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The Canadian Wildlife Service in cooperation with the USF&WS controls all bird banding in North America.

As an aside, I started as an assistant banding birds under Doug Wood’s permit on Mandarte Island off Sidney, BC in the 1950’s when I was 12.  When I was 15 or 16 Doug became physically handicapped and I did most of the banding with a few other friends providing the boat and catching up ‘smelly puking gull and cormorant chicks’!  Primarily we banded Glaucous-winged Gulls, Double-crested cormorants and I believe a few Pigeon Guillemots.  By 16 I took over his Permit and continued for many years – expanding into banding many raptors and later bald eagles for my thesis study in the 1960’s.  I mention this story because recently I reapplied to the CWS to get my permit renewed to carry on with our BETA Project.  To my surprise the response was …  “Sorry you never had an earlier Permit to renew.  You have to go through all the Application including getting references”!

After some back and forth that involved getting some old timers involved, it became apparent the CWS records did not cover the whole period of the USF&WS records.  In short, when the CWS took over administering the Canadian Permits even though the bands still continued to be centrally controlled by the US, they did not get the earlier Canadian band holder data.  They simply did not know the Canadians who held early Banding Permits.

During this convoluted correspondence when I did not wish to annoy contemporary scientists with getting supportive letters or references – most weren’t even alive when I was a bander – Myles Lamont, my long-time bird keeper here at home, who now a biologist in his own right, and the one who has been helping with all the recent bald eagle nest building and CAM installations, applied for a Canadian Bird Banding Permit and got me an associate Permit.  I was presented with this Banding Permit on my birthday and it sits on the wall above.  This is even better.  I get to go out and trap the eagles, give him the notes and measurements and he has to do all the detailed record submission.  Another advantage of getting old – sometimes these advantages are hard to find!   You can see Myles on the BETA pages of our Web site attaching bands and gps backpacks.  You can also follow some of our local eaglets as they now explore Alaska.

Here is a fine USF&WS 100 Year Review’  of the importance of bird banding and the contributions it makes to understanding our feathered friends. This web site also leads you to filing any observations on banded or color marked birds.  Though in this BC – AK region if you spot a color banded or back-pack wearing eagle please notify us. ( Nearby on the web will be our current stories showing us up trees building various nests with the help of Larry Dorosh and Mike Seear and our North Shore Nest Coordinator, Sally Mcdermott, up the lift inspecting our recent North Shore Mosquito Creek new nest.

David Hancock