Western Snowy Plover

How to Report Banded Western Snowy Plovers

Reporting banded plovers helps conservation efforts

Western Snowy Plovers are sometimes tagged with color bands at multiple coastal locations by researchers in about ten areas from Oregon to the U. S. Mexican border. Re-sighting and reporting color banded birds provides critical information on the species survival and movement patterns and helps us learn how to better manage their populations. 

If you spot a bird with color bands on its legs, please record the “Basic Data,”  described below, and send it to the contact below. These emails are checked by all researchers banding plovers on the U. S. Pacific coast. You will hear back with information on the bird you spotted, including where and when it was originally banded. Reporting color-banded birds will help long-term research on snowy plover populations. And, importantly, your sightings are invaluable contributions to the research data sets that inform plover management throughout the species range.

Snowy Plovers are typically banded with 2 plastic color bands on each leg - record the color combinations by leg (the bird’s left leg, then right leg), top to bottom (example, the plover pictured here would be reported “green over green, left; aqua over yellow, right”). There are both light and medium blue and green bands, with light shade called aqua and lime, respectively.  There are a few other banding schemes, including some birds also marked with tags incised with visible characters in southern California.

Basic Data:

Site: (beach name, county, etc. - be as specific as possible)
Time of observation:
Number of plovers seen, if noted:

Number of birds checked for bands, if noted:
Color combination of bands on each leg:

Left leg:        Right leg:
Did you see a USFWS silver band?
Observer name and contact information:
(a photo is also helpful if you took one)

Please report your sightings to this Google Group email: (snpl_bandreporting@googlegroups.com)

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