Birdbanding

Birdbanding

 

(bird-ringing), one of the methods of marking animals; it is widely used to study the biology of wild birds. A lightweight, usually aluminum, ring with a number and address is attached to the foot of a captured bird; the time and place of banding are recorded and communicated to banding centers. The banding center of the USSR exchanges information on bird-banding with centers in more than 50 countries on all continents. Birdbanding was first used for research purposes in Denmark in 1899. Since then more than 30.5 million birds have been banded. Information on banded birds acquired by hunters, scientists, and young naturalists is sent to a banding center, where the date and site of the banding are ascertained. Birds are banded at nesting places, on flight paths, and during molting or wintering.

Individual and mass banding are done. Individual birdbanding is conducted to make the bird noticeable upon direct observation in nature; a large band is applied, with a colored plastic label or a number that can be read through binoculars. This method is generally used in a number of experiments to study the behavior of certain individuals. In mass birdbanding the bird population of a particular locality is studied. Hundreds and thousands of birds are banded annually at a specific location. Analysis of information obtained from recaptured banded birds makes possible the evaluation of the paths and periods of bird migrations, wintering grounds, changes in population, causes of death, and longevity. This information is important in the coordination of efforts for the preservation of migratory birds in various countries. Birdbanding serves the interests of commercial hunters. It is also valuable in the study of the dispersal of parasites and the spread of disease by birds.

Recognizing the great value of birdbanding in the study of bird migrations, the International Ornithological Congress, which was held in 1962 in Ithaca, USA, created an International Committee on Banding with headquarters in Paris. The heads of the national centers and their representatives are members of this committee.

REFERENCE

Mikheev, A. V. Kol’tsa-puteshestvenniki (Kol’tsevanie ptits). Moscow, 1949.
Trudy Biuro kol’tsevaniia, issues 8–9. 1955–57. (In 1937–48, issues 1–7 were published under the title Trudy Tsentral’nogo biuro kol’tsevaniia.)
Migratsii zhivotnykh, issues 1–5. Moscow, 1959–68. (Collection of articles.)

T. P. SHEVAREVA

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