Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Makeup Of Bands

I was fascinated to learn more this week about a Piping Plover observed on 6 August 2010 than I would have ever imagined.

The Piping Plover above was photographed at San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2010.

The plover most recently observed at Bunche Beach Preserve had four bands and a flag on its legs.

The reporting of this bird that Tom Obrock had observed five days later we believe to represent the same bird with his documentation seen here.

The Piping Plover above was photographed at San Carlos Bay: Bunche Beach Preserve in August 2010.

An email reply to Tom's report sent to him and myself follows . . .
Thank you for the report and photograph. The green flag on the upper left leg is a regional marker for piping plovers banded on the Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam. Gavins Point Dam is located on the northeast Nebraska - southeast South Dakota about 5 miles upriver from Yankton SD. The plover was banded by researchers from Virginia Tech who are studying piping plover use of sandbars constructed by the Corps of Engineers to provide nesting habitat for piping plovers and least terns on the Missouri. I will forward your report to the VPI researchers and they should be able to provide you with additional information as to when and where the plover was banded. Thanks again. It is nice to know that one of our plovers has already made it back to the wintering grounds.

Greg Pavelka
Wildlife Biologist
US Army Corps of Engineers
Another exciting observation of a banded Piping Plover again made at Bunche Beach Preserve, 5 November 2008, led to my discovery that the bird had been flagged in Argentina and was handled and banded in Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Suriname, and possibly in the United States.

This plover also had a metal band placed on the upper right leg which remains a mystery without closer observation and better understanding of it.

A great resource for a basic understanding of bands and flags and what they represent may be seen here.

Be sure to report your finding of banded birds.

Please don't hesitate to recommend your favorite website resource to do this.

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