The male has the color combo – O,b:X, b/O, y on O. Thus, he has an orange band (O) with a yellow dot (y on O) on his upper left leg with a light blue (b) band below. The USGS numbered metal band (X) is on this bird’s upper right leg followed by a bi-colored or split band that is light blue on top of orange (b/O). He hatched in 2013 on North Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. This is his first time breeding, which is he still has a brood combo instead of an individual adult combo with an orange flag.
The female has the color combo – Of,YG:X,O. Thus, she has an orange flag (Of) on her upper left leg with a yellow (Y) band on top of a green (G) band on the lower portion. The USGS numbered metal band (X) is on this bird’s upper right leg followed by an orange (O) band below. She hatched in 2013 at Ludington State Park. This female is particularly fascinating though because this is her first time breeding as well and yet she has an adult combo. The reason for this is because she was discovered in the Bahamas this past winter and banded with an adult combination by our colleagues at Virginia Tech. We actually reported on this bird earlier this year, shortly after she was banded.
Once the nest was found some of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife partners on the project went out and put an exclosure over the nest to protect the eggs from predators. The nest was found with four eggs so an exact hatch date is unknown. Fingers crossed that all four eggs hatch and the chicks can be adult banded, possibly in the Bahamas even, one day. To help ensure their success, some of the best things we as people can do to help them is to give the birds lots of space, keep our dogs leashed, and be respectful of the birds in general.