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Solved Mysteries: It's never too late to report a band.

BAGGING A BANDED bird is something to celebrate, partly because it's such a rare occurrence, but mostly because included with every band is a story. Some are rather routine, others fascinating. And occasionally there are those instances where the story is less about the bird and more about the recovery.

It began in 2013, though its origins go much farther back. After his father-in-law, Bill Rose, passed away, Kentucky hunter Milton Tackett was cleaning out some of Rose's belongings when he found a duck call with three bands on the lanyard. It was hardly a typical method for recovering bands, but it got Tackett to wondering what their story was. He checked on the Bird Banding Lab's website, hoping to lookup the band numbers but couldn't find a way to go back and find previous information. And that could well have been the end of the story.

Five years later, on May 7, 2018, Tackett received an e-mail invitation to participate in a study, asking users how the Bird Banding Laboratory could design a more user-friendly and effective reporting system. In his response, two days later, Tackett included comments about his past experience, not being able to pull up historical data.

The researchers did more than think about it. The very next day, Tackett received a reply from one of them, Jaime Dalbke, thanking him, and adding: "I think you have a very interesting idea regarding historical bands and it is certainly something that I will bring up to the BBL as a potential feature. I have forwarded your e-mail along to the BBL, so they may reach back out to you in regard to information about your bands."

Then on May 11, he received an e-mail from one of Dalbke's associates requesting the band numbers, which he supplied, and before day's end had the information he long sought. One of the bands had never been reported, so they provided Tackett with instructions on how to do so. Another lived just one year while the third, banded in Maryland and shot in Arkansas, survived 10 hunting seasons.

Thanks to Tackett's efforts we ended up with quite a story and the BBL has a better system.

THE BANDS

BAND #: 607-34143

SPECIES: Mallard (D)

BANDED: 09/29/1956

LOCATION: Middle River, S of Thief

Lake WMA, MN

RECOVERED: 12/1957

LOCATION: Bald Knob, AR

BAND #: 607-25315

SPECIES: Mallard (D)

BANDED: 11/30/1955

LOCATION: Gaithersburg, MD

RECOVERED: 1964

LOCATION: McCrory, AR

BAND #: 1027-63600

SPECIES: Mallard (D)

BANDED: 08/23/1978

LOCATION: 11 E Vermillion, AB

RECOVERED: Unknown

LOCATION: 20 mi N of Wynne, AR

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Title Annotation:BAND TALES
Author:Humphrey, Bob
Publication:Wildfowl
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Mar 16, 2019
Words:432
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