I have a banded ASY male

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Caroline94535-ND
Posts: 320
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:12 am
Location: North Dakota/Larimore
Martin Colony History: Will add later

I have a banded ASY male

Postby Caroline94535-ND » Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:14 pm

I actually had five minutes for myself yesterday. I sat in the backyard, faithful pup at my side, iced tea in my hand, and binoculars to my eyes to more closely observe my Purple Martins.

I made a marvelous discovery. The ASY male nesting in Gourd 8 has a white band on his right leg. As soon as I have time to stalk him, DH will set up the 20x spotting scope so I can try to get a better look. I seriously doubt I'll be able to get a photo, but I'll try.

I know the bands are colour coded. What does "white on right leg" mean? Does anyone know where he came from?

Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

Postby Laverne » Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:24 pm

http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/bblretrv/webrec.cfm

The link above will take you to a place where you can report this "recovered" Purple Martin. I've never seen one - so, I have never done this. If I were in your position - I would wait until I could read the number and then report it.

I would also call or email the PMCA with the information.

Isn't that exciting!!?? Let us know what you find out!!!
Sincerely,
Laverne

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:06 pm

If the bird has a colour band it should have a 'regular' aluminum band also. if its not present the band is probably illegal. Which leg the band is on has no meaning. With the scope you should be able to tell if the band is plastic or aluminum.
Here is an excellent article on banding that should answer all your questions :

http://www.purplemartin.org/update/Band ... ster.com/l



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Louise Chambers
Site Admin
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Postby Louise Chambers » Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:21 pm

Stan,

I was going to reply as you had, that the bird should have two bands, then recalled that it is not always true - while I have no experience of birds wearing only a color band, someone at the Bird Banding Lab told me that an aluminum band is not always required in addition to the color band. Of course, it could also be an illegal band - hopefully Caroline will be able to get a better look and tell us more.

Louise

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:10 pm

Louise,

That is interesting: would you happen to know the reasoning behind it?


Stan

stan kostka
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 7:59 pm
Location: Washington, Seattle

Postby stan kostka » Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:43 pm

Hi Louise,

We have been color banding Northwest martins for years now , and virtually all recoveries and returns come from us or others scoping the color bands, while the federal band has become pretty much irrelevent in the ongoing study . If we could quit using the federal bands, it would greatly simplify the data collection process by reducing the number of bands applied by half, the birds would only have to deal with one band, and the lack of a federal band on the birds would in no way reduce recoveries and returns, since the color bands also have a state or province code on them. Also, we are now using anodized aluminum LM bands which do not have the potential to fall off or be removed by the birds as the plastic Hughes bands have been known to do.

I am very interested to know more about the potential to use color bands without federal bands. Is this something new ?

Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6192
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Postby Louise Chambers » Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:31 am

I don't know anything more about it myself - I was surprised to hear that the traditional Fed aluminum band was not always required in addition to color band. The Bird Banding Lab would be the place to get the best explanation - I'll see if I can get more info, but it will likely not be until next week.

Louise :wink:

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 08, 2005 10:40 pm

Stan, I got the band numbers off an ASY male here in west central MN about two weeks ago. He had an aluminum band on his right leg only. I reported the numbers and am patiently waiting a response. Are you saying the information is irrelevant to the PMCA?

stan kostka
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 7:59 pm
Location: Washington, Seattle

Postby stan kostka » Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:22 am

No. When a bird is banded with a federal band only, then obviously that number is the only way to identify the individual bird and is very important to recover. ( Good for you to go to the trouble of getting the band number. I wish more folks would pay closer attention to the legs of martins and recover band numbers. )

However, in our study, and others elsewhere, we also use coded color bands on the opposite leg, because these color bands can be read with a scope when the birds are perched, greatly increasing the number of individuals we can fairly easily identify, without capturing them. Thus virtually all our recoveries and returns come from reading the color bands. But the birds also have to be banded with an aluminum federal band, like the one you found, on their other leg, a requirement of the banding lab. But we identify the birds by their color bands, not the federal bands. The ability to identify individuals without capturing them greatly increases the number birds identified each season.

Without some kind of marking, it cannot be known with certainty that the martins you assume are the same individuals from year to year when they return, and in certain instances from day to day within an active colony, are in fact the same individuals. Unless they have some unique plumage, leg, beak, etc. or other distinguishing characteristic, or are marked in some way.


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