Ever since I first helped my Dad band ducks as a kid, I've been fascinated with bird bands. The biologists who came up with that idea were brilliant, because it's such a great way to learn about avian life, their travels, and patterns! Then, as hunters, when we're lucky enough to take a banded bird (or mammal) during our outings, it somehow adds an extra spice to an already thrilling experience, and gives us a physical piece of jewelry to remind us of the hunt and honor the fallen prey. Not that those animals which were banded are any more special than the others we take, but it's just really exciting to look at them "in-hand" and see that they've been captured and banded at an earlier time. When we later receive the data back from the banding agency, it feels like we've been a part of that creature's life, and it feels good. I've been very lucky in my hunting career to take a number of banded birds, so I'm going to list them here and hope others will share their successes, too.
1 Banded Dove - banded and shot near the same location in Kentucky.
1 Banded Pheasant - I didn't kill him, but found his carcass while turkey hunting in Oklahoma.
5 Banded Ducks - all Mallards and all shot in Indiana, but I can't remember or find their paperwork of where they were banded. I know one was banded in KY and another in Georgia, and seems like another was from Saskatchewan.
8 Banded Canada Geese (3 wore colored plastic collars, too) - all shot in Indiana, and at least 3 were banded within a few miles of where they were killed. 1 came from up around the Labrador Bay, and at least 1 other was from Canada The paperwork is somewhere!
5 Banded Turkeys - 3 Rio Grandes shot in Oklahoma, 1 Osceola from Florida which also sported numbered wing tags and a radio pack, and a double-banded Tom from Delaware.
Ok, let's hear your stories......