The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has released its 2013 Birder Bands, which are a way to support the department’s non-game and endangered species programs.

The bands are modeled after actual bird bands the department uses to monitor bird populations and are a holiday gift idea for birders and outdoor enthusiasts.

Through a $20 contribution, Maine Birder Band participants get officially registered and receive an individually numbered band. The band is about the size of a turkey band and can fit well on a binocular strap, camera, spotting scope or other equipment.

Proceeds from the bands help fund critical non-game bird programs and supporters who wear the bands on gear raise awareness for the work the department does for bird conservation.

“This is a great way for birders and naturalists to support MDIF&W and have that support be visible for others to see,” said Bob Duchesne, author of Maine Birding Trail.

Since 2009, the Maine Birder Band program has helped to fund the department’s bird group efforts through voluntary donations from people in 27 states and three Maritime Provinces of Canada. To date, Maine Birder Band funds have supported department efforts to study distributions and abundance of coastal marsh sparrow species, survey remaining grasshopper sparrow habitats and launch Maine eBird.

The Maine Birder Band program is intended to provide the Maine birding community an opportunity to support MDIF&W’s non-game bird conservation efforts. Just as hunters and anglers fund department efforts through license purchases, birders now have the chance to become a participating constituency by helping fund non-game bird conservation.

For more information or to purchase your 2013 Birder Band, call 207-287-8000, visit the website at or email

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at