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June 2012
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Biologists to band geese

Staff  report

Biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Migratory Bird Program will work to place a leg band on each goose at Noble Park Lake this week. The banding will occur between 8 and 10 a.m. Thursday.

"We are happy to cooperate in this process with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources as they study the lifespan and migratory patterns of the geese at Noble Park Lake," said Parks Services Director Mark Thompson.

Approximately 200 Canada geese spend much of the year at Noble Park Lake. This is the best time of year for the banding since the geese are currently flightless.

Each year, for about two to three weeks, the geese molt and become temporarily flightless. Those who have visited Noble Park Lake in the past few days may have noticed an increase in feathers near the bank.

The process involves rounding up the geese into a pen, checking each's gender, placing a band around each bird's leg, then releasing the bird back to the lake. The entire process for one bird takes a couple of minutes.

For birds that try to avoid the biologists by staying in the water, small remote control boats will be used to urge the birds to come out of the water.

Each year, the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife catches and bands about 1,000 birds. The state get information on the typical lifespan and migratory patterns for the Canada geese.

Most of the Canada geese from Kentucky - which are about one year of age - spend their summers in either James Bay or Hudson Bay in Canada. Once they begin breeding, they stay in Kentucky.

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