Annual duck banding complete

CONCORD – New Hampshire Fish and Game wildlife biologists have completed the annual effort to attach hundreds of metal bands to ducks throughout the state. The pre-season banding effort is conducted in U.S. states and Canadian provinces throughout the Atlantic Flyway in August and September. This considerable effort provides survival rate data that is used in combination with breeding plot data, parts collection data and the National Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program survey data as inputs for the model used to determine annual season regulations in the spring.

Each metal band has a unique sequence of numbers, and biologists record the species, age and sex of each duck before it is released. At the end of the season, all the data are submitted to the Bird Banding Lab at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md. When a hunter harvests a duck with a metal band, or a wildlife viewer reads the band through a spotting scope, they are asked to report the information to a website provided on the band (reportband.gov). It takes just a few minutes to report the encounter. You will see a phone number inscribed on the band also, but the call center supporting the toll-free phone number was discontinued. Please report band recoveries online at reportband.gov or by sending your information to: Bird Banding Lab, 12100 Beach Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708.

“Please take the time to report your bands,” said Wildlife Biologist Jessica Carloni, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s waterfowl biologist. “A substantial amount of effort went into putting these markers on, and band reports provide important management data.”

This year, a total of 1,037 ducks were banded in New Hampshire during the pre-hunting season effort – a record high total banded in the 29 years of the program. This included: 778 mallards, 238 wood ducks, 9 black ducks and 12 mallard/black duck hybrids.

As a result of 29 consecutive years of pre-season duck banding, 10,925 ducks have now been banded in New Hampshire.

Late season waterfowl hunting opportunities remain available in New Hampshire. Learn more at www.huntnh.com/hunting/waterfowl.html.

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