Showing posts from November, 2012

Citizen Scientist - Reporting Leg Flags

My brother was recently in Florida and had occasion to photograph a shorebird in winter plumage that he could not immediately identify. While we were poring over the photos, we discovered that one of the birds was banded. So we decided to report this number in the interest of 'citizen science'. I thought I would write an article about this topic: Reporting banded bird data, specifically this type of marker, what we found out is called a "leg flag." (See photo below)

I personally did not know of the existence of the leg flag type of marker until seeing these pictures. I do not know when they came into being, but it is a great idea. On the bird above, if you look closely, you can see a metal band on the lower right leg. This was the only type of band I knew about, and of course they are impossible to report on from a photograph like this. But the leg flag is a different story - you can read it from a photograph and report it, thus providing valuable conservation data. …