Friday, 18 August 2017

duck banding revisited

Nicole From Norwich UK with northern shoveller  have to love that bill

Well I am more interested in talking about birds and banding then my failings as a blogger  but I think I clearly had too many photo's last time and I could not figure out how to  deal with the program so here I go again.
       Last night we had the chance to go duck banding  due to the efforts of the  Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry air boat program. This program has been running for years and  has had great success not only banding ducks but also banding  some non waterfowl species

Our very own crew member Andrew Aitchison heading out on the airboat

Starting up as a partnership with the the Unites  States Fish and Wildlife Service  the air boat program has had a long run of great success and the Hilliardton marsh is one of the air boats best places to band ducks . The US wanted to get a handle on the harvest rates of ducks but the issue for them is that many of the ducks they wish to harvest breed in the north. So they initially provided the funding for the airboat and crew to capture and band ducks in the north and we happen to live where all of these birds breed . Ducks Unlimited Canada enters the picture in helping to expand the breeding potential of these birds with the construction of the Hilliardton marsh.  We benefit because recently the airboat program has been trying to show its versatility by presenting the opportunity to band some non waterfowl species such as  Sora, Virginia  Rail and very recently  AmericanBbitterns
first ever bittern banded at marsh thanks to the airboat crew

a young sora seen and heard at the marsh rarely banded 

We are extremely grateful to the airboat crew to give us the opportunity to band birds that would not normally wander into our nets  and it shows the versatility of the airboat to be able to survey these other species if that was there mandate. The airboat crew is crisscrossing the north as well as other places in the province that they know waterfowl congregates at night allowing them to put lots of bands on ducks so the duck population can be monitored. Conservationists and hunters in both Canada and the USA should be very happy with the efforts of the crew and celebrate such a long lasting and effective partnership between our governments. Clearly migrating birds are not aware of political borders  and this a program like this is such a beacon of hope as we are trying to help understand the movement of birds across the continent and beyond 

Hired airboat crew and marsh volunteers and local MNRF employees making research happen at the marsh 

.....and the band goes on Chris Sukha with a banded American wigeon


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  2. well done Bruce, got to love that airboat banding, our first outing is tomorrow, Dave