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Return Rates of Aluminum Versus Plastic Leg Bands from Electrocuted Harris's Hawks (Parabuteo Unicinctus)
Ecological research programs investigating dispersal, migration, habitat selection, social structure, survival, reproductive success, and population size depend on the ability to identify individual study animals on multiple occasions (Bibby et al. 2000). Leg bands often are used to facilitate the identification of individual birds and more than one million birds, including numerous raptors, are marked annually in North America with aluminum leg bands (USGS 2008). In the United States, aluminum is also used in overhead electric systems because of its strength, low resistance, long life, and relatively low cost (APLIC 2006).