Bird movements are some of the least understood of any wildlife species due to the scale at which birds move. Utah is home to hundreds of bird species year-round, along with hundreds more that pass through the state on their way to winter and breeding grounds in other parts of the world. Understanding where birds are in the state and when allows managers to protect critical habitat used by birds throughout the year and during their migration.

Thousands of birds are captured each year and fitted with tiny pieces of metal called bands. Each band has an individual, unique number that identifies the bird’s age, gender and location of capture. Occasionally, banded birds are recaptured or found dead. Individual identification of bird bands makes studies of dispersal and migration possible, as well as studies of behavior and social structure, life span and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth. An analysis of banding information from game birds is completed annually and is essential for the development of hunting regulations and for detecting changes in waterfowl populations.

Bands can be found and recorded by anyone. If you observe or find either a color marker or a federal band, you can report it here. In some cases, there is a reward for reporting.