A model-based analysis was done to test several hypotheses concerning the rates of loss of butt-ended color bands placed on adult Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) in the western North Atlantic. These birds were captured and color banded from 1987-1991 at four colony sites, and recaptured from 1989-1992 as part of a study of the population dynamics of this species. Two types of color bands, Darvic and celluloid, were used, but only one band type was used for each individual bird. Each bird was given three color bands. The estimated probability that a bird with all color bands present during one breeding season still had all color bands during the next breeding season was 0.87. The analysis provided no evidence that colony site, cohort, calendar year of banding, age of color band, or whether or not the bands were heat-sealed closed, were important sources of variation in band-retention probabilities.
Additional publication details
Sources of variation in loss rates of color bands applied to adult roseate terns (Sterna dougallii) in the western North Atlantic