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Reporting Leg Flag Sightings

Bar-tailed Godwit with a leg flag © 2010 Jon Coleman

What do I do if I see a leg flagged wader?

Every leg flag sighting received adds another piece of information to our knowledge of waders and their movements. If you see a leg flagged shorebird please therefore make a note of the details and send them into the contact below. You will receive information about where the bird originated and will have made a contribution to a very important body of data that is being used to understand and protect our wading birds.

When you see a leg flag, be careful to record which leg it is on and also whether it is on the upper leg (above the tarsus joint) or below the joint. The colour of the leg flag is particularly important and over time some colours can fade or look slightly different in poor light so look as carefully as you can when you record the colour. Try and record whether the flag is plain or has an engraved code on it. Even if you can’t read the code it’s helpful to know that there was one.

Finally, have a look at the shape of the flag if you can and see if it is square of tapered, some studies now cut a corner off their flag to differentiate different studies within the same leg flag protocol.

Some studies use more than one flag so its always worth looking carefully to make sure there’s not another flag in addition to the one that caught your attention. Photographs are often really helpful for checking for anything missed first time around.

Once you’ve recorded as much information as you can submit the information on line, where it will be processed, a letter will be sent to you and the original bander of the bird with the banding and resighting details of the bird and the record will be entered on a central database.

If you see a leg flag in Queensland please report it to the QWSG flag sighting coordinator who will ensure the record is processed and logged.

Report a flag sighting in Queensland

The attached form has all the information we ask for with a leg flag sighting so if you could fill in as much as possible before sending it to us that would be great

Leg Flag Report Form

For sightings from other states, or abroad. The link to submit a resighting is below:-

Report a Flag Sighting Here