Black neckbands used on Whitefronted Geese
The ringing of birds has been carried out now for more than 120 years. Normally, metal rings are used, and these provide information when the bird is found or shot. By using these rings we have learned much about bird migration, flyways, staging and wintering grounds.
However, if you would like to know more about the ecology and behaviour of the birds, you need to get more than one data point for each individual. For this you need readable markers or transmitters. While transmitters are limited in time by battery power, individually engraved neckbands provide multiple opportunities to get usable information about individual birds.
In the project we assembled the data of three scientific White-fronted goose projects. In the 1970s Prof. Erich Rutschke started to mark Bean and White-fronted geese at Lake Gülpe in Brandenburg, eastern Germany (colour yellow). In the early 1990s J.H.Mooij and I. Kostin caught birds on their expeditions to the Taimyr (white colour), and, starting in 1998, the University of Osnabrueck and Alterra Institutemarked more then 6.600 birds with black collars. All marked White-fronts and Beans can be reported to this project and will be presented in a single database.
All collars we used show three alphanumerics. The code is expressed as, for example, "A01 black". Eleven Bean geese were also marked with black neckbands.
Bean Geese with yellow neckbands
The inscription shows a row of three alphanumerics (number, letter, number). Collars like this were used on 370 White-fronted geese in the early 1990s.
In 2004, we restarted the programme of ringing Beans with yellow neckbands. Birds were ringed in The Netherlands, Brandenburg and on the Russian breeding grounds. Yellow collars were put on some White-fronts as well.
Much time has passed since Prof. Rutschke began his research at Lake Gülpe in the 1970s. Nonetheless, some of the marked birds are still living. We have also marked a further 100 Bean Geese with yellow collars in The Netherlands.