What should be done if you find a banded bird?
Most birds are banded by researchers hoping to learn more about our feathered friends. The great bulk of banded birds are migratory, with various markers such as coloured goose and swan collars, wing tags for vultures and eagles, and traditional metal or plastic leg bands. Scientists use the data for many reasons: to track migratory patterns as well as the population and demography of species. That’s why it’s important for cottagers who find banded wild birds to report them. The Bird Banding Office of the Canadian Wildlife Service receives about 35,000 reports annually, most from hunters. You’ll be asked for the band number, when and where the bird was found, the species, age, and sex of the bird (if known), and whether it’s alive, trapped, or injured. Bands can be hard to read, so use a magnifying glass or do a rubbing with pencil and paper; you can also send the flattened band directly. Those who report findings will receive a history of the bird including age, sex, species, where the bird was banded, and by whom.