Kim Carlson of Beaver Creek sent us these two photos of a frustrated Canadian Goose that was probably recently tagged by ODFW or maybe USFWS. The goose in the top picture (on the right) is seen in the middle of a “cranky dance” trying to get it off. Kim was wondering if it might be too tight. But you can see in the second picture the goose seems to be putting up with it.
Does anyone know how much care is taken to ensure a good tagging band fit for the goose?? Email us at Dave@NewsLincolnCounty.com
AND WE GOT OUR ANSWER!
I have seen your report of the tagged goose at Beaver Creek along with the photos.
I can assure you that great care is taken when marking birds, which can only been done by individuals that have been licensed by the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory. In addition to the normal metal leg band some birds are given auxiliary markers such as the plastic neck collar on the goose in the photo. Neck collars allows researchers and managers to follow these birds over the years whereas leg bands are usually only reported once a bird has died.
Neck collar are fitted to the bird so that it is not too lose and therefore falls off, and not too tight so it negatively effects the bird. The collar should be able to slide up and down on the neck. Sometimes birds will spend more time preening feathers around the collar to maintain insulation but they suffer no adverse impacts from the collar. It is difficult to see the bird well from the photo, but my best guess is that this is an Aleutian Canada Goose with a short blue neck collar. Perhaps I’ll try to find this bird and see if I can read the alpha numeric code on the collar. If the bird lives a long time the plastic collar may actually break down and fall off. However, we have also observed birds retain these collars for many years. In fact in October of 2011, I observed a neck collared Western Canada Goose at Eckman Lake in Waldport and read the code on the collar. This bird had been banded and collared near Waldport on Nov. 29, 1994! It has lived a long and healthy life with the collar.
Roy W. Lowe, Project Leader
Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex
2127 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, Oregon 97365-5258