Why do scientists band birds?

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Episode Number: 115

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Location Taken: US

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Jessica Robertson. Today's question is a good one.

Why do scientists band birds?

Bird banding data are useful in both research and management projects. For example, individual identification of birds allows for possible studies of dispersal and migration, behavior and social structure, life-span and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth. To elaborate a little more, birds can be vectors of diseases which effect people. Sampling wild birds for serious disease helps determine the prevalence of the disease in the population. Also, an analysis of banding information from game birds is completed annually and is essential for developing hunting regulations and for detecting changes in waterfowl populations.

These are just some examples of why bird banding is useful.  For more information, visit http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/homepage/whyband.htm.

And now you know. Join us again every weekday for a new CoreFact. For other CoreFacts, or for CoreCast, our in-depth science podcast, go to usgs.gov/podcasts. If you'd like to have a question featured on our show, give us an email at corefacts@usgs.gov or a phone call at 703-648-5600. Remember, long distance fees do apply.

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