USGS biologist Matthew Rogosky retrieving a songbird from a mist net before banding at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland. Photograph credit: Chelsea Steinbrecher-Hoffmann, USGS

Recognizing 100 Years of Bird-banding Research 

John James Audubon was the first to tag a bird. In 1804, he affixed a thin, silver band to the legs of eastern phoebes that were nesting on his property. Audubon was curious about nest-site fidelity. The following year, the phoebes—leg bands intact—returned to nest on his property. Audubon was brilliant, but I doubt that …

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