Shrinkage of Spiral Plastic Leg Bands with Resulting Leg Damage to Mourning Doves

Recaptures of mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) banded with spiral plastic leg bands revealed these bands were constricting and resulting in loss or severe damage to the legs of doves. Analysis of data from an experiment to determine the effects of color, environmental exposure, and treatment with acetone on the shrinkage of bands indicated that all 3 variables affected (P < 0.01) band shrinkage. Black bands experienced the greatest shrinkage of the 8 colors tested. Bands exposed to the environment shrank more (P <0.01) than bands kept at room temperature or in a freezer. Acetonetreated bands shrank less (P < 0.01) than those without acetone treatment. We recommend that all spiral plastic leg bands used on mourning doves be treated with acetone.

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