We periodically place federal metal leg bands on ducks just prior to hunting season. This information is used to inform harvest regulations. Ducks are captured by baiting sites with cracked corn and placing traps. The species, age, and sex of captured ducks is recorded prior to banding and release. In 2021, 215 Northern Pintail, 211 American Green-winged Teal, 38 Mallard, and 6 American Wigeon were banded. Notably, the first banding of a Blue-winged teal on the Refuge also occurred in 2021. This bird was a young-of-the-year and most likely locally raised. Like other species, such as Ruddy Duck, the breeding range of Blue-winged Teal is probably expanding north. Earlier springs in some years mean habitat that used to be frozen is now open and available for nesting. Banding records in the region go back to 1959, providing a long-term historical context for comparison of this event.

Contact Information


A bright blue sky obstructed by fluffy white clouds reflected off of a stream shot from inside a kayak
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 570 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.


a lynx walks warily through the snow between willow shrubs
Yukon Flats Refuge is the nation’s third largest wildlife refuge. With the Brooks Range to the north and the jagged limestone peaks of the White Mountains to the south, this refuge encompasses the so-called "Yukon Flats" - a vast fire-dependent area of wetlands, forest, bog, and low-lying ground...