Wisdom, a Laysan albatross and the oldest known banded bird in the wild at age 69, with one of her chicks named Kūkini. Only through banding could we find out long birds live.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of a research program dedicated to the scientific study of birds using the tool of bird banding. It is such an important event in the scientific world of ornithological research that I plan to devote three columns to it. Part 1 provides an overview of bird banding, Part 2 will give examples of what I have learned in my 64 years of bird banding, and Part 3 will give examples of what others have learned from bird banding to help birds.

The following information was provided by the United States Geological (USGS) Bird Banding Laboratory.

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