Bernstein birds: Neck-banded goose

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Dan Bernstein knows many things.

One is birds.

He regularly shows sharp bird knowledge on The Boers and Bernstein Show (1-6 p.m., WSCR-AM). He and Terry Boers are the longest pairing in Chicago sports talk.

As we fished Chicago, South to North, last Friday, Bernstein noted, correctly, the spread of green herons on the Chicago River and spied some flying when we ended the day fishing the North Shore Channel.


But it was a neck-banded Canada goose Bernstein spotted that made the day. That’s the one in the opening photo.

It grazed with several others on the east side of Burnham Harbor as we fished down the west side of Northerly Island.

The white neck band had black-lettered C136.

Sabermetrics for birds? What could be more perfect with Bernstein, an evangelist for advanced statistical analysis in sports?


So I checked with Randy Smith (left), wetland wildlife program manager for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Smith correctly assumed it was “part of an ongoing project studying Canada geese in the Greater Chicago Metro Area.’’

Brett Dorak, a graduate student with the Illinois Natural History Survey, emailed these details:

That particular bird is a male and was banded at the Museum of Science and Industry last summer during their molting period when they are rendered flightless. Throughout the past year I have collared approximately 800 geese in the Chicago area so far and was able to put out GPS transmitters on some of the geese to obtain detailed movements.

I found that an interesting coincidence since the Museum Science and Industry is where we had started fishing.

Dorak said such reporting helps with re-sighting data. Smith said to report those bands same as any others at Because of the letter on this band report, I was directed to email

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