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“The best way out is always through.”


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Neck Banding Geese: What do you think?

I posted this photo on Facebook a few days ago just to show what a banded Canada goose looks like and there was an immediate firestorm about the way the goose has been tagged. Ornithologists and other environmental scientists use bands/collars like this so that they can spot and record the goose at great distances, so that they don't have to capture or even get close to the bird. In that respect it is a good thing for the goose.

But many Facebook readers thought this method of tagging was cruel to the goose--even though it's been in use for decades. What do you think?

Banding is used to track geese and other birds so that scientists can study their movements, habits and habitats. By knowing more about where the birds travel and when, they are better able to know which habitats need the most immediate protection--a good thing. But still, many bird lovers are apparently very upset at the method used to mark these geese.

And I'm sure that the geese (who feed on grains and small bits of plant matter, not fish) are able to eat and drink normally. I have no idea if the collars hurt the geese in any way. As one reader pointed out, the collar may not be as tight as it seems: geese (and all birds) puff up their feathers a lot in cold weather to stay warm and so the collar may look tighter than it really is. There are many types of banding on birds (this goose also has a small leg band on its right leg--look closely) and they are all authorized by this organization.

Leave a comment if you have an opinion or if you know something about banding/tagging of birds and geese. And, by the way, friend me on Facebook if you want, always happy to have more friends. Please be sure also to visit my main site. (Photo made with a Nikon D90 and an 80-300mm Nikkor lens.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see what someone who is an expert on this subject what say about this photo. I'm hoping it just looks tighter than it is because the goose has puffed up.

Anne Weizel said...

It would be interesting to see what an expert on the subject would say if they viewed this photo. I'm hoping it just looks tighter as he is probably puffing up his feathers. Sorry, I posted twice by accident.

Jeff Wignall said...

Yeah, maybe an expert will leave a comment, you never know.