In 2015 some scientists put colored bands on my local Piping Plover. Now those birds are off exploring this great big world of ours. I am hoping someone out there has seen them and their flashy colored leg bands. If you have, then please let me know! This web page is a message-in-a-bottle of sorts.
Green & Yellow Piping Plover Bands
Piping Plover are often banded with four distinctly colored ring bands. There are usually two bands on each leg. If you happen to see a Piping Plover with Green over Yellow bands on one leg, you probably found one of my adorable little birds. Green & Yellow bands on the left leg identify that adorable PIPL as being one of my birds banded in New Jersey in 2015. So if you happened to see a Piping Plover with green & yellow rings around its itty-bitty legs, please let me know where and when you saw it. Hopefully you got a picture too, because I really miss my birds.
Piping Plover With Four Colored Bands
Distinctly identifying all four colored bands can be challenging, especially when the Plover are on the move. When the birds are migrating, their adorable coats are often all fluffed out, and the top bands can be buried and hard to see. They are also so tiny, it can be hard to see them even with a good view and with good light. But I am interested in any sighting, no matter how incomplete, especially if you happened to see the Green & Yellow bands on one leg.
The scientists have some kind of system that defines which band goes where. The green and yellow bands on one leg identify the Piping Plover was part of the 2015 Piping Plover Colored Banding Project. The order of colored rings on the other leg also has meaning.
The top band represents the location the PIPL was banded, and sometimes it represents the particular brood or family the Plover came from.
The bottom band on the other leg represents the individual bird. That’s my favorite band to mark because it lets me know if this is one of my friends.
It can be so challenging to see all the bands when you are out on the Beach and lucky enough to stumble upon a color banded Piping Plover! But the colors have meaning and so do their position and placement. Still, if you saw any colored bands at all I’d love to hear about it and see if we might be able to reconstruct who this adorable little bird might be.
Piping Plover With Green Flag Bands
In addition to colored ring bands, some Piping Plover have big “flag” bands on one leg. In New Jersey, many adults were given flag bands temporarily that were later removed. But a few escaped still sporting their fancy Green Flag Bands. The green flags usually have an 3 character alphanumeric code. If you happened to see any Piping Plover with a green flag, I’d love to hear about it, even if you were not able to make out the code.