Some Observations On The Recovery Of Diving Ducks Banded In The Maryland Portion Of Chesapeake Bay

During the six years 1952 to 1957, a total of 13,269 waterfowl of three species (lesser scaup, redhead and canvasback) were banded in Maryland. From these, 1,125 band recoveries had been reported to June, 1958. Bands recovered through hunters (shot) made up the great majority of all reported, ranging from 91.9 percent of all recovered for lesser scaup to 96.5 percent for redheads. Waterfowl of the three species investigated were reported from 33 states, six Canadian provinces and the Bahamas. Some idea of the chronological order of migration was obtained by plotting band recovery reports by monthly and biweekly periods for the various states. The percentages of bands recovered for the three species were compared. Some apparent differences were noted in the first year recovery rates of adults and juveniles banded during the post-hunting season period. During 1954, a program designed to gain further knowledge of the movements and biology of wintering waterfowl on the Chesapeake Bay was instituted by the Maryland Department of Game and Inland Fish. This program, encompassing the banding of wild waterfowl and the evaluation of the recoveries of these banded waterfowl, was partly a result of a request by the Atlantic Waterfowl Council who felt emphasis should be placed on banding scaup, both greater and lesser, coot, Canada geese and black ducks. During the years 1954 to 1957 inclusive, cooperation in this banding program was obtained from both the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maryland Department of Research and Education. Prior to 1954 some limited banding of diving ducks by Maryland personnel had taken place. Although the major banding occurred subsequent to 1954, the results of the limited bandings of 1952 and 1953 are included in this report. For our purposes Maryland may be subdivided into two sections: the Eastern Shore and the Western Shore, both readily identified with the Chesapeake Bay as the central reference point. On the \\Vestern shore, three areas were used for varying periods for the purpose of trapping and banding waterfowl. These included Gibson Island, the Patuxent River and Smith Creek. Those areas utilized on the Eastern Shore included Howells Point, Eastern Bay, the Chester River and Hoopers Island.

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