Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Certificate of Appreciation

I received a note today from a contact for whom I have done banding of Purple Martins (Progne subis). At one of his two sites he reported a dead martin to the Bird Banding Laboratory, part of the US Geological Survey.

Yes, bird banders are your tax dollars at work. Many of us (myself and sub-permittee Roger included) receive volunteer's wages for this. But we do it to learn, to teach and to share notes. As Bob Mulvihill at Powdermill so aptly states, we are akin to auto mechanics looking at one part (birds) of the car (Earth, Gaia etc). OK, enough of the soapbox...

When you find a banded bird, you can report it in the US in one of three ways:
1) http://www.reportband.gov/
2) 1-800-327-BAND
3) for the non-squeamish and a dead bird, remove the band, attach it to a postcard and send it to the address on the band (yes, there is a usable address on that little silver bracelet!).
In all cases, report the date, where you found the bird, its condition, what it appears to have died from, and other information as noted on the Web site. In due time you will receive a certificate similar to the one below.

Any reported band is important, as waterfowl hunters know very well. The odds of a reported songbird band are about the same as winning the lottery, so all recoveries, even of a dead bird, are very much appreciated!
Certificate of Appreciation

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