[Tweeters] RE: dippers and banding

Jason Hernandez jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 16 21:38:29 PDT 2014

Dippers, according to the video, are different from other banded birds in that they stand with their legs in fast-flowing water.  The video never claimed that banding was wrong for towhees or juncos -- they do not have their legs in water the way dippers do.  No one method of marking individuals is right for every species.

Jason Hernandez
jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 23:12:02 +0000 (UTC)
From: Hal Michael <ucd880 at comcast.net>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] RE: dippers and banding
To: Christine Southwick <clsouth at u.washington.edu>
Cc: tweeters at uw.edu
Message-ID: <79499639.1465881.1408144322444.JavaMail.root at comcast.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

of we know, or need to know, about natural resources needs to be based
on individuals with a known history. Unless you can track an individual,
you can't know the age. The radio tagging has shown migration routes
that were totally unexpected. There is an ongoing discussion within
fisheries and wildlife researchers as to the proper techniques to use. 
to the Dippers, if (as seems to be claimed) the unbanded birds would
all live out a full lifespan, which must be more than 9 years because
that was based on a band, the rivers would be full of them.  Something
is eating or killing the unbanded ones, too.
This is not to
say that one should just "Ring and fling" to their heart's content.
Marking should be used when it is the only way to obtain the desired

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:11:18 -0700 (PDT)
From: Christine Southwick <clsouth at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Tweeters] RE: dippers and banding
To: tweeters at uw.edu
    <alpine.LRH.2.01.1408151511180.23838 at hymn02.u.washington.edu>
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

Banding may not be the Best scientific study for American Dippers.
I don't personally know.

would be useful to find out the age of the banded dippers.  If there
are banded dippers who live the normal life span of dippers, then it
appear that bands don't necessarily effect all dippers, even though to us it appears to make them ungainly.

part of a census of wintering birds in backyard habitats, Puget Sound
Bird Observatory(PSBO)actively banded in local backyards for five
winters, specifically with
the intention of finding what types of
winter habitats they needed/used, and wintering site fidelity. PSBO used
a USGS-approved colored-banding project to study these
birds even when it was raining
welfare of birds is always the paramount guideline--more important than
any scientific data, and banders follows the "Banders Code of
Ethics")--I can send a copy
of these rules to all who are interested.

has been shown to be the safest way to study birds, with the least
amount of trauma, and the least amount of side affects.--I can also send
you a copy of the
newest study in the US,  "How Safe Is Mist Netting? First Large-Scale Study Into Bird Capture Technique Evaluates the Risks" .

of the birds banded in my yard lived at least 6 documented years --both
males breeding--a Spotted Towhee, and an Oregon Junco.  I have pictures
of both birds over
the years, and several pictures of the Oregon
Junco bringing and feeding his young in the yard (never found the nests,
but didn't really look too hard--didn't want to
disturb ground
nesters). Obviously, even though both these males were ground feeders
and nesters, the bands didn't impede their movements, nor their ability
to win
mates and breed.  Several of the Black-capped Chickadees(BCCH)
have lived at three years, and two BCCH banded in Oct 2012 each raised
broods this year. I had a pair of
Chestnut-backed Chickadees(CBCH)
that were yard residents, and probably nested in "my" alder snag, that
had 183 documented visits to the feeders (motion-activated
before one of them disappeared (and presumed died) after an ice storm. 
The other CBCH was seen for another year. The Song Sparrows in my yard
were not
color-banded, so I can't be sure how many times a particular
bird was seen, but I still have several (seen at the same time) Song
Sparrows sporting bands--and we
haven't banded in my yard for two years...

Wisdom the Laysan Albatross,  as the (presumed) World's oldest wild
bird gave birth last year at the ripe old age of 63 - making her a
mother for the 35th time,
was first banded in 1956, and has worn out
three bands, and is still living.  Banding obviously did not/has not
affected her, and has allowed scientists to collect
useful data that can help other seabirds.
really is the reason for banding--to help protect birds by learning
where birds live and travel, the habitats they use and need, and data to
back up the
assertions that areas not being "profitably used by humans" are needed to sustain birds, be they migrating or local.

Christine Southwick
Puget Sound Bird Observatory
clsouthwick at pugetsoundbirds.org

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