Flagged Ruddy Turnstone by Paul Jones
Flagged Ruddy Turnstone by Paul Jones

Some Basic Rules

Banders are primarily responsible for the safety and welfare of the birds they study so that stress and risks of injury or death are minimized.

  • Handle each bird carefully, gently, quietly, with respect, and in minimum time
  • Capture and process only as many birds as you can safely handle
  • Close traps or nets when predators are in the area
  • Do not band in inclement weather
  • Frequently assess the condition of traps and nets and repair them quickly
  • Properly train and supervise students
  • Check nets as frequently as conditions dictate
  • Check traps as often as recommended for each trap type
  • Properly close all traps and nets at the end of banding
  • Do not leave traps or nets set and untended
  • Use the correct band size and banding pliers for each bird
  • Treat any bird injuries humanely


Continually assess your own work to ensure that it is beyond reproach.

  • Reassess methods if an injury or mortality occurs
  • Ask for and accept constructive criticism from other banders


Offer honest and constructive assessment of the work of others to help maintain the highest standards possible.

  • Publish innovations in banding, capture, and handling techniques
  • Educate prospective banders and trainers
  • Report any mishandling of birds to the bander
  • If no improvement occurs, file a report with the Banding Office

Ensure that your data are accurate and complete, are submitted in a timely fashion to the responsible agency or organization, and are appropriately used to advance valid scientific purposes.

Obtain prior permission to band on private property and on public lands where authorization is required.