Thanks Frank for providing some considered perspective on the issue of banding.
I find it interesting when people talk stridently about the negatives of
something (in this case bird studies) they frequently downplay other factors
that have much greater impacts. Yes, some birds are harmed by banders and wind
farms, but orders of magnitude more are killed by cats, cars, buildings,
habitat destruction. Why do people focus on the 0.0001 percent?
Second, there is the issue of purpose. The purpose of great majority of bird
banding is to generate data that can be used to understand the birds and assist
their conservation. Authorised banding is done for a purpose, not for casual
Third, bird banders are blamed for mortalities etc. However, we don’t hear
drivers being blamed for the birds they kill on the highway, nor building
owners for the birds killed as the result of the location, design and operation
of their structures.
Bird banding is a complex issue, and it would be useful if people could apply a
bit of nuanced perspective rather than flying off at the handle.
On 21 Oct 2014, at 10:42 pm, Frank O'Connor <> wrote:
> It still annoys me when I read criticisms of cannon netting.
> I have been a member of 15 or more AWSG North West Wader Expeditions over the
> past 20 years as a (paying) volunteer, and I certainly plan to join future
> expeditions when I am available. I am not a bander. I am not the one who
> summarises the data and publishes papers. But every expedition I see the
> dedication of the people who are involved full time on the study and
> conservation of shorebirds. I join each expedition as an assistant, often
> making the leg flags, as a spotter in the hide and often the leader of a
> process team. I learn more about shorebirds on every expedition that I join.
> The shorebird families are always high on my want to see list when I travel
> I have seen many important and useful outcomes from the expeditions. A few
> are :
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