A band prefix line defines the first seven characters of the band number for following new-band records. Its general form:
is the first seven digits of the band number.
Long ago, the Bird Banding Lab stipulated that the fourth
character of the band number was characteristic of the
band size. For example, a size 2 band would always have
a number of the form
Unfortunately, the fourth character for some band sizes (1A, I think) was a space or hyphen. This leads to problems where some banders elide that character and move the first three digits one space to the right, and others leave the space. That leads to an ugly situation where you have to look for two different representations of the same band number.
To avoid this problem, the IBP many years ago stipulated that all digits of the band number be squeezed to the right end of the field. This means a band printed with 123-45678 will be entered as 012345678.
A question mark (“
appear in any column of a prefix, if that digit is
unknown or illegible.
Hummingbird bands have only six characters, e.g., T98765
or X12345. In this case, the new band prefix line must
start with three spaces, followed by the remaining four
characters of the band prefix. So the prefix for band
string “T987xx” would be encoded as
·” represents a
space character. Similarly, special four-digit
“local” bands are used on sedentary
endemics in some sites (such as the
MoSI site in Mexico). These are also right-justified,
·····03” for the string containing band number
For historical reasons, bands in a string are numbered
1-100 instead of 0-99. The data compiler takes care of
this by adding 100 to any band number if the input is
00. For example, consider this fragment
of an input file:
#0780439 n98SOSP... n99SOSP... n00WCSP...
The Song Sparrow records would be numbered
the White-crowned Sparrow would be numbered
The last five digits of the band number are referred to as the
odometer part because, for new
bands ending in 00, the carry from adding 100 to the band
number propagates through those digits and no further.
For example, if the current prefix is
a new-band line with a suffix of
result in a band number of
If there are any question marks in the odometer part,
propagation of the carry ends at the question mark. For
example, if the current prefix were
#12345?9, a new-band line with a suffix of
would be interpreted as band number