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Field Identification of Individual Ospreys Using Head Marking Pattern
Vincent Bretagnolle, Jean-Claude Thibault and Jean-Marie Dominici
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 58, No. 1 (Jan., 1994), pp. 175-178
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809565
Page Count: 4
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Identification of individual birds in the field is difficult, and usually requires capture and banding. With some species, capture can be impossible, harmful, or prohibited. In these cases, an alternative means of identification is warranted. We analyzed the pattern of black marks that appear on the dorsal aspect of the head in osprey (Pandion haliaetus). Variation existed among individuals, and it was possible to identify individuals because black marks were distinct in size, shape, and number. Head marks changed only slightly from year to year, which allowed individual identification in the field without disturbing birds.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1994 Wiley