Duck Banding

Duck Banding 300 x 256Banding of birds goes  back to 1585 for Europe, and 1803 for North America.  In 1920, the banding program in the United States was started when Frederick Lincoln was tasked with organizing a system that would allow all banding data to be housed in one location with developed numbering schemes and record keeping procedures.  With these efforts, banding has provided information on population estimates, migration patterns, life span, survivability, productivity, and disease prevalence.  In fact, the well known migration corridors or flyways were discovered due to banding efforts of waterfowl.  Banding is still occurring today across the country by Refuges, state agencies, non-profit organizations, and researchers, along with those in Canada.  Waterfowl banding at Bowdoin NWR is one piece of information in a large effort to continue gathering knowledge for better management of this group of birds.  Come early September, over-water, swim in traps are set up in wetlands to capture ducks.  The species, gender, and age of the bird are recorded, a band is place on the leg, and the birds are released.  These banding efforts are in large part due to the help of refuge staff and volunteers, and are a great way to connect to nature.