Congratulations on spotting a banded piping plover! Now what?
First, thank you for taking the time to observe and record the band code from a piping plover. Data from reports of banded piping plovers contribute to the scientific understanding of this species, helping to answer questions about important to their protection and recovery. Questions like: Where do they spend the winter? What paths do they take when migrating, and how many survive the trip? Do individual birds always return to the same breeding or wintering sites?
What information should I send in?
The most important information is about the bands on the birds – their color, shape, and location on the bird’s legs.
There are eight possible positions on the legs of a plover that can have a band. Please pay special attention to the location of the bands on the plover you observed and describe them in your message to the bander. Below is a graphic depicting these locations. Remember, the left leg is defined as the bird’s left leg; i.e. if the bird were to look down, it would be its left side.
Flags on birds that carry no lower leg bands are almost always coded with either two or three alphanumeric characters that must be reported to identify the bird’s banding and resighting history. If a bird also has lower leg bands, then the flag is generally plain (no alphanumerics, only the color matters).
When reporting your banded bird, please include the following information:
Where should I report the banded bird?
There are multiple projects across North America where piping plovers are being banded. Please consult this list and send your resight to the contact(s) that most closely matches the band combination that you saw. Just do your best - if you get it wrong, the message will be passed along to the correct person!