Re:Bird Banding

To: Birding-Aus Mail <>
Subject: Re:Bird Banding
From: (Richard Johnson)
Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000 12:43:40 +1000
Hello all

First off, I declare myself a bander. I've banded many birds, especially 
waders. I
am not currently active but continue to pay for the privilege of holding a 

I'd like to thank the anonymous Night Parrot for stirring the possum a bit. 
It's all
too easy to forget that not everyone sees all of our research and conservation
activities in a favourable light. There's no doubt that a lot of extemely useful
information pertinent to bird conservation comes from banding studies - it's 
well covered here already ( I was very impressed by the vigorous defence put 
by non-bander Frank O'Connor last week). There's also no doubt that some birds 
as a result of this inherently stressful procedure. It's every bander's duty to
continually ask themselves: why am I doing this? Is it justified in terms of 
the species? Can I do anything better than I do it now? Criticisms from 
should be taken as reminders to maintain standards and integrity, not as
opportunities for vilification. Banding is best defended by demonstrated value 
best practice.

As for anonymity of the critic, well....if someone wants an open and honest 
on anything with me, they had best make themselves known to me. If I'm prepared 
put my name to my opinion, so should my debater!

On the other hand though...back in mediaeval days, when the King's word was 
law, a
wise institution developed whereby a critic, the King's Fool, could put into 
what could be death to say for anyone else. This was a way of letting the King 
feedback on his rule without raising suspicion of a plot. The penalty for 
saying the
wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong people is not quite so harsh 
but perhaps our anonymous Fool has good reason to be secretive!



>  I think a few list members have been too quick to dismiss 'Night Parrot's'
> concerns about the
> impacts of bird banding. --

Richard Johnson
Roma District
Tel: (07) 4622 4266  Fax: (07) 46 22 4151

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