Not bands, but leg-flags

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Not bands, but leg-flags
From: "John Leonard" <>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 08:08:40 +1100
Frank O'Connor latest rebuttal of Marilyn prompts me to ask some questions.

I accept the propositions that banding of waders, and other birds,
does not have any effect on their numbers, and does not incommode the
birds, and that in the case of waders it has added vitally to our
knowledge of flyways and important coastal areas for these birds.

However I do have some concerns about the use of leg-flags, especially
on smaller waders. I have seen several stints with what seem to be
disproportionally large leg-flags (scaled up this would equate to a
person with a piece of cardboard one meter square attached to their
leg). Even if the weight is negligible, which I doubt, as the weight
of a Stint is negligible to begin with, the size and shape of the flag
would seem to me to in danger of seriously inhibiting movement on the
ground and flight.

My questions are:
•        When are leg-flags used, as opposed to bands?
•        How many waders are leg-flagged in Australia each year and what
species are they?
•        Why do the guidelines in use not prevent their use on the smaller 

John Leonard

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