Report a banded bird


Virginia Tech uses Darvic flags (bands with a tab) and Darvic color bands to mark variety of species of shorebirds and seabirds. Often these birds carry a field-readable etched band or flag, while many also carry color bands and a smaller green flag. 

Image 1 Bands are placed both above and below the tibiotarsal joint on plovers (terns are given bands below the tibiotarsal joint only). There are eight possible band locations on a bird’s leg according to our banding schemes: The Upper Left Upper, Upper Left Lower (left leg, above the tibiotarsal joint), Lower Left Upper, Lower Left Lower (left leg, below the tibiotarsal joint), Upper Right Upper, Upper Right Lower (right leg, above the tibiotarsal joint), Lower Right Upper, and Lower Right Lower (right leg below the tibiotarsal joint)

If you see a banded bird

We are very interested in hearing about it! Please email and we can provide you with the bird’s banding history and answer any questions you may have. We can also direct you to the proper bander if you resight a plover with a different color flag and don’t know who to contact. Please include in your email, if you are able: 

  1. Location of the resight.

  2. Date of the resight.

  3. Description of the band combination including the color and placement of each band. You may use the guide in Image 1 to describe the band placements if that helps. 

  4. If possible, a photo of the bird with combination visible.

Image 2 An example of our tern and skimmer banding scheme used in Virginia in 2018