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Canada geese banding an effort in patience, strategySubmitted: 07/22/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - More than one million Canada geese fly up and down what's called the Mississippi River Flyway each year.

Their route often includes northern Wisconsin.

Many of the geese live here in the Northwoods during the summer.

Scientists want to know more about this goose population and how they move.

The process is simple.

Scientists momentarily capture the geese, put an identification band on their leg, and set them free.

On Monday morning, DNR workers and volunteers helped do that on the Wisconsin Flowage just north of Rhinelander.

"You pretty much have to go out and scout right away in the morning, and find where they're at, and then slowly herd them, kind of like cattle, herd them this direction, and then surround them with the canoes and the kayaks, and slowly get them to walk up into the pens," says DNR Wildlife Technician Eric Kroening.

The geese won't fly away - they're in their flightless molting stage.

Each one gets a metal band around their leg.

If one is shot during hunting season, the hunter will call in the tracking number.

"It helps us with population trends, distribution, where they're migrating. This all helps with, we're in the Mississippi Flyway, it helps with managing the geese in the flyway," Kroening says.

DNR workers in the Northwoods band one hundred birds every year.

Four thousand will be banded across all of Wisconsin.

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