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Injury due to leg bands in willow flycatchers

January 1, 1997

We report an apparently unusually high incidence of leg injury in Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii) as a result of banding and color banding. Color bands and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) bands applied to Willow Flycatchers from 1988-1995 resulted in an overall leg injury rate of 9.6% to birds returning to our study areas in subsequent years. Most injuries occurred on legs with only color band(s) (58.3%) or on legs with both a USFWS band and a color band (35%); only 6.7% of injuries (4/60) were due to USFWS bands alone, yielding an overall USFWS band injury rate of only 0.6%. Injuries ranged from severe (swollen, bleeding legs; a missing foot) to relatively minor (irritations on the tarsus). Amputation of the foot occurred in 33.9% of the cases. Return rates of adult injured birds in the year(s) following injury were significantly lower than for the population at large.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1997
Title Injury due to leg bands in willow flycatchers
Authors J.A. Sedgwick, R.J. Klus
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Field Ornithology
Series Number
Index ID 70019599
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization