State Biologists spent the morning at Noble Park in Paducah banding a flock of Canada geese. Children there were given the opportunity to assist in releasing the birds after a silver colored band with a unique number was crimped loosely around each bird’s leg.
“We band about 1,000 across the state. We do about 200 in this region every year. And so again, we’re able to determine what percentage of the population dies every year, what percentage lives, where do they go,” state migratory bird biologist John Brunjes said.
Banding Geese at Paducah's Noble Park
The most important data is survival rates of geese. Brunjes says that information determines hunting bag limits and season lengths. Geese migrate to the region from Hudson and James bays in the Canadian arctic.
Brunjes said many people may think the geese at Noble Park live their entire lives there, but the birds tend to relocate throughout the year.
“This is a hunted species. We want to make sure that our harvest of these birds is not negatively impacting the population,” he said.
The numbers on each band are registered, and when a bird with a band is recaptured the information will be added to the database, which includes information on each bird’s age and the locations it has migrated to.
“Wildlife management is about scientific knowledge. It’s important for us to know about the population of these birds,” Brunjes said. “For us to manage these birds, the more information we’re able to gather the better.”