ACR ecologist spots hermit thrush first banded near Victoria, B.C.

ACR ecologist spots hermit thrush first banded near Victoria, B.C.

ACR avian ecologist David Lumpkin, who works from our Cypress Grove Research Center on Tomales Bay, had what birders will agree is a personal best: he spotted a banded hermit thrush hanging around the bridge over Livermore Marsh and managed to photograph the band numbers with enough clarity to track the bird back to its banding date and location. Turns out this little thrush had arrived all the way from Victoria, B.C., having been banded in September 2017.

This effort did not go unrecognized by the North American Bird Banding Program, who sent David a certificate of appreciation and gave us all the following information to pass along:

Bird banding is important for studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds. About 60 million birds representing hundreds of species have been banded in North America since 1904. About 4 million bands have been recovered and reported.

Data from banded birds are used in monitoring populations, setting hunting regulations, restoring endangered species, studying effects of environmental contaminants, and addressing such issues as Avian Influenza, bird hazards at airports, and crop depredations. Results from banding studies support national and international bird conservation programs such as Partners in Flight, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and Wetlands for the Americas.

The North American Bird Banding Program is under the general direction of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service. Cooperators include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mexico’s National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity and Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources; other federal, state and provincial conservation agencies; universities; amateur ornithologists; bird observatories; nature centers; nongovernmental organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and the National Audubon Society; environmental consulting firms and other private sector businesses. However, the most important partner in this cooperative venture is you, the person who voluntarily reports a recovered band.

Please report bands at