Some Banding Photos at Purple Martin Sites
OPMA Banding Results/Article
BANDING YOUNG PURPLE MARTINS
For the 2005-2010 years we banded purple martins with an aluminum and a red Ontario band. Please take the time to report the number on the banded bird to John and if you can read the band, send this important information to the Banding Lab. The number to call is 1-800 BAND or report it at their website http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv/ . This well help us in our dispersal study.
What Is Involved in Banding
The licensed bander affixes a special size band (sometimes coloured) and records the bird’s species, age if possible, the band number, its weight, wing length plus the date and location.
For your own personal records you can use a Nestling Banding Identification Sheet and a Prognosticator to determine their age and to record the results. Both of these are available from the PMCA (Purple Martin Conservation Association).
You can record each nestling’s:
- Box number
- Date of banding
- Age in days after hatching
- Band number
It’s possible to determine a nestling’s sex by plumage or other external appearance by using a nestling identification chart. See above.
When are nestlings banded?
There is a very short window of time for banding nestlings, 11 – 20 days after hatching. (This is one more reason for keeping a Control Sheet that tracks nestling age at each box). You must resist the temptation to band nestlings outside the window.
Warning! Before day 11 nestling legs are usually too swelled with fatty tissue. Applying a band could squeeze and damage the leg. A 1A band is very tight on the leg but a number 1D, 2 will work well. A 1A band is usually recommended by the Banding Service. The 1D is just beginning to be used by some PUMA (Purple Martin) banders.
Warning! Nestlings older than day 20 should not be handled for any reason, including banding!!! Doing so could cause them to leave their nest too soon, and die. Leave them in their compartment and block the hole until all the nestlings in the house are banded.
Will your young purple martins return to your site as adults to nest?
- Don’t expect many nestlings to return.
- While 30-60% of adult nesters will be back, banding studies show nestling
returns average less than 5%.
Why is there such a difference in return rates of adults and nestlings?
- Mortality of young, inexperienced swallows is high during their first autumn
and winter of life.
- Young purple martins in their first nesting season also tend to migrate north
later than older adults. If they do come back to where they were raised they
are apt to find nest sites already claimed and defended by older pairs and will nest if there are an adequate number of compartments available.
- The options for younger birds are to try to take a nest site away from more
experienced swallows; float in the area and wait for a vacancy that may never
occur; or prospect for nest sites elsewhere.
- Reporting a banded purple martin: for Canada and U.S.-Check out this article from James Hill, PMCA.It contains much useful information about his work with the martins.
- Banding Purple Martins …………Click on the link.
- A New Banding Technique for Purple Martins
- So You Want to Have Your Martins Banded March 2013 by John Balga
- A Banding Purple Martin video on You Tube for you as an introduction.
- Further information about Bird Banding/Geolocators in the Detroit River Area can be found at Rouge River Bird Observatory .
The information routinely obtained for each bird captured during our banding session is indicated below. The standard references are Pyle (1997) and Pyle (2008), supplemented for non-passerines by North American Bird Banding Techniques (Canadian Wildlife Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1991). Data routinely recorded for all newly-banded birds, recaptures, and foreign recoveries include
- band number
- age and how aged
- sex and how sexed
- unflattened wing chord
- presence and extent of fat
- time of banding
- initials of bander
- location of capture
- probable age or sex if not 100% sure
- initials of scribe
- comments (any additional relevant information e.g. feather loss, ticks, etc.)
In addition, if time permits and at the discretion of the Bander, other information may be collected.
Martin landlords wishing to participate in the banding project must keep accurate records of their colony to ensure the safety of the young martins before they are banded and to ensure that they will fledge successfully. Contact your resident bander for further information required before participating in the project.
- 1212-18699 07/03/2006 PUMA 09/75/2010 05, CHATHAM, ONTARIO, CANADA MATT CRAWFORD, 8595 NANCY STREET, CEDAR SPRINGS ONTARIO N0P1E0, Canada
- 1212-18740 07/05/2006 PUMA 05/10/2008 07, 5 mi SW from ESSEX, ONTARIO, CANADA(Reported MARIE HALL, 2712 COUNTY RD 12,, ESSEX, ONTARIO, CANADA, N8M2X6 County: ESSEX) Desc: 2712 COUNTY RD.12/LOT24