Each year, the HAPET office bands between 500-1,000 ducks of all species, chiefly during the month of August. One important aspect of the HAPET banding program is the large number of wood ducks we band each year. Although their population trend appears to be positive, wood ducks are an important game species for which relatively little population data is available. HAPET office staff use swim-in traps baited with corn to capture ducks. Each duck is affixed with a uniquely numbered aluminum leg band after its species, sex, and age are recorded.
Along with being an important biological tool, the banding program also offers unique outreach opportunities at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. The banding program was expanded in 2002 and 2003 with an added objective of motivating and educating youth about the outdoors through the Minnesota Waterfowl Association's "Woodie Camp" and the Fergus Falls Public School's "Prairie Science Class" at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. Each year approximately 50 campers and 240 Prairie Science Students in the 5th and 4th grade participate in the banding program.
For additional information on bird banding or to submit a band number visit the Bird Banding Laboratory at www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl
For additional information on Duck Banding contact:
Biological Science Technician
Habitat and Population Evaluation Team