14 birds first banded with 'Shenzhen tags'

Writer: Chen Siqi  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-04-13

A total of 14 birds were marked with “Shenzhen tags” as staffers and volunteers of the Shenzhen Wildlife Protection Management Center placed bird bands on them at the Futian Mangrove Ecological Park from April 7 to 9.

This was the first time for Shenzhen to place bird bands, Shenzhen Evening News reported.

A staffer of the Shenzhen Wildlife Protection Management Center places a Shenzhen bird band to a light-vented bulbul using a special tool. Zeng Hongmei

“A total of nine staffers and volunteers were involved in the bird branding event. They attached tags to the legs of 14 birds including light-vented bulbuls, plain prinias and spice finchs. The move marked a leap forward in the construction of the city’s bird banding station,” a center staffer said.

Bird banding is the attachment of a small, individually numbered metal or plastic tag to the leg or wing of a wild bird to enable individual identification. This helps in keeping track of the movements of the bird and its life history. It is one of the oldest and most important techniques used for studying and identifying individual birds. Valuable information, including area, organization, address and bird type, can be learned from bird banding.

A lesser sand plover wearing the “A1” foot tags is spotted at Shenzhen Bay last April. It was banded in Hong Kong’s Mai Po Nature Reserve in 2011. Wang Haolan

According to incomplete statistics, about 5 million birds worldwide will have bands attached every year. Shenzhen enjoys favorable conditions to conduct bird banding as the city is an important stopover for migrant birds and gathers a significant number of high-level scientific research institutions and environmental-friendly organizations and birdwatching observers.

In March, the Futian Mangrove Ecological Park organized a four-day training on bird banding, which attracted 27 participants from higher education, scientific research and public-benefit institutions.