Date: 3/14/21 11:59 am
From: Sebastian Patti <sebastianpatti...>
Subject: Re: [cobirds] Re: Red-Tail with a plastic band--looking for info
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Here's a FASCINATING thread about plastic bands used at airports to ID and relocate raptors that hang around commercial airports . . . and the reason for using plastic vs. metal bands. (Most recent post appears on "top").

Sebastian Patti
770 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90017

________________________________

From: 'Cathy Sheeter' via Colorado Birds <cobirds...>
Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2021 8:30 AM
To: Colorado Birds <cobirds...>
Subject: [cobirds] Re: Red-Tail with a plastic band--looking for info

This is indeed a "bumblebee band" used for airport relocation birds. You can still report it to the Bird Banding Laboratory and may get information back. In 2014 when I found a juvenile RTHA with the same style band they put me in touch with the guy who ran the relocation program. At that time it was Laurence.M.Schafer<mailto:<Laurence.M.Schafer...>, though again this is 6 years ago, and I am not sure if it is still the same person.

I had asked why they didn't also use a traditional metal federal band as well and he replied

"We have a very specific reason for not using the metal band. Raptors get struck by aircraft, a lot unfortunately. Even the ones we translocate. We’ve had them return to the capture site and get into a collision and we’ve had them find a different airport and then cause a strike there. When airline maintenance folks find evidence of a bird ingestion, they have to investigate inside the motor, which makes sense. In lots of cases, birds may not end up cause physical damage, just the general delay from the time it takes to inspect the plane (which can still be very bad for folks trying to make a connection). But, if they see a little scratch in the engine cowling/frame, it’s a total teardown because they figure that a scratch was caused by inorganic matter (metal), not from feathers or bones. That means they need to find the part that broke off and caused the scratch. If that scratch was actually caused by a metal band, they are chasing a ghost. So, they took the plane out of service, delayed folks for hours to a day, and incurred significant financial loss for nothing. There’s really no management reason on our end to add that potential. So, we just use the plastic band. This band has been in use since 2008 and I get lots of recoveries from the private sector, so it is readily traced back and we can usually get most of the specifics for folks (such as your bird). We are principally interested in birds that return or end up at other airports, as that immediately helps us evaluate efficacy of the efforts. But, knowing what percentage of these birds continue to exist and for how long is very helpful as well. Some federal regulars consider a translocated bird to be a loss to the population. As we get more and more data on the survival rate of translocated birds, we can change that erroneous belief and show that we are not negatively effecting these birds (even though pretty much everybody sees that getting them away from an airport is a good thing for their survival). We tend to see a 10-20% return rate overall, with the bulk of those being the more mature birds. We do appreciate the reports on where these birds are seen."

Anyways figured some of you might find that info interesting, as I did.


Cathy Sheeter

Currently Tempe, AZ



On Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 1:33:23 PM UTC-7 Stephen Price wrote:
Thanks for all the comments! I've also has some off-line emails about this. A couple of those have said this is not a band style used by falconers.

The most promising lead says that raptors get relocated from DIA, and are marked with bands like this. This is done by the USDA, and I will try to contact them for confirmation.

Stephen Price
Longmont, CO

On Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 12:08:31 PM UTC-7 Stephen Price wrote:
There has been a red-tail hawk hanging around my neighborhood in Longmont this winter. I noticed that it had a plastic band on one leg, and reported it to the Bird Banding Laboratory. The BBL couldn't give me any info about when or where the bird was banded because I don't have enough information for them. The bird is either lacking a metal band, or the metal band is placed way up high on the leg.

The plastic band is dark brown or black with yellow numbers. It has a yellow stripe near the top. Above the stripe it says "CO" in very small letters. The numbers I have seen are

(5 or 6) (blank) 585 (blank) 5

It might have "585" on both sides of the band, or else maybe I have only seen the band from one side.

I have taken numerous pictures of the band. Here are links to eBird https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/315676601<https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmacaulaylibrary.org%2Fasset%2F315676601&data=04%7C01%7C%7Caab9c84d660f4eb521c508d8e6eeef64%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637513261185415203%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=3f8lu25nzYzal2WFBGLzpX9gNu5%2FzohLvVGoxpm0oE0%3D&reserved=0>
https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/315676611<https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmacaulaylibrary.org%2Fasset%2F315676611&data=04%7C01%7C%7Caab9c84d660f4eb521c508d8e6eeef64%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637513261185415203%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=RB%2B1le0Ga9sqxvwlJBbqzdeP1L0ELTFRJiZqNp8rErM%3D&reserved=0>

Does anyone know who uses this type of band on hawks?

Stephen Price
Longmont, CO

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