Re: Banded Double-crested Cormorant in Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area (Pleasanton)
Thanks to Mark Rauzon, I was able to get in touch with a researcher in Oregon who clarified and provided some insights regarding reporting of banded birds.
Since I have heard from a few other EBB'ers interested in this topic, I would like to share what I learned for future reference:
In summary, her main points were:
1. You CAN report a banded bird even if you don't have the ID code from the metal band - the easier-to-read code from a colored band alone is enough to uniquely identify individual birds.
2. The best way to report is to use the following web page, as follows:
"Starting from the main band reporting webpage (https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv), once you click continue, it leads to the next step where observers can choose types of bands. 'Color maker only' option is the one that works without a metal band number."
3. A photo documentation is also useful, while not required for reporting, so that it could be used to confirm that the bird had been banded correctly and that the bands aren't causing problems for the bird. (They also archive submitted photo documentation.)
I checked out the aforementioned band reporting web page and it seemed to function as described. (I think I have used this web page before, but used the 800 number this time because it specifically mentioned banded cormorants. Next time I will just use the web page.)
The dept. of fisheries and wildlife person in Oregon couldn't understand why the 1-800 number couldn't take my report. She was able to tell me that this particular cormorant was banded as a chick at East Sand Island at the mouth of Columbia River in July 2013 as part of their demography and movement study of the species. (It's in the area between Oregon and Washington, some 600 miles away.)
Here is some more information about the cormorant colonies at East Sand Island where this cormorant was born, possibly around May of 2013: