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IOU Working Group on Bird Marking

DATE: Monday August 20th, 2018
TIME: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Co-Chairs: Charles Francis (; Judit Szabo (

The IOU Working Group on Bird Marking was established to increase coordination and communication among the world’s bird-marking programs and to develop a set of recommended international standards for managing bird-marking and associated programs.

Marking birds, using various techniques, is a fundamental tool in ornithology, used to study many different aspects of bird biology, including migration and movement ecology, demography (population size, survival and recruitment) and behavioural studies. Originally focussed on numbered metal rings (bands), increasing use is now being made of other types of markers such as colour markers, radio-tags, transponders or data loggers. These are resulting in major new insights on bird biology, but also increasing challenges related to coordination, data management, project approval and ethics.

In most countries, coordination of markers, and authorization to use them, is managed by one or more central bird-marking programs, which can thus have a significant influence on the nature and types of ornithological research being undertaken, both by professionals and amateurs.

The 2018 meeting (see below for agenda) will focus on review and approval of a newly developed standards manual, which gives guidance on recommended practices related to topics such as ethical and scientific standards, project review and permitting, selection of appropriate marker types, data management and data accessibility.

A link to the draft Bird Marking Programs Standards Manual will be provided here by the end of July.

This meeting is open to any interested congress delegates. If you plan to attend, especially as a representative of an established ringing/banding scheme, or for further information, please contact the co-chairs.

Note that times on the agenda are approximate, and may be adjusted depending on the types of discussion.