Banded malard on Eielson farm road.
After I reported the band from the greenhead I got the other day, I got this email from USGS. Anyone ever had this experience or know anything about it? They should be contacting me soon with all the info about it. Just curious to what kind of unusual migration this guy was on.
Dear JUSTIN .....
I am contacting you about the report of bird band number 1717-59436. When we compared the data for this encounter report to the banding data and other recovery data for the same species, we found that the migration is unusual.
To ensure we have received the correct information before processing the report into our database, we are requesting you to verify all details of the encounter report that are included below and in your response please indicate if data is correct or not. It is also extremely helpful for us to see the band in such cases and we are requesting you to send us an image of the band, if possible, that clearly shows the number (digital image sent via email is appreciated). If by chance you have lost the band, or left it on the bird's leg, please check whatever notes you took at the time to confirm we have the same band number recorded in our records.
After we have resolved this problem, you will receive the banding information from our files concerning this bird if it was requested and you have not yet received it.
Your assistance is greatly appreciated and helps ensure that the data stored at the Bird Banding Laboratory, which is frequently issued to researchers for conservation and management, is of the highest quality.
THE ENCOUNTER INFORMATION YOU SUBMITTED WAS:
Band Number: 1717-59436
Species of Bird: MALLARD
Date bird/band obtained: 09/04/2009
How bird/band was obtained: Shot.
Status of band after obtaining bird: REMOVED
Present condition of bird: DEAD
Location where bird/band was obtained:
Country: United States
County/Parish: Fairbanks North Star
Nearest Town/Place: NORTH POLE
Distance and direction from the town: 5 mi. S
JO LUTMERDING, Encounter Data Manager
Bird Banding Laboratory
12100 BEECH FOREST ROAD
LAUREL MD 20708-4037
FAX: (301) 497-5717
PHONE: (301) 497-5940
I received the exact same thing last year for a mallard that was banded in Alberta that I shot near Wasilla. I did not send them an image of the band (I can read), but I did send in a map with gps coordinates -- "Yes I'm sure, this is exactly where the bird was killed".
Doesn't seem like the best science if they ask you to report but then don't believe you because it doesn't fit the results they're expecting. They did send me the banding information card later.
i think they do this because the alberta bird was not expected to go to alaska and they want to make sure you reported numbers correct. do you ever read the crazy migration storys in du mag. example blue bills in north dakota 24 hours later sunning themselves in mexico. hey tex how did that hunt go on lake healy? was it easy to do? any problems with the locals? man i want to check that place out.
Thanks for the info guys. I wasnt sure what the deal was due to the lack of bands around my lanyard. Hopefully the info will be here in the next few days and I will see where the bird was from.
akairboater... I havnt made it into healy lake yet, I usaully try to hit the birds around here and then start heading to different locations. I will let you know as soon as I do though.
Got the band info back. It was a 5 year old drake from Alberta
Originally Posted by Milo
Yeah this is simply to double check and make sure that the numbers were reported correctly. Its not unusual for us to receive incorrect information. Most of this is simply misreading the band or even mis-entering the information.
Thanks for letting us know about the band though. We are finding out more and more that ducks will overfly the prairies in some years and make their way to AK. Pretty cool stuff.
data gathering techniques?
Does it make sense to question the results that don't fit the expected model, but automatically accept those that do? I could make an error either way, but by automatically accepting those that fit the model it further skews the results towards the answer you expect. Therefore making the exceptions even more suspect. I realize that you are stressing accuracy but wouldn't it be more scientifically valid to accept the data as reported realizing there is a margin of error in all reports?
You certainly have a point about cersoring data. The problem becomes how to sort out those errors. When looking at questions such as mixing across the flyways, excepting odd data without verifying is troublesome. For example, we already have decades of data showing that the flyways are pretty distinct migration corridors for waterfowl. So when we get data from hunters that say a Mississippi Flyway mallard was shot in the Mississippi Flyway,accepting the few misreads doesn't really affect what we already know. That is, alot of MS birds stay in that flyway.
However, when we get a bird from the MS flyway, shot in AK, we really want to know that the reporting is correct. This is an unusual event so even the smallest number of mis-reportings can have a dramatic affect on our conclusions.
I do want to stress that we are absolutely dependant upon hunters to report these bands. Most of us involved in waterfowl banding are hunters ourselves and regarldless, really appreciate hunter involvement. Keep those reports coming.
That makes sense - to verify might have more to do with weeding out typos or whatever - and would be the same for any carefully done database. In fact, occasionally one hears of a study or report, previously thought reliable, that is discredited specifically because there isn't a process to confirm the accuracy (or less often validity) of raw info before it's included in the analysis. This is where I first heard the expression, "garbage-in, garbage-out". If you didn't weed out the simple errors, it might be impossible to tell where and how much your data is skewed, therefore putting your whole database in doubt. Just another way of being careful with information.
Originally Posted by patrickL
Interesting thread. Thanks.