Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Waterfowl band reporting program undergoes digital change

Part of the paper trail for banded duck and geese is coming to an end.

No longer will waterfowlers who shoot a duck or a goose that is outfitted with an aluminum leg band receive a postal card that details when, where the bird was shot or found.

This follows in the foot steps of the federal government discontinuing years ago the need to mail in the band number. Now the band is inscribed with a toll-free number which the successful hunter calls and provides some basic harvest information.

Of course, aluminum leg bands are highly prized trophies for waterfowl hunters who often add them to their duck/goose call lanyards.

In an effort to save even more dollars the U.S. Geological Survey’s Bird Banding Lab has discontinued replying with a printed, mailed-back postal card.

Now the successful hunter will provide his or her email address which will then become the portal whereby the Bird Banding Lab will furnish the same information.

This information will come in a form that can be downloaded and kept as a memento - similar in some regards to the certificate that Fish Ohio applicants can run off on their home computers.

Annually, upwards of 200,000 ducks and 150,000 geese are fitted with aluminum I.D. leg bands, says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
or further information or to report a band, visit www.reportband.gov.

Band numbers likewise can be called in via a toll-free number typically inscribed on the band: 800-327-BAND.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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