In 1997, we banded 126 mallards, 490 northern pintails, 109 green-winged teal, 15 American wigeon, 6 northern shovelers, 2 greater scaup, 1 gadwall and 2 common goldeneyes, for a total of 751 ducks. 1997 Lewis River Slough Duck Banding Report

Last Updated: September 15, 2008