Story: Bird migration

Banded birds (3rd of 3)

Banded birds

This bar-tailed godwit has colour bands that can be easily read from a distance. White, yellow, red and blue bands and coloured leg-flags are used in unique combinations of colour and position on each leg. The metal band on the upper left leg also has a number specific to that bird. Records from observers at any point along the migratory route add to the bank of knowledge about the movement of individual birds, and hence about the species. For example, a colour-banded godwit was photographed in Japan two weeks after last being seen in New Zealand.

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University of Otago
Photograph by Phil Battley

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Bird migration - The phenomenon of migration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/7211/banded-birds (accessed 17 July 2019)

Story by Christina Troup, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015