Wader Banding & Flagging

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: Wader Banding & Flagging
From: "Jon and Fiona Hall" <>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 17:19:23 +1100
Another quick point about the danger of infering too much from casual
observations.  The longer a bird is alive the more chance it has of being
banded.  Therefore the banded birds are likely - on average at least - to be
older than their unbanded counterparts.  Some of these older birds might
well be less sprightly than their younger companions, for no reason other
than their age rather than their leg bands.

You could compare it to a remembrance day parade I guess.  It isn't all
their medals that are causing those WWII veterans to march slowly, though a
casual observer might think so!

-----Original Message-----
From: Frank O'Connor <>
To:  <>
Cc: David Beswick <>
Date: 01 October 2001 18:35
Subject: Wader Banding & Flagging

>The flagging of waders has been an outstanding success.  This data is
>available publicly from the ABBBS, and papers are regularly published in
>journals such as The Tattler, The Stilt and many other journals in
>Australia and overseas.
>Data on the Red-necked Stint banded and flagged in Victoria has been
>published in the recent issue of The Stilt (June 2001).  There were 154
>sightings of Red-necked Stints flagged in Victoria (orange leg flags) from
>New Zealand, South Australia, NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, Northern
>Territory, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Russia.  Sightings
>of other species have been seen in China, Indonesia, Borneo, Vietnam.
>The orange and yellow flagged birds have been banded in south east South
>Australia since early 1998.  There have already been sightings of these
>birds from Mongolia.
>The birds in the north west have yellow leg flags.  There are also colours
>for New Zealand and Queensland.  Leg flagging has now been established
>world wide with a world protocol for the colours. Birds are being flagged
>in Russia, China, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, New Zealand,
>Alaska, Philippines and PNG.
>The advantage of leg flags is that sightings can be reported without
>retrapping the birds.  This had led to a large order of magnitude increase
>in the number of sightings and a far better understanding of the migration
>flyway and which areas are the most important to conserve. i.e. Without
>this knowledge it would carry little weight for Australia to lobby for the
>protection of individuals sites overseas, but with leg flagging it can be
>shown that these sites are vital for the birds that reach Australia.
>The people involved in the Australasian Wader Study Group and the Victorian
>Wader Study Group volunteer their time and money for this research that has
>already made great advances in the understanding of the migratory waders
>and their conservation through treaties such as JAMBA and CAMBA and with
>more agreements in the process.  The members have justly been recognised
>internationally and within Australia.
>Dr Clive Minton has undoubtedly done more than anyone for the conservation
>of shorebirds in Australia and has been recognised as a Fellow of Birds
>Australia, awarded the John Hobbs Medal (the highest award from Birds
>Australia) and the Order of Australia.
>The AWSG has organised wader banding expeditions to the north west of
>Australia.  It was the AWSG that recognised the world importance of this
>area in the very early 1980s.  The expeditions have sponsored people from
>many overseas countries to ensure that their work is carried on throughout
>the migration path.  People from China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam,
>Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Netherlands, Canada, US, South Africa have
>participated in the expeditions and taken the knowledge back to their
>The AWSG has a current expedition in the north west.  Clive has gained
>considerable media exposure on radio and television.  He used the report of
>a Curlew Sandpiper that was retrapped 19 years after it was banded as a 2
>year old.  This is the oldest record of a Curlew Sandpiper.  The advantage
>of this publicity was immediately obvious to me.  I was asked by over 10
>people at work whether I saw the story on the television news.  This gave
>me the chance to explain to them some of what is happening to shorebirds
>and how important wetlands and coastal mudflats are, and the particular
>importance of Broome, 80 Mile Beach and the north west.
>I encourage you to look for leg flags on the birds and to report them to
>the AWSG.  They need to know date, location, species, flag colour(s),
>number of flagged birds and if feasible the total number of the birds.  I
>have passed Dave Beswick's observations on to the AWSG.
>The sightings can be reported to their web site at
> or by email to Clive Minton at
>  Sightings in New Zealand can be reported to Adrian
>Riegen at 
>I repeat that despite Dave's casual unscientific observations, leg flagged
>waders (including stints) fare just as well as their cohorts.  Time is
>running out fast for the shorebirds.  More and more stopover sites are
>being destroyed or damaged.  Population counts done over the last 10 years
>by the AWSG have already shown that numbers are declining.
>Frank O'Connor      Birding WA
>8C Hardy Road                      Email : 
>Nedlands  WA  6009                       Phone : +61 8 9386 5694
>Birding-Aus is on the Web at
>To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
>"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU