• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

What Are The Positives.?? (1 Viewer)

Serious question....


What are the positives of banding a bird.??

I visited a songbird banding project in 2016. I was excited to see the birds. I ended being totally disgusted by it. What a shame. A Warbler was killed getting it out of the net. Shameful and wrong. Harassing wildlife is against the law.

I asked many questions and got very few replies. It really felt like it was a competition to the net managers to see who could come up with the 'best' bird of the day. The Gray Catbirds weren't happy. I can't imagine the fear the birds had. PTSD came to mind.

I asked who benefits from taking measurements of a bird.?? I don't understand it. I got no answers on that day. And how do they skirt around wildlife laws.??

Help me understand this, please, though I doubt anyone can change my opinion. Do we need stiffer laws on these things.??

Disclaimer; I'm not a tree hugger. Nor activist.
 

jmepler

It's just a flesh wound.
Bird banding data is used for scientific and conservation research. Being able to identify individual birds makes it possible to study migration patterns, survival rates, life spans, and population growth. You can read more about bird banding here. There are new methods using geolocators or radio transmitters that provide even more information about the movement of the birds.

Bird banders need to have a federal permit, or work under a permitted bander. What they are doing is not unlawful. There are rules in place to ensure the well being of the birds. You can read their code of ethics here. All the banders that I know are very conscientious. They will fold their nets rather than put birds at risk. If the banders at the event that you attended weren't upset about losing a bird, they should not be banding.

Injuries and death are very rare, but they do happen. Whether you believe the benefits to the species overall is worth the risk to an individual bird is up to you to decide. To me banding provides important information that helps us tailor conservation efforts where they are most needed.
 
Bird banding data is used for scientific and conservation research. Being able to identify individual birds makes it possible to study migration patterns, survival rates, life spans, and population growth. You can read more about bird banding here. There are new methods using geolocators or radio transmitters that provide even more information about the movement of the birds.

Bird banders need to have a federal permit, or work under a permitted bander. What they are doing is not unlawful. There are rules in place to ensure the well being of the birds. You can read their code of ethics here. All the banders that I know are very conscientious. They will fold their nets rather than put birds at risk. If the banders at the event that you attended weren't upset about losing a bird, they should not be banding.

Injuries and death are very rare, but they do happen. Whether you believe the benefits to the species overall is worth the risk to an individual bird is up to you to decide. To me banding provides important information that helps us tailor conservation efforts where they are most needed.

Thank you. I appreciate that. However, words like scientific research and conservation are extremely vague descriptions of.... Who/what benefits from netting songbirds.?? And how do the birds benefit from that.?? Or how about this.... How does an organization 'build' Chickadee habitat.?? How does measuring a wing length contribute to conservation.?? Or science.??

Once again, I'm asking for specific information. These questions are sincere. I'm not looking to point fingers. I'm looking to educate myself. And I will take advantage of the subforums here. Lots of reading here but, I'm starting by asking these questions.

I understand conservation, sort of. I'm all for it. Science.?? Not so much. But that could change as I educate myself. So I ask for any replies here to be specific. Thanks.
 

mjh73

Well-known member
I volunteered occasionally for a few years on a Mark-recapture study of 4 songbird species in an Australian forest. As well as the banding (which is integral to the mark-recapture method!) measurements (and blood analysis) was undertaken to inform sex and fitness data.
The data informed an analysis of movement and fitness of birds pre- and post- planned 'planned burns' for fire management, was done by a Uni research team and a handful of trained volunteers (of which I was one), in consultation with government parks service, under supervision of a Class A bander at all times.
I banded, or was present at the banding, of hundreds of birds. We didn't lose a single bird.
The parks folks were able to adjust the way they carried out planned burns to benefit the birds.

I have been involved the past few years in banding waders. We band thousands of birds in the Asia Australasia Flyway every year, the program has been running for decades and the data on population changes of these species obtained has been a key element helping improve protection and save some of the key migratory areas.

To your example, if someone has killed a warbler during extraction, they f***ed up. It's not good, but it's an imperfect world, it happens. Not sure on the regs in America, but in Australia you have to fill in paperwork and report to the government body responsible if a bird dies during activities. I this occurred a few times on your watch I expect your permit would be at risk. As jmepler said the vast majority of banders are there with the birds welfare at heart and would not find the loss of a bird acceptable.
 
Last edited:
I volunteered occasionally for a few years on a Mark-recapture study of 4 songbird species in an Australian forest. As well as the banding (which is integral to the mark-recapture method!) measurements (and blood analysis) was undertaken to inform sex and fitness data.
The data informed an analysis of movement and fitness of birds pre- and post- planned 'planned burns' for fire management, was done by a Uni research team and a handful of trained volunteers (of which I was one), in consultation with government parks service, under supervision of a Class A bander at all times.
I banded, or was present at the banding, of hundreds of birds. We didn't lose a single bird.
The parks folks were able to adjust the way they carried out planned burns to benefit the birds.

I have been involved the past few years in banding waders. We band thousands of birds in the Asia Australasia Flyway every year, the program has been running for decades and the data on population changes of these species obtained has been a key element helping improve protection and save some of the key migratory areas.

To your example, if someone has killed a warbler during extraction, they f***ed up. It's not good, but it's an imperfect world, it happens. Not sure on the regs in America, but in Australia you have to fill in paperwork and report to the government body responsible if a bird dies during activities. I this occurred a few times on your watch I expect your permit would be at risk. As jmepler said the vast majority of banders are there with the birds welfare at heart and would not find the loss of a bird acceptable.
Nice reply. Thank you for that.

The bird that I saw die..... I went out with a netminder. The Warbler was knotted up in the net. Took the guy a good 5 minutes to untangle him.(maybe longer) Things got real quiet in the analysis building. I think they tried to cover up that the bird died. I asked if it died and they said yes. If I remember correctly, they placed the bird in a plastic container. Do you think it went to a lab for further analysis.?? Not meaning cause of death but for further measurements and 'biology.'

For the record, I was there as a visitor. A curious visiter. I got the impression they didn't like me being there. I had lots of questions. And as previously mentioned, they had few answers. An important question, to me, was.... Who or what benefits from these procedures.?? Not one answer. I hung out for 3 hours then left because they made me feel uncomfortable. Once again, I'm not a tree hugger. I lawfully hunted for many years. And contributed financially every year.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top