USGS PATUXENT WILDLIFE RESEARCH CENTER
BIRD BANDING LABORATORY
12100 BEECH FOREST ROAD
LAUREL, MD 20708-4037
To: All Banders
From:Chief, Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL)
Again, we thank all banders who are using BANDMANAGER to submit banding schedules. More than 75% of all banding records are now coming in via BANDMANAGER. That brings us close to completing the manual entry of data from a longstanding backlog of paper banding schedules. It also brings us closer to closing out our data entry section, which for more than 30 years keypunched data from paper schedules. We do not plan to accept paper schedules indefinitely, so, please use BANDMANAGER and keep it updated. The most recent version (May 1, 2001) can be downloaded (848 MB, estimated download time on a 56K modem 16 min) from the Band Manager web site at http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/resources/bandmgr/bandmgr.htm. Download it to a temporary file, go to "My Computer", browse to the files location, and double click on the file name to execute. Contact our BANDMANAGER Help Desk (301-497-5845 or email@example.com) if you would like the update on a disc. The latest update will make all the species table corrections and update the system. For information on new developments with BANDMANAGER, watch the web site. This site also has links to Frequently Asked Questions, BANDMANAGER Fact Sheets and the Band Manager User's Manual. Again, those without Internet access can request the Manual and supplemental materials in printed form from the Help Desk.
If you need help with BANDMANAGER do not hesitate to contact the Help Desk, firstname.lastname@example.org. You might also try to attend a BANDMANAGER workshop. Several have been held, usually in conjunction with meetings of regional banding associations. Two are planned for the North American Ornithological Conference this month, at New Orleans, LA. If your access to computers, or familiarity with them, limits your ability to use BANDMANAGER, you might seek help from a friend, relative or fellow bander. The next version of BANDMANAGER is being developed through a contract with the Canadian Bird Banding Office.
2. Band supply
We continue to progress toward more reliable band supply. This year a new contracting
procedure has been developed. Pending satisfactory performance of the manufacturers, we have
the option of extending the contract(s) for several years at fixed prices. This streamlines our
The performance of one of our relatively new manufacturers, National Band and Tag Co., has
been excellent. The quality of their bands and their delivery time were good. National has the
contract for producing all butt-end bands in size 2 and larger.
Smaller size bands and lock-on bands have come in at a slower pace. We continue to seek faster
production, and we are promptly issuing bands following receipt and inspection. Earlier this
year we developed a new inspection protocol that should help us improve quality control of
Most of our initial 2002 procurement of bands has been issued to banders, and we are again out
of some sizes, size 0 currently having the most backorders from banders. We have placed a
second large band order which, upon receipt and issue to banders, should clear out backorders
and allow us to begin building reserve supplies in some sizes. So far this year we have spent a
record $205,000 for bands.
Band issue clerk Sylvia Windham has taken a new job with another agency. Craig "Tut" Tuthill Banders may also order bands electronically through the BBL web site at
is the New BBL band issue clerk. He can be reached at 301-497-5805.
Banders may also order bands electronically through the BBL web site at
Banders may also order bands electronically through the BBL web site at
3. Sale of bands
This is a repeat of an item from MTAB 85. We repeat it because we now have four confirmed
cases where bands still carried on an active bander's inventory were sold over the Internet.
Some collecting, trading and sale of bird bands has occurred for years, most commonly among
hunters who lawfully acquired the bands as a by product of hunting waterfowl. The advent of
Internet auction sites has made more people aware of bands, and sales of bands have increased
greatly. Bands now can have considerable monetary value relative to the cost of their
manufacture. With money involved, the once innocuous pastime of band collecting has become a
side business for a few people, and some bands are entering into trade unlawfully, e.g., with birds
being killed illegally to obtain bands. In some documented cases, bands never used on birds have
entered trade. In at least one case, bands still carried on an active bander's inventory were sold.
Please be sure that your band inventory is well managed, accounted for, and secure. Do not give
bands away as souvenirs, rewards or display items. If you have distributed bands among
subpermittees, or employees in the case of federal and state banders, periodic accounting is
advised. If you are not sure of what should be in your inventory, we can provide you a copy of
your band issue record. Contact Karen_Jones@usgs.gov or 301-497-5794.
4. Toll free number
Public response to the toll-free number (1-800-327-BAND) for reporting bird bands continues to be excellent. One may also report bands interactively via the BBL web site (http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/homepage/call800.htm) More than 4,000 web reports have been received during this past year. We encourage banders to publicize both the 1-800 number and the web site.
5. Some permit matters
A reminder: federal bird banding permits are not valid unless accompanied by state permits
from states that require them. If in doubt about state bird banding requirements, check with
your state conservation agency, or contact us (Florence_Soehnlein@usgs.gov 301-497-5799).
All requests for subpermittee applications and revisions to subpermits must come through the
Please keep us updated on your current address, telephone number(s) and e-mail address. Your
e-mail address is especially important to us in this day of electronic communication.
6. Incidental Capture of Hummingbirds
Anyone operating mist nets should be familiar with how to extract and release hummingbirds
safely. We highly recommend that all banders using mist nets for passerines read the NABC
Hummingbird banding manual which is available free upon request from
Laura_Eldridge@usgs.gov. Hummingbirds should never be held by the bill, or by the feet.
Always check the hummingbird for a band and release promptly. Remember that any marking of
a bird including incidently captured hummingbirds requires an auxiliary marking permit. No
hummingbird may be painted or dyed without an auxiliary marking authorization.
Permission to band hummingbirds is not included in any banding permit without a special
authorization to use hummingbird bands. Hummingbird bands are shipped in flat sheets of 100
and must be cut to size, filed, and formed prior to use. Banders who would like to receive
permission to band hummingbirds must obtain training in band manufacture and banding of
hummingbirds prior to requesting changes to the banding permit. For more information contact
Mary Gustafson at 301-497-5807. (Mary_Gustafson@usgs.gov).
7. North American Banding Council
The North American Banding Council's (NABC) Bander Training and Certification Program is
progressing. More certification sessions have been held, and BBL is routinely accepting NABC
certification as stand-alone evidence of qualifications for federal bird banding permits. NABC
plans more certification sessions. Check the NABC web site for dates and locations
NABC's five manuals (The North American Bander's Study Guide; The Instructor's Guide to
Training Passerine Bird Banders in North America; The North American Bander's Manual for
Passerines and Near Passerines (Excluding Owls and Hummingbirds); The North American
Bander's Manual for Raptor Banding Techniques; and The North American Bander's Manual for
Banding Hummingbirds) are now available on CD from NABC or BBL (Contact
Laura_Eldridge@usgs.gov) These are excellent works.
8. North American Ornithological Conference
If you will be attending the North American Ornithological Conference at New Orleans,
September 24-28, please visit the bird banding information table in the vendor area. We will be
there to conduct business and provide information on various banding matters. Two workshops
on BANDMANAGER and one on ageing and sexing techniques will be held at the Conference.
On Thursday, September 26, a special symposium Celebrating 100 years of Bird Banding in
North America will be held. See http://www.tulane.edu/~naoc-02/ for details on the
Conference, and see http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/homepage/100years.htm for information
about the 100 year anniversary of bird banding.
In early October I will be retiring from federal service, and from my current position as BBL
Chief. It has been a great pleasure to be associated with the banding program, to see all of the
good that comes from it, and to meet so many fine people who band. I wish all of you well in all
of your research, management and conservation efforts.