What do I do if I see a banded bird? 

Have a look at the band/s you have found and see if they resemble any of the bands in the photographs below. If they do, please carefully follow the instructions for that kind of band.

The photographs below show the three types of bands commonly found on birds from and in New Zealand. Different types of bands or rings are found on birds all around the world - if you find a band that is not shown below please follow the instructions for 'Other bands'.

Open metal and open coloured bands

Closed racing pigeon or breeders band

A closed coloured band most likely belongs to a racing pigeon or bird breeder.


Open coloured bands with leg tag

If you think you have found or sighted a wader with bands and leg tags, please report this information to the Arctic Waders Project by clicking here:


Other bands

If you have a band that does not resemble any of the above photographs, the New Zealand Bird Banding Scheme will still be interested in hearing from you.  Contact the New Zealand Bird Banding Scheme by email bandingoffice@doc.govt.nz or phone +64 (4) 471 3294 with details of the band, bird, and where you found them. 

The New Zealand Banding Scheme will contact you

If you include your contact details in your recovery report to the New Zealand Banding Scheme, they will send you notification that they have received it.

If you request it, the Banding Scheme will also send you information on the bird or band you found - the bird’s age and species, where it was banded, and how far it had travelled.

As bird banding is a collaborative international effort, no monetary reward is offered to those who find birds.