As the days continue to get shorter and colder, the Tantramar Wetlands Centre has finished its fall banding program and is preparing for winter. Every year, our wonderful Wethead volunteers and various visitors have the chance to participate in our educational waterfowl banding program.
Take a look at these photos to learn about the process, see pictures of ducks, and see how students experience wetlands through waterfowl.
Wethead student volunteers learn how to identify ducks before putting their knowledge into practice in the marsh.
Wetheads prepare to take canoes to the duck traps to bait the ducks with cracked corn.
Each morning, students canoe out to the duck traps in the marsh. If ducks have been trapped, they retrieve the ducks and bring them to shore for banding. Then, students help bait the traps with cracked corn to attract more ducks.
Canoes full of students and ducks return to shore. The ducks will be banded before being released back into the marsh.
Wetheads gather on the banding platform to identify and band ducks.
Male Mallard duck (easily identified by it’s emerald green head).
When banding ducks, it’s necessary to identify the species. The two white bands on either side of the purple-blue patch (the speculum) indicate that this is a Mallard.
The absence of the white bands on either side of the purple-blue speculum indicates that this is an American Black Duck.
Our long-time volunteer, Nev, demonstrates how to put a band on a duck’s leg.
Our Fall Co-op student, Katelynn, holding a Mallard while he waits to be banded.
Wethead student volunteer learning how to hold the duck before releasing it back into the wild.
Student volunteer prepares to release a Mallard.
Visiting student successfully releases a duck back into the marsh.
Wethead releasing a duck outside the Tantramar Wetland Centre.
A visitor releases a banded duck on our final day of banding for 2013.
You can view more pictures in our Photo Gallery or on Flickr.