Reporting banded birds gives waterfowl biologists key data _lowres

File photo J. Brandt Lieux holds a mallard with federal bird bands on both legs he took on a hunt five seasons ago near Deer Park, an oxbow lake off the Mississippi River. This rare treat for a hunter means the greenhead was captured twice and entered into the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's data base. Federal waterfowl managers use reports from hunters taking birds with bands to determine flight patterns among other band studies.

Reporting bird bands is an important tool to help state and federal biologists study populations and migrations of waterfowl and other migratory birds.

Migratory waterfowl and some migratory birds are banded by federal and state teams to determine flight patterns and assist in other migratory date collection and reporting. State teams band in excess of 2,000 wood ducks annually and have recently completed banding projects on mottled ducks, the state’s only native duck.

To report taking a bird with a band, call toll-free 1-800-327-BAND (2263).

Operators are on duty to 24 hours daily through the hunting season to take calls.

The operator will ask for the band number and when and where it was recovered.

You will receive a certificate from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with information about the bird. The band is yours to keep.

You also can report bird bands to the U.S. Geological Study’s Web site on the internet at: www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl.