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A Band Of Birds

What should you do if you find a dead bird that's been banded by scientists?

An artic tern in flight

Photo: OddurBen (flickr)

Arctic terns are marathon migrators.

If you ever find a dead bird that has been banded, do your part for science by calling 1-800-327-BAND and reporting the number on the band. Who knows what valuable information you’ll be able to provide to scientists?

Scientists can learn an abundance of information when looking at a band, such as where a particular bird came from. For example, did you know the Arctic Tern travels twenty-five thousand miles? Before banding, people could only speculate about where birds flew every winter or spring, and what routes they traveled.

Also, when birds are trapped over and over again through the years, this gives scientists a sense of their lifespan. How else can you know if the cardinal at your bird feeder is the same one that was there last year? Banding can also help scientists estimate the size of bird populations.

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