Marking Birds for Identification

To identify individuals we capture for our research after they are released, we give them a visual identification leg band or a wing tag.

If you see a banded/marked Peregrine Falcon, Gyrfalcon, Bald Eagle, Turkey Vulture or Common Raven, please go to the federal Bird Banding Laboratory website and fill out a bird sighting record.

Also, please contact Coastal Raptors with your re-sighting information.
Please include species, species' behavior, date, time, & location.
Dan Varland
email: danvarland@coastalraptors.org
phone: (360) 591-5959


Peregrine Falcons – Visual Identification Band and US Geological Survey (USGS) Band.

We give all Peregrine Falcons we capture a green or black-over-blue visual identification band and a red or blue US Geological Survey band.

We anodize USGS bands to distinguish between Peregrine Falcons we band at Long Beach from those we band at Ocean Shores and Grayland. Red bands are applied to peregrines we capture at Long Beach and blue bands to those captured at Ocean Shores and Grayland. We are the only researchers banding peregrines with USGS bands anodized red or blue, so the color coding also allows us to distinguish our banded peregrines from peregrines banded by other researchers.

Peregrine Falcon visual identification bands have a letter-letter, letter-number or number-number code. We follow the international protocol for peregrines banded in North America established by the USGS Bird Banding Lab.

To this end, we apply green visual identification bands to peregrines of the Peale's subspecies (Falco peregrinus pealei) and black-over-blue to the Continental subspecies (F. p. anatum), the tundra subspecies (F.p. tundrius) and to individuals where a subspecies designation is unclear.


Gyrfalcons – Visual Identification Band and US Geological Survey band.

All Gyrfalcons are color banded with red bands.


Bald Eagles – Visual Identification Band and US Geological Survey band.

We give all Bald Eagles we capture a green visual identification band and a silver US Geological Survey band. Bald Eagle visual identification bands have a letter-letter or letter-number code.



Turkey Vultures – Visual Identification Band and US Geological Survey band.

We give all Turkey Vultures we capture a red wing tag with a letter-letter code.


Common Ravens – Color bands and US Geological Survey band.

We give all ravens we capture a unique combination of three colors of stackable bands - choosing from orange, green, yellow or gray - and a silver US Geological Survey band. Two color bands are applied to one leg. The other gets a color band and a silver US Geological Survey band.