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Interesting Bird Bands

Hunting Wife

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
1,959
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Great stories. My brother and I shot our first ducks the same day 55 years ago this month. A pair of greenheads and his was banded. He had forgotten it and actually didn't believe me when we were reminiscing last year till I showed him the photo Dad took of us. He is holding that banded leg out for clear viewing.

I probably have a couple dozen goose bands but only two duck bands. Twice I was called and asked to provide photos of the bands. Anyone ever encountered that? Perhaps they periodically check to see if people are pulling their leg for a certificate to go with a band they've had made (and yes there's at least one outfit making repro bird bands). Or maybe a bander didn't write down the correct number and they had two different reportings for same number?
Sometimes they do want to confirm the numbers because fraud is getting widespread with bands. Besides counterfeit bands, some people sell unreported bands so someone else can report it from wherever they want for a certificate. Certain groups refuse to report bands at all because they somehow think the government is using the info to shut down or buy up property (ridiculous and not true). The feds have actually discussed ending the banding program altogether because with all the shenanigans going on these days, the data aren’t very useful. Very few places still band today.
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
263
Sometimes they do want to confirm the numbers because fraud is getting widespread with bands. Besides counterfeit bands, some people sell unreported bands so someone else can report it from wherever they want for a certificate. Certain groups refuse to report bands at all because they somehow think the government is using the info to shut down or buy up property (ridiculous and not true). The feds have actually discussed ending the banding program altogether because with all the shenanigans going on these days, the data aren’t very useful. Very few places still band today.
Man, that's a shame. Welcome to the new world of outdoors lack of ethics. And conspiracy theories abound. Reality just ain't good enough anymore. Sad.
 

sierrahunter

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
72
Not a bird hunter, what is the purpose of money bands?
It helps the USFWS adjust the reporting estimates. They use statistical models which are better informed when the money bands are returned. Money bands have a higher return rate, and the agency can better estimate how many non-money bands were not reported by comparing the two rates.
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
263
It helps the USFWS adjust the reporting estimates. They use statistical models which are better informed when the money bands are returned. Money bands have a higher return rate, and the agency can better estimate how many non-money bands were not reported by comparing the two rates.
Sierra: Your input here has been very enlightening. Thanks. Are you with federal Fish and Wildlife?
 

nick87

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
1,941
Location
Northern Illinois
Sometimes they do want to confirm the numbers because fraud is getting widespread with bands. Besides counterfeit bands, some people sell unreported bands so someone else can report it from wherever they want for a certificate. Certain groups refuse to report bands at all because they somehow think the government is using the info to shut down or buy up property (ridiculous and not true). The feds have actually discussed ending the banding program altogether because with all the shenanigans going on these days, the data aren’t very useful. Very few places still band today.
That's pretty sad.
 

Kaisermn

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
2
A dunk in Muriatic Acid will bring the numbers up. So cool.

Im super fascinated by the new(er) GPS bands/trackers that are being fitted on birds.

First band I shot was a overhead shot on a pair of mallards that sailed the drake, was my dogs first year hunting and I was a bit nervous she’d have trouble with the retrieve. Before I even scrambled up the bank to see over to the pond, she comes back proud as a peacock with a young drake that had somehow flown 100+ miles north from where he was banded in Colorado in August. Biologist called to confirm I had my numbers straight.

Second band was the opening day prior to the hunt I write about below. But after picking away at mallards all morning (not as a purist or anything, just as a way to prolong the hunt...I’ll smash some spoonies with the best of them!) I had the last drake of the day sail and land directly down the dyke I was sitting on. Sent the dog for the retrieve and she had a bit of trouble sorting out I wanted her to run right down the shoreline. Not seek water, not go over the dyke, just stay right along the base, a bit of a strange concept for my dogs age/experience. Anyways, she gets birdy and comes up with this drake probably 75 yards away, I turn to pack up my stuff while she brings it back, and when I look back to check on her, I notice he was banded. So awesome. Only band retrieval I’ve gotten on the GoPro as well.

Of the 3 bands from mallards I’ve shot, this is my favorite story:

Slow morning had me and the dog sneaking away from the decoys to jump a little pond the birds were pitching in to but was too featureless to hunt. Working down the bank I head a volley of shots from the guys set up a couple hundred yards away, and can make out a drake mallard fly through the volley and set his wings into my spread. Well son of a gun, sneak BACK to my decoys, pop over the bank, only to see him lolling his head in his death throes. Send the dog for the retrieve, and she comes back with a banded mallard, just a local bird, but I never fired a shot. Had to call a couple friends to see what the ethics were RE: keeping a bird I didn’t shoot. Came to the conclusion myself that if the guys came over and said they sailed one over here I’d gladly give it to them, but I wasn’t going to seek them out.


View attachment 158100

Opener here tomorrow, now I’m really excite
Had one similar to that, was hunting with friend, mallard went right over a group of guys that came out late set up 70 yards to our right, realized the were too close and moved 65 yards in front and to right of us...Yea. They wounded the hen mallard, friend called her in and missed his shot, congratulated me when I dropped her. Dog brought it back with a band and he was thinking maybe he hit it! Was a year old bird banded 100 miles north of where we were.
 
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