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Bird banding

Andy Zuwerink
Biology Department, DePauw University
Fall semester 2008

Introduction
Bird banding is used to estimate bird populations and track migratory patterns.  The bands are small lightweight pieces of aluminum that are closed like a bracelet around one leg of the bird.  Each band is etched with a unique individual number. 

Methods
I conducted bird banding sessions on 9 days during fall 2008.  I caught the birds in lightweight mist nets.  The birds flew into the nets and fell into pockets where they were cradled until they were extracted.  The birds were banded, measured, weighed, and released. 

Results
A total of 178 individual birds of 22 species were caught on 9 days in September and October 2008.  The most abundant bird species were American goldfinches, field sparrows, tufted titmice, and yellow-rumped warblers. 

Type
Sept 16
Sept 17
Sept 18
Sept 20
Sept 27
Oct 4
Oct 11
Oct 18
Oct 25
Total
American Goldfinch 9 4 7 4 7   1   1 33
Black-throated Blue Warbler           1       1
Black-throated Green Warbler     2 3   1       6
Blue Jay               1   1
Carolina Chickadee 2   1 5       1 1 10
Common Yellowthroat             1     1
Dark-eyed Junco               1 10 11
Downy Woodpecker     1             1
Eastern Phoebe     1             1
Field Sparrow 1     3 2   2 1 3 12
House Wren       1           1
Magnolia Warbler           1       1
Nashville Warbler   1               1
Northern Cardinal   2   2           4
Prairie Warbler     1             1
Swainson's Thrush 1 1 1 6           9
Tennessee Warbler 1   1 3   1       6
Tufted Titmouse 6   1   1   1 3   12
White-breasted Nuthatch     1 1           2
White-eyed Vireo       1           1
White-throated Sparrow             3 5 3 11
Yellow-rumped Warbler     1     32 18 1   52
Total 20 8 18 29 10 36 26 13 18 178