Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bands, Bling Bling Baby, Bands..

Matt Diesel, Drake Eider taken October 11, 2008

The Rabid Outdoorsman, Hen Eider taken December, 2007

Hen Eider, taken December 28, 2006
I had to do a write up on sea duck bands, especially since I was witness to the taking of a drake eider this past weekend. Sometimes in hunting, we get involved in something that seems to elevate the modest traditions of waterfowling. In this case, attaining a banded duck is a fairly big deal. The hunter gets a memoir of his or her day, an unforgettable experience. Additionally, that same hunter then finds oneself taking part in the scientific portion of the migration of that bird. Then, the Bird Band Lab and the USGS get to monitor all the ducks taken or found throughout in an attempt to learn more about these marvelous creatures. So when somebody attains a banded duck, a whole new learning curve takes shape. Here's my story about a unique experience I had with my second banded eider from 2006 as described from my entries from one of my favorite websites, Duck Hunting Chat.

January 2, 2007
I went local on Thursday, December 28, 2006 with my best man and another good buddy and since neither had ever chased eider, old squaws, and coots I thought I'd let them doing plenty of blasting. I did take two shots before my buddy lost his magazine cap, plug, and spring into the Atlantic (he then would need to use my Xtrema2) and scored a drake old squaw and a banded hen. The band was so worn that only four numbers existed along with some words, I called it in to explain my situation and they referred me to the lab in MD. They explained that since the band is stamped that the numbers actually go through the band. With their CSI technology they can determine the numbers, so needless to say I'm excited to find out the details.

January 3, 2007
So I've been in contact with the Bird Band Lab down in Laurel, MD and the representative got me onto their website and I encourage all to check it out. It's

Then I got a little more fierce and found some information on banded eiders and the guy who banded mine at Petit Manan refuge. It's

January 30, 2007
After more than a month of waiting, the BBL has returned my band from the hen taken off of Jonesport. They have informed me that they acquired the information necessary and will be sending me the information. Should have it reasonable soon, I'll be posting as soon as I receive the data.

February 13, 2007
I would have put this on the bird band post, but felt more people would check out a new post rather than visit the old one...

Got my data back from the hen eider I shot shortly after x-mas and the bird was banded in 1994 in Sonora, Nova Scotia which is closer to Louisbourg (one of Great Britain's stronghold's in the colonial era) than Halifax. The bird is believed to have been born in 1993 or better. That makes the hen at least 13-14 years old.

My other banded bird this year (actually ever) was banded on the petit manan wildlife refuge off of Milbridge in 2003, now all I need to do is get my wife convinced to have two eiders on the wall next to the moose and several deer. Suppose I'll have to make a "duckroom" in the basement.

Here's a map of where Sonora is...

Drake Eider, November 2006


tugboatdude said...

The never ending search for a band.You are correct a band is a band no matter what the situation.Congratulations and nice post.

The Rabid Outdoorsman said...

Bling! Man bro looks wicked excited! Awesome job guys I will have to hit the salt with you both shortly!