New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

Marked/Banded Birds Last Updated 8/31/11

Great Egret

Motor Island, Niagara River, Georgian Bay (Weseloh) New York Harbor Study (NYC & NJ Audubon)

These are not projects of NYSOA. This information is provided for birders who may encounter marked birds.

Great Egrets banded on Motor Island, Niagara River  UPDATED 7/16/11
PROJECT UPDATE
- from Bill Watson, July 15, 2011:

Great Egret with Tag50 young Great Blue Herons and over 100 young Great Egrets from three sites in Lake Huron have been marked with Green or Orange wing-tags in the last month; each tag carries a unique number-letter combination. New York birders are asked to watch for these birds and send details of any sightings (date, time, location, observer, color of tag and number-letter combination) to .

Also, please report any evening roosting sites and feeding aggregations
of 6 or more birds.

 
PROJECT UPDATE - Update from Bill Watson, July 17, 2010:

Unfortunately, the NYSDEC was unable to band Great Egrets on Motor Island in the Niagara River this June because of the early nesting due to our unusually warm March and April and other priorities such a cormorant control. However, in late June, orange wing-tags were placed on nearly 100 young Great Egrets at Chantry and Nottawasaga colonies near Southampton and Collingwood in Georgian Bay, Lake Huron. (Five Great Blue Herons were also banded.) Earlier this year, the two sites had 66 and 126 egret nests, respectively. Since Georgian Bay Great Egrets in the past have been observed at Tonawanda WMA, Montezuma NWR and other New York locations, New York Birders are urged to watch for egrets with these orange wing-tags as they disperse from these colonies and pass through New York. The large orange wing-tags are very visible and there are two numbers and a letter written on each tag to identify individual birds. If you observe one of these birds, please record the characters on the tag, the date and location of your sighting and the number of egrets in the group and your name and send them to Chip Weseloh at .

July 7th Brendan Kick and I found a Great Egret with a red band above the “knee” on the left leg and were able to red the band code on his photo, so do not forget to look for egrets with RED BANDS usually ABOVE THE ‘KNEE’ ON THE LEFT LEG this summer. The three letter-number code can usually be read with a scope. Please send the information to Chip and/or me at .  I would be interested in those orange wing-tags also.

 

PROJECT UPDATE - from Bill Watson, July 30, 2008:

            On June 13, 2008, twenty-two nestling Great Egrets were color-banded at the heron colony on Motor Island in the Niagara River by Dr. David Moore, of the Canadian Wildlife Service-Ontario Region, Connie Adams, Senior Wildlife Biologist, and Tom Summerville, summer intern, both of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
            Once again I will be asking for birders to look for Great Egrets with RED BANDS WITH WHITE LETTER-NUMBERS USUALLY ABOVE THE “KNEE” OF THE LEFT LEG AND THE TRADITIONAL ALUMINUM BAND ABOVE THE “ANKLE” OF THE RIGHT LEG. The band code on the red band can usually be read with a spotting scope, as the letter-numbers are nearly an inch high. In addition to the 22 egrets banded at Motor Island 111 nestling Great Egrets were banded in a similar manner at Georgian Bay this June.
            Although in the past most of the color banded Great Egrets are found in New York between the Niagara River and Montezuma NWR, in Ontario near the north shore of Lake Erie, and in Ohio at Conneaut Harbor, these young egrets could show up anywhere. Preliminary evidence suggests most of these birds disperse randomly with an eastern bias, later they probably migrate south along or near the Atlantic coast of the United States, but we do not have the expected resightings from the Hudson Mohawk valleys or from Pennsylvania.
            Many of the adults started their post-breeding dispersal at the end of June this year. The first banded fledglings disperse from Motor Island in July observers start seeing these banded fledglings at the end of July. The months of August and September contain the most resightings of these young egrets; however, were have had winter resightings in North Carolina, Florida, Cuba, and the Azores! That’s right, one of these young egrets wintered in the Azores islands off Portugal and was well photographed and well documented!
            If you see any color-banded Great Egrets, please record the date, location, number of other egrets with them, and, if possible, the letter(s) and number(s) of the banding code, so we can better document the dispersal pattern of these fledglings. Report all sighting of Great Egret with red color-bands to at least one of the following locations.

