Bird banders have been banding birds for a long time. Capturing songbirds in mist nets, they carefully measure and weigh the tiny flyer to determine overall health and then very carefully affix a numbered band to its leg and release it.
The information gathered from the bird is sent, along with the band information, to the Bird Banding Lab or BBL – a division of the United States Geological Survey.
It used to be this was the only way to ‘track’ songbirds on their twice annual journeys. Capture the same bird again and you would know by the band it was wearing who, what, where and when banded it.
Now with some pretty incredible technological advancements – researchers can track in real time, migration flights as birds travel the globe. What they’re finding out and some pretty dramatic adventures.