MarkingMaking birds recognisable, either as individuals or as members of a particular population. Individual recognition is achieved by ringing, but the bird must be captured or found dead before the ring number can be read, unless the rings (and therefore the birds) are very large. Marking of birds by colour dyeing or by the use of a leg flag, neck collar or wing tag enables an observer to recognise them as belonging to a defined population, but not as individuals.
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From Peter Weaver's Birdwatcher's Dictionary
Copyright © 1981 by Peter Weaver