Report Band Sightings

The recording of colour-banded birds by casual observers is immensely useful to the project and I welcome each and every one you can supply! If you are visiting Roebuck Bay and the Broome Bird Observatory I hope you will see and record some of these birds during your time there or anywhere in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

  • Only four species are marked with the individual colour-band scheme (one flag and four colour-bands) Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Great Knot and Red Knot.

It can be daunting at first when seeing these marked birds as to how to record them. The downloadable colour band observation report form is the best form to use. However, I know many people only carry a notebook in the field with them. The most important information is the species, the correct colour-band and flag positions and a date and location so I know the bird is alive in the field. The rest of the information on the re-sighting form is of great use but if you just have a note book in the field then the above is great.

The important stuff

It is vital that the species is accurately recorded as the exact same combination will be on all four different species (beware Great and Red Knot in non-breeding plumage).

The position of the yellow flag is vital as well as the colour-bands. You can use the numbering system as in the colour-banded chart, or just write the position in full. Yellow Leg Flag Upper Right, (YLF UR) Right Tibia (YLF RT): whichever you are familiar with is fine.

  • The colourbands are read from the top band on the LEFT tarsus (lower leg) first. This is regardless of the position of the flag. I.E. do not follow the flag to record the colour-bands.

Note: If you are looking at birds outside of Roebuck Bay it is important that you check and record the colour of the flag, do not presume it is yellow. This same marking scheme is being used in New Zealand and their birds are wearing white flags.

The colours used for bands are:

R=Red
B=Blue
Y=Yellow
L= Lime Green
W=white (small number only of these)
YLF=Yellow Leg Flag.