[Tweeters] tagged goldeneye in Concrete

Kelly McAllister mcallisters4 at comcast.net
Tue Jan 23 23:19:02 PST 2007

O.K., I promise this is the last message on this one bird, seen once.

Kim Jaatinen described his marking system thusly:

"I have 6 different shapes of plastic discs, about 2 cm in size, and
combining colors and shapes on left and right sides I can have loads of
combinations with 6 shapes and 2 colors, which is what I have used so far.
The discs are fastened through the nares, which is open in birds, with thick
monofilament line (i.e. downrigger fishing line). The ends of the line are
burnt to form a ball stopping the
discs from falling off the ends. That's it, simple and quite durable if
applied correctly. One has to be quite precise in attaching them so that
they are not too tight (risk of the bird getting caught as the discs don't
rotate if too tight) or too loose (drooping nasal discs will also get the
bird stuck in submersed vegetation). The birds seem to be surprised that
they have something attached to their bill at first but 5 minutes later they
forget about it an carry on as usual. The identification can be done at very
long distances under the right circumstances (heat haze is one of my worst
enemies in identifying birds!)."

So, that's it. Taking note of color and shape of markers, by left side and
right side, will provide enough information for the researcher to know which
bird you have seen.

Kelly McAllister
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Reply to: mcallisters4 at comcast.net

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