IDNR banded geese recently

CHECKING THE BAND–Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area Site Superintendent Joseph “Mic” Middleton is pictured checking the identification band on a Canada goose at Baldwin Lake during a recent banding event. Photo by Zach Kellerman

It was literally a wild goose chase… Well, sort of.

On Friday, June 22, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) biologists, along with a group of volunteers descended on both Baldwin Lake and the riverfront area in Evansville with the intent to catch and band the wild Canada goose populations there.

IDNR District Wildlife Biologist Carl Handel and IDNR Waterfowl Project Manager Dan Holm discussed the project with the North County News.

Each year, around mid-June, the IDNR biologists travel across the state and band Canada geese. While the amount of locations vary year to year, each year they try to cover 20 to 25 counties. Handel noted that they try to band at Baldwin Lake each year, but also try to hit various other spots where the geese congregate.

This local banding of geese is part of a coordinated effort along the Mississippi Flyway. The Mississippi Flyway is one of several flyways that migratory birds use each year. It spans from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, crossing over Illinois and Missouri on the way.

The banding process allows biologists to gather information about these migratory species including age, gender, where they are from and where they go.

For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.