Bird Banding Laboratory



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Status Changes

Banders should not auxiliary-mark, transport, bleed or in any way treat a previously-banded bird in such a manner that will change the status of the bird even if the same bander originally banded the bird. The need to not alter the status of previously-banded birds is primarily related to the fact that we have not developed a good method of storing this information. When data users request our data, they make assumptions about the status codes based on what is in the database and cannot know about subsequent changes.

Occasionally the status of previously-banded birds must be altered to meet the needs of special circumstances. Examples include adding color markers because of the need for known-age birds or because of small population size, or the transport of nuisance Canada Geese or the retention for rehabilitation of some birds.

This activity is specifically mentioned on the back of the permit as not authorized, but permission can be granted from the appropriate office, and the permit altered to include this.

Reporting the change of status is somewhat complicated and requires the submission of an encounter report. The bird(s) can be reported at, using the “How Obtained” code of “Captured by bander, status of bird changed”. Alternatively, with version 3.0 and above of Bandit, these birds can be reported via the recapture function, using “How Obtained” code 53. In either case, the “Remarks” field should include an explanation of how the status was changed, including the colors of markers and any alpha-numeric codes.

Transported Birds

Birds that are relocated from one 10-minute block to another must be reported as transported in Bandit. A transported bird is reported as status 2xx in Bandit. The transporting of birds requires a special use permit from the appropriate USFWS Migratory Bird Office.

Transported birds should always have the release location recorded as the banding location in Bandit. The source of the birds (capture location) can be listed in the remarks, but is not used as the banding location.

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