Yesterday afternoon, I harvested a large Canada goose with a leg band on it. How cool, I thought! How fortunate I was to bag a goose with a leg band! That’s never happened to me!
This was Goose #1138-33826.
Waterfowl bands are treasured collectibles by hunters. But, far more than being a collectible item to be cleaned up and put on a duck or goose call lanyard, reporting band numbers from ducks and geese is vital! This information gives waterfowl biologists a wealth of useful information regarding resource management. Specifically, band returns provide information about a species’ abundance, distribution, numbers, life span, causes of death and much, much more. Band details also help conservation agencies determine appropriate harvest levels and regulations for waterfowl hunting. Here is the report I gave to the Bird Banding Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland and the one I immediately received from them about the banded goose I shot.
Dear Greg Wagner,
Thank you for submitting your encounter information for bird band number 1138-33826.
The fact that you have received this email confirms that we have your data in our database. Please do not report the band number again.
INFORMATION YOU ENTERED:
About your Band/Bird
Band number: 1138-33826
Species: Large Canada Goose
How obtained: Shot.
Status of Bird/Band: Dead/Removed
Remarks: The bird, in excellent condition, was shot while hunting Canada geese on private land near Waterloo, NE
Date of recovery: Dec 30, 2013
Location of recovery:
Coordinates: Were provided by G.P.S.
Near Waterloo in Western Douglas County, Nebraska, United States
The reporter of this encounter was a Federal, State, or Provincial official.
List of contacts:
1. Greg Wagner
1212 Bob Gibson Blvd
Omaha, NE 68108
Phone: (402) 595-2144
INFORMATION FROM OUR FILES:
Species: CANADA GOOSE
Date banded: 06/24/2011
Banding Location: MEMPHIS LAKES SRA, 1 N MEMPHIS , SAUNDERS COUNTY, NEBRASKA, USA
Age: WAS TOO YOUNG TO FLY WHEN BANDED IN 2011
Thanks again for reporting bird bands.
There is no need to respond to this email. If you have any questions, comments, or changes please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the band number and any necessary details.
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Bird Banding Laboratory
This is follow up correspondence along with a certificate of appreciation for band reporting that I received this evening.
The North American Bird Banding Program
Bird banding is important for studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds. About 60 million birds representing hundreds of species have been banded in North America since 1904. About 4 million bands have been recovered and reported.
Data from banded birds are used in monitoring populations, setting hunting regulations, restoring endangered species, studying effects of environmental contaminants, and addressing such issues as Avian Influenza, bird hazards at airports, and crop depredations. Results from banding studies support national and international bird conservation programs such as Partners in Flight, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and Wetlands for the Americas.
The North American Bird Banding Program is under the general direction of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service. Cooperators include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mexico’s National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity and Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources; other federal, state and provincial conservation agencies; universities; amateur ornithologists; bird observatories; nature centers; nongovernmental organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and the National Audubon Society; environmental consulting firms and other private sector businesses. However, the most important partner in this cooperative venture is you, the person who voluntarily reported a recovered band. Thank you for your help.
U.S. Geological Survey Canadian Wildlife Service
Please Report Bands online at reportband.gov or call 1-800-327-BAND
So, any waterfowl band you (and I) recover is yours (and mine) to keep, but reporting information from it is critical to species’ management. Information from waterfowl hunters who have shot a banded duck or goose offers incredible insight into the life of that particular bird plus it helps foster a much greater appreciation of the birds we hunt.