The colors of bands listed here are those used on Great Lakes Piping Plovers. Plovers with orange flags or orange bands without a flag are from the Great Lakes. If you see colors that do not match the options below do not try to make them fit. Other populations of Piping Plovers are marked using different flag and band colors. Some have flags with engraved numbers and letters. Report what you see and if necessary your observations will be forwarded to the research team that banded the plover you reported. Click here for contact information for other groups researching and protecting Piping Plovers.

 

Great Lakes Piping Plovers

Color-band Information

Piping Plover color-band key 2018 single
Color dot bands 2019.jpg

Great Lakes Chick Bands

In the Great Lakes Population when chicks are between 5 and 16 days old they are banded. Each brood gets the same pattern of band colors. They each get an orange band with a colored dot (red, blue, yellow or green) on one leg, either above or below the tibio-tarsal joint and a USGS metal band above the joint on the opposite side. Below the joint they can have one or two bands. The bands will all be of one color, though they may have orange tape around the top, around the bottom or around the middle. Sometimes due to different kinds of plastic used, the bands fade differently, as in the photo below. Solid colored bands will usually have a three-digit number engraved on them. If you are able to get a photo showing the bands, or can provide a description of the band colors and their position on the legs, and the color of the dots on the orange band and numbers on any solid-colored band to plover@umn.edu we can tell you what we know about when and where that plover hatched, and where it has been reported.

SBP2c, O,b_O_b X,b, Bdot, b353,2019-08-07 09-37-47  text.JPG

Upper left: Orange band with blue dot, Lower Left: Light blue/orange/light blue triple-split band, Upper right: USGS Metal band, Lower right: light blue band with numbers 53 visible.

Great Lakes Adult Bands

When they breed, adults in the Great Lakes Population are banded with an orange flag above the tibio-tarsal joint on one leg and a USGS metal band above the joint on the opposite side. Below the orange flag there will usually be two color bands and below the USGS band there will be one color band. Each plover has a unique pattern of color bands and can be individually recognized by the colors and position of the bands on their legs. If you are able to get a photo showing the bands, or can provide a description of the band colors and their position on the legs to plover@umn.edu we can tell you what we know about when and where that plover hatched, where it nests and where it winters.

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Upper left: Orange flag, Lower Left: Yellow band over blue band, Upper right: USGS Metal band, Lower right: Yellow band.

Great Lakes Captive-reared Plover Bands

Captive-reared chicks are banded before they're released at about 30 days old. They receive an orange flag, a USGS band and a unique set of three color-bands like Great Lakes adult plovers, except that one of the bands will be a split band, with orange tape either around the top, around the bottom or around the middle. If you are able to get a photo showing the bands, or can provide a description of the band colors and their position on the legs to plover@umn.edu we can tell you what we know about when and where that plover hatched, where it nests and where it winters.

E8m, Of,bG X,Y_O,2021-06-03 08-20-19 text.JPG

Upper left: Orange flag, Lower Left: Light blue band over green band, Upper right: USGS Metal band, Lower right: Yellow/orange split band.

Have you seen a Piping Plover on your beach?

Report summertime sightings.

Report non-breeding sightings.