Wood Duck Banding
Duke Energy’s East Bend Generating Station in Boone County, Kentucky partners each year with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to band wood ducks. About 100 ducks are banded annually at a managed wetland area on the East Bend property.
Banding wood ducks is one of many methods used to improve waterfowl populations across the country. The process starts in late June with the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife preparing the site and Duke Energy employees baiting the area each day with corn. On the day of the banding, a biologist observes the bait site and triggers rockets to cast a net over the ducks. Employees safely retrieve the ducks from the net and place them in holding boxes where they are then taken, one by one, to the biologist for banding. Once the sex, age and other data are determined, the ducks are released unharmed.
“Each year, we gather more information about the wood duck during the banding operation at the station,” said Mike Laytart, East Bend Station employee and banding project coordinator. “As a sportsman, I appreciate this opportunity to help sustain the wood duck population in our area for future generations.”
The leg bands contain an identification number and a toll-free telephone number. When a hunter takes a banded duck during the hunting season, they may simply call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to report the duck’s identification number. The information is gathered annually to draw a flight line showing when and where ducks were banded and harvested. This valuable information allows fish and wildlife services across the country to develop wetlands and refuges along the ducks’ flyway to aid in winter migrations.