Originally Posted by marko
Are they banding the birds to keep track of them - i think I missed the purpose of the banding.
Yup. They do population demographic studies and migration studies with banding data.
For instance, there is a downy woodpecker from another site that has been in the nets 45 times over the past 11 years. Since he was an adult when banded, they know he's at least 12 years old! Amazing for such a small critter!
Any time a banded bird is recaptured or if a bird is found dead and the band is recovered, the date and location get entered into the data base and the information comes back to the original banding crew. So if one of the grosbeaks we banded at the Main Event is recaptured by a crew during winter, we'll find out where the bird migrates to. Sometimes, if a population is showing a decline, banding information can give clues as to why. Since banding information includes locations, a correlation can be made between the habitat loss and the decline in numbers.