Bird Banding Laboratory


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Removing Bands

If the butt-end band accidentally overlaps, it can be reopened with fine-pointed surgical scissors or a pair of external retaining ring pliers. These tools can also be used to remove bands that are worn or otherwise need replacement.

Another method for removing small bands is to insert two strands of wire between the band and the tarsus on each side of the tarsus, twist the wires' ends tightly to form two separate loops, insert a rod or tips of a pair of partly opened needle-nosed pliers or small scissors into each loop, and then pull the loops in opposite directions. The loops should be placed 90· from the butt-ends of the band and therefore opposite each other. A loop near the closure point may be ineffectual. The wire provided with a string of smaller band sizes is normally quite acceptable to form the loops. Band and bird damage is normally minimal using this method. Bands size 2 and larger than 3A are difficult to open using this method.

Banders always be prepared to remove overlapped bands.

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