DOC staff banding rock wren
Image: Sabine Bernert ©

Introduction

Learn what to do if you find a dead or injured banded bird.

If you find a live banded bird

If you found the bird alive and healthy, release the bird with its band still on (a band or ring should never be removed from a healthy bird), noting the band number and details of the bird.

Either fill in an online reporting form, write, email, or ring the National Banding Office. They will need to know the following details:

  • band number
  • when the bird was found the bird (date if possible)
  • where the bird was found
  • if the bird is colour banded, the position of each colour band (note which leg it was on and the position eg, right leg: red over black, left leg: metal over white).

If you find a dead banded bird

Write, email or ring the National Banding Office or complete one of the online band reporting forms. They will need to know the following details:

  • band number
  • when the bird was found the bird (date if possible)
  • where the bird was found (provide as much detail as possible)
  • was it freshly dead or dead a while and is there any evidence of how it died.

If interested contact your local museum who may be interested in obtaining the bird as a specimen for their collections.

Either send us in the band or you may keep it if you wish, but if the numbers are hard to read, the Banding Office would like it returned.

If you find an injured banded bird

If you find an injured bird be careful handling it. Some birds have a nasty bite.

Throw a towel over the bird and then hold the back of its head (so you have control of the biting end), then lift the bird by supporting its body (and still holding it’s head) and place in a box.

Do not put the bird in a bucket of water even if it is a seabird. Make sure the bird does not get too hot or too cold.

Take the bird (first phone if you can) to your local Bird Rescue Centre or SPCA. A list of Rescue Centres can be found on the NZ Birds website. If you can give a donation to help with the care of the bird it would be appreciated by the rescue centres as they are voluntary organisations.

If you cannot find a rescue centre and the bird is native or endemic to New Zealand, then DOC should be informed. Contact your local DOC office

Contact

National Banding Office
PO Box 108
Wellington 6140
Phone:  +64 4 471 3248
Email: bandingoffice@doc.govt.nz

Back to top