Why We Band Birds
Bird banding data are useful in conservation, research, and management projects. Being able to identify individual birds makes it possible to study life-span and survival rates, dispersal and migration, estimate reproductive success and population growth, as well as look at behavior and social structure.
How to Record Data on a Banded Egret
Color bands can be seen on the upper left or right leg of Reddish Egrets. The color, code, and type of band are all important to accurately identify the bird.
First, determine the color of the band and the color of the alphanumeric code. Next, read the code. Lastly, record which leg the band(s) are on. Below, the band is red with a white code. The code reads M38, and it is on the upper right leg.
Below is a photo of a Reddish Egret that was resighted in Texas.
How You Can Help
Please be on the lookout for color-banded Reddish Egrets along the Gulf of Mexico coastline (Louisiana, Texas, Mexico) as well as Pacific Coast of Mexico. In 2006, we initiated a color-banding program for Reddish Egret nestlings along the Texas coast. From 2006 – 2007, we banded nestlings with orange vinyl tags that attached to the USGS aluminum band on the leg of the bird. The orange tags have an alphanumeric code stenciled on the tag (e.g. A27). In 2008, we began banding nestlings with colored plastic bands with alphanumeric codes. If you observe one of these tagged individuals, please record the location, date, and alphanumeric code (if possible) and any additional information you deem important. Then, let us know what you saw by filling out the report form.