If you’re a Maine birder (or aspire to be one), you may want to consider investing $20 in the 2014 Maine Birder Band. The authentic bird band, similar to the ones that biologists use to band wild turkeys and Canada geese, is meant to fit on a camera or binocular strap to show your support for bird conservation, and it’s also a way for people to contact you in case you lose the item.
Each Maine Birder Band has a unique number registered to your name, as well as a phone number to the Maine Division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. If the item becomes lost, the finder can call the DIF&W and the item can be returned to the owner. Over the years, this band has returned several pairs of binoculars and a set of car keys, according to a recent press release by the DIF&W.
The $20 donation will help Maine’s non-game birds. The Maine Birder Band has already generated over $20,000 that goes directly to helping protect Maine’s non-game birds, according to the DIF&W. And money raised by the birder band can be used to leverage additional federal funds.
Over the years the band has helped fund several conservation and educational projects, including the launch and maintenance of the Maine eBird Portal; a grasshopper sparrows survey at Kennebunk Plains; research examining saltmarsh sparrow nesting success in sites with and without tidal restrictions; and southern Maine shorebird monitoring focused on sanderlings, red knots, black bellied plovers and ruddy turnstones.