Tales of TRF – Try Your Hand at Duck Banding

Tales of TRF – Try Your Hand at Duck Banding

Are you interested in taking part of a unique event learning about wildlife? Mark your calendars for an evening of duck banding on Saturday, September 8, 5:30 p.m. at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. All ages are welcome to join in the fun and ‘ruffle some feathers’. Meet at the Refuge headquarters at 5:30 pm. No pre-registration is required and the event is free to the public.

Banding ducks is a “hands on” experience, and can be a little messy so you’ll want to dress sensibly. Old clothing or rain gear is recommended if you plan on handling the ducks. Those of you who would rather watch, bring your cameras to capture the experience.

This annual event brings many ‘repeat’ banders and Refuge staff look forward to seeing you each year. Newcomers will have an opportunity to learn about the life history of several duck species, baiting, capture, and handling techniques, as well as sexing and aging techniques. We band predominantly mallards, with a few wood ducks, blue-winged teal, and northern pintails mixed in. Agassiz bands an average of 1,500 ducks per year.

More than one million birds are banded in North America every year. Banding provides valuable information on migration routes and breeding and wintering areas of different bird species, as well as helping support hunting regulations development and detecting changes in bird populations. Secondarily, the strong waterfowling contingent in northwestern Minnesota also recognizes harvested ducks sporting “jewelry” in the form of metal leg bands as special trophies.

Refuge Headquarters is located 11 miles east of Holt, Minnesota on Marshall County Road 7 (290th St. NE). If you need more information, please call the 218-449-4115, ext. 202 or dial 0 for operator assistance. Office hours are Mon. – Fri. 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.