Image of the February 2013 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
February 2013 Issue
Home / Articles / Big picture

Birdman of Wellington

Peter Reese bands an introduced silvereye. Photo: Fraser Crichton

Bird banding in Wellington is synonymous with one man: Peter Reese.

Reese is the current holder of the banding permit for the Central Passerine Banding Group and has been banding birds for more than 30 years. Last year he banded almost 3000 birds in the region. The introduced silvereye, being banded here, is his most common capture.

The National Banding Office provides approved banding operators with uniquely numbered metal bands used in combination with coloured plastic bands to identify birds. The bands are read from left to right and top to bottom on each leg and enable researchers to identify where a bird lives, its partners and offspring, its age and how far it may have travelled. Since 1947 more than 1.3 million birds have been banded.

Banding helps provide information about population stability and helps target conservation work. If you visit Reese’s blog – – you’ll discover he works tirelessly. He may be retired but he’s a very active conservationist.

Fraser Crichton