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Any ideas about the origin of this unusual band?

Question: On opening day of the 2007 hunting season in Louisiana, I shot a banded Gadwall drake. The only visible markings on the band were the numbers "654," and it is possible that "27" followed the first three numbers, but were worn off.

Unusual BandAs you can see from the attached photos, this band does not appear to be an "Avise" duck band. After shooting this bird, my attempts to report this band through normal reporting methods were unsuccessful. Any ideas about the origin of the band? Thanks for your assistance.

Hey Bob,

First of all congratulations on acquiring a very unique band! This is a tough one, I asked around the office to see if anyone has seen anything like it. One of my colleagues has actually harvested a bird with similar jewelry. His initial thought was that the numbering on the band resembles the numbering on a federal duck band. If it is a federal band we can presume that this particular Gadwall is pretty old, and this band has been subjected to a considerable amount of time wintering in brackish water. Salt water tends to damage the band material over time. However, usually if you try and call a band in that has indistinguishable numbers but is federal in origin, the USGS will ask you to submit the band. The USGS has ways of reading older bands with the numbers worn off using a strong acid solution. This link will tell you more about etching worn bands:

My only other suggestions would be that a private club put on it on, or some sort of rehabilitation organization may have used the bands to identify birds and forgot to take it off when the bird was released.

It would be interesting to see how many more like this have been harvested!

Thanks for submitting your picture Bob!