Saturday, November 7, 2009

Neck-collared swans

Tundra SwanTundra Swan T532, Fernhill Wetlands, Forest Grove, Oregon on 24 February 2008 by Greg Gillson.


Two winters ago I captured this swan with my camera, marked with neck collar T532. As with the Canada Geese with neck collars from last week, I submitted the collar number, date, and location to the Bird Banding Laboratory at the USGS.

This week I received an email from Craig R. Ely at the Alaska Science Center, stating that the neck collar tracking program was still in progress. Four-hundred additional swans were fitted with neck collars this summer. These allow birds to be individually identified from a distance on land or in flight.

As with other marked or banded wild birds (except pigeons), all band or neck collar numbers should be submitted to the Bird Banding Laboratory. Observers who do so will receive a brief history of the bird they saw. If you see and report one of these birds you will be contributing to knowledge that helps understand and preserve these birds.

Additionally, 80 swans were fitted with radios in 2008 and their transmitters are still functioning. Their migration path can be tracked on the Alaska Science Center web site.