Chip Weseloh
Canadian Wildlife Service-Ontario Region
4905 Dufferin St.
Downsview, Ontario
M3H 5T4
Phone: 416-739-5846
Connie Adams
NYSDEC
270 Michigan Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone (716) 851-7010

 

PROJECT UPDATE - Summary of update from Bill Watson, July 21, 2006:

Chip Weseloh has banded over 500 Great Egrets with red left leg bands in the last five years. More than 100 Great Egrets were colour-banded with red plastic bands at Nottawasaga Island (near Collingwood) this summer. The bands have various letters and numbers, in white, on them. In addition to these birds there are about 75 Great Egrets banded in recent years in Western NY on Motor Island in the Niagara River.  Please continue to look for Great Egrets with leg bands as described for these projects.  Please try to read the number and send it and the location to:

Chip Weseloh
Canadian Wildlife Service-Ontario Region
4905 Dufferin St.
Downsview, Ontario
M3H 5T4
Phone: 416-739-5846
Bill Watson
771 Fletcher Street
Tonawanda, NY 14150

 

PROJECT UPDATE      from Bill Watson on NYSBIRDS-L on September 10, 2002:

[Since the twenty Great Egret nestlings were banded,] there have been FOUR REPORTS of Great Egrets with red leg bands in NEW YORK STATE: The first was received July 27 from Jim Kimball of a Great Egret with a Red Leg Band matching a Motor Island code at Cuylerville, NY in Livingston County. August 8 2002 a red banded egret was observed in Lancaster, NY in Erie County. On September 1 (Brenda Best) and September 2 (Mike Morgante) recorded the number-letters on the red band of a Great Egret in the Mays Point Pool at Montezuma NWR.

ORIGINAL POST (summary by Bill Watson)
Great Egrets banded on Motor Island, Niagara River, 2002  

(Red band with white 3-digit alphanumeric code)

On June 17, 2002 between 11:00 am and 1:00 PM, twenty nestling Great Egrets were banded at the heron colony on Motor Island in Niagara River by Dr. D. V. Chip Weseloh, Wildlife Biologist for Canadian Wildlife Service-Ontario Region, Mark Kandel, Senior Wildlife Biologist for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and myself. I had requested that the Great Egrets be color banded in the hope that we might be able to learn something about the post breeding dispersal and migration of these young Great Egrets. There are many possibilities. They could migrate east through Iroquois NWR and Montezuma NWR to the Atlantic Flyway. On July 28, 2002 one egret banded this way was observed in the Finger Lakes region of Region 2.

Please look for Great Egrets with leg bands above the "knee" of the left leg that are RED WITH WHITE LETTER(S) AND NUMBERS. They also have the traditional aluminum bands on the right leg above the "ankle." If you see any please, if possible record the letter(s) and numbers.

Great Egrets banded on Southern Georgian Bay (Lake Huron), Ontario, 2001
(Red band with white 3-digit alphanumeric code)

Great Egrets were banded with coloured plastic leg-bands on an island in southern Georgian Bay (Lake Huron), Ontario. The bands are red with white numbers and letters, e.g. A10.

New York Harbor Colonial Waterbird Study, 2011  UPDATED 8/31/11
PROJECT UPDATE
- from Susan Elbin, August 31, 2011:

We continue to color band long-legged wading birds as part of a foraging study project with New York City Audubon and New Jersey Audubon.  Since 2008, we have color-banded Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Glossy Ibis, and Double-crested Cormorant. The number in parentheses is the total number banded to date.
 

  Great Egret (140)
     Left Leg: WHITE leg bands etched with 2-digit BLACK alpha numeric code
                      GREEN leg bands etched with 2-digit BLACK alpha numeric code
     Right Leg: USFWS metal band

 

  Snowy Egret (29)
     Left Leg: YELLOW leg bands etched with 2-digit  BLACK alpha numeric code
                     BLUE leg bands etched with 2 -digit WHITE alpha numeric code
     Right Leg: USFWS metal band

Please keep an eye out for banded birds. In addition to the band information, please record the date, location, and number of (other) birds. These data will help us better document the dispersal pattern of these fledglings.

Please email report to:

Susan Elbin
New York City Audubon
71 W. 23rd St.
New York, NY 10010
Phone: 212-691-7483

 

New York Harbor Study, 2008

New York City Audubon and New Jersey Audubon have launched a project to study wading bird foraging activity in the greater New York Harbor and have started this year (June 2008) to color band Great Egrets and Glossy Ibis. Please keep an eye out for banded birds.

  • Left Leg: WHITE leg bands etched with BLACK letters (3 letters). Bands are placed above the "knee." The leg band also holds a VHF radio transmitter
  • Right Leg: USFWS metal band

If you see any color-banded Great Egrets, in addition to the band information, please record the date, location, and number of (other) birds. These data will help us better document the dispersal pattern of these fledglings.

 

 


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