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06/07/2017 Animal Migration Research, Jeff Kelly Lab

University of Oklahoma
Animal Migration Research Group

Home
People How to make RFID leg bands for birds
Publications For more information contact Eli Bridge - ebridge@ou.edu.
Links
This page describes a technique for manufacturing RFID leg bands for birds of virtually all sizes using
RESEARCH inexpensive heat shrink material. DISCLAIMER: The bands described here have only recently
been deployed in the field. Although the materials are very durable, there are no long-term
Painted Bunting Migration
data to verify that they will last for the lifetime of a bird.
Purple Martin Phenology
Grassland Bird Conservation The bands described here are made from semi-rigid PVC
MIGRATE heat-shrink tubing (a product designed for insulating electrical
wiring). The material shown on this website use can be
TECHNOLOGY ordered from Electro Insulation Corporation
(www.electroinsulation.com) by calling 1-800-247-2114.
Radio Frequency ID.
Various sizes and colors are available. The specific item
Geolocation Devices number will be something like "P.125CLSU", where the
TAGS Geolocation Analysis number is the inner diameter of the tubing before shrinking
Radar Aeroecology (1/8" in this example), and the letters that follow the number
Stable Isotope Ratio indicate the color ("CL" = "Clear" in this case). The photos
below show clear material which is good for illustrating band
Follow Aeroecology on construction.

MATERIALS & TOOLS
Semi-rigid PVC heat shrink tubing - You will probably need two sizes. One size fits the RFID
transponder (PIT tag) the other should shrink down to the inner diameter of the tag size you wish to
use. Consult Bird Banding Lab band size specs if necessary. The heat shrink tubing has a shrink ratio
of 2:1, so get a size that is slightly less than 2x the diameter you want for your bands.
Weld-on 4784 Vinyl adhesive -
available in tubes at rplasitcs.com. One
tube goes a long way.
12x2mm PIT tags - available from Intersoft Corporation or from Sven at www.cyntag.com.
Metal or wooden rods - You will need one or two rods with an outer diameter that correspondes to
the desired inner diameter of your leg bands. The rods can be copper wire (lots of sizes are available
a the hardware store), wooden dowel, or metal tubing. You can also add a layer of tape to slightly
increase the diamter if needed. In addition you will need a second rod about 20% larger in diameter
than the first (the exact diameter is not crucial).
A few hand tools - Wire cutters or scissors, heat gun, some very sharp razor blades, a flat working
surface. A vice or some sort of clamp to hold the rods is optional.
Good ventilation - The glue releases some serious fumes.
THE BASIC IDEA: What we want to do is seal several PIT tags in the 1/8" shrink tubing, glue the
encapsulated tags onto a piece of tubing shrunk to the appropriate band size, split the band tubing,
and apply an outer layer of tubing so the
whole thing can be wrapped around a
bird leg and glued in place.
Step 1: Cut off a piece of 1/8" tubing
about 6 inches long, and heat one end of
the empty tube until you have about 1/4"
of tubing at maximum shrinkage. Then
place 5 PIT tags (or however many you
think you can handle) into the tube, such
that the fist tag slides down to the shrunk
end of the tube and the others line up on
top. Carefully apply the heat again
rotating the tube to get even shrinkage
of the piece of tubing. You should end up
with 5 PIT tags tightly encased in heat
shrink (see picture to above right).
Step 2: cut a piece of the band-sized material long enough to fit the string of PIT tags and shrink it
down over the band-sized rod (see picture above).

http://animalmigration.org/RFID/RFIDBands.htm 1/3

http://animalmigration. Quickly wrap the other piece of split tubing around the first such that the split in the second (outer) piece of tubing rests against the string of PIT tags (see drawing below). Give it a minute or two before moving on to step 5. Step 6. Step 4. You should have something resembling the picture to the right. Jeff Kelly Lab Step 3: Run a fine bead of glue along the band-sized piece of tubing and quickly press the string of PIT tags into it to form an initial bond. Let this dry for a minute or two and then do the other side of the joint. Using a razor blade. Shrink a second piece of band-sized tubing over the smaller rod and split it lengthwise as well.org/RFID/RFIDBands. Take care not to get any glue on the other side of the inner tube. Hold in this position for about a minute (this glue dries fast!). Spread an ample amount of glue on one side of the split tube.htm 2/3 . Give this assemblage about 10 minutes or longer to dry. split the band- sized tubing lengthwise on the side opposite the string of PIT tags.06/07/2017 Animal Migration Research. It can be difficult to cut a straight line. between the cut and the PIT tags. Step 5. Roll the joined cylindars forward to press them both against the flat working surface such that the two pieces of tubing are parallel. so go slow at first. Place the tube with the PIT tags glued on over the larger rod so that there is a gap along the split. Run an ample bead of glue along the joint between the two pieces of tubing.

edu University of Oklahoma Norman.org/RFID/RFIDBands. You should end up with something like the tags shown to the right.org 111 E.htm 3/3 . DEPLOYING BANDS To attach a band to a bird. The band should have enough tack to hold itself shut after one minute. you will likely ruin the bands or end up with rough edges on them.06/07/2017 Animal Migration Research. Remove the band assemblage from the larger rod. Then use a sharp razor blade to cut through all three pieces of tubing at the ends of each PIT tag. and roll the band material up as tightly as you can. PhD Phone: 405-325-2440 Associate Professor of Biology Fax: 405-325-7702 Oklahoma Biological Survey AnimalMigration. I recommend hanging onto the bird for at least three more minutes before letting it go. If you use a dull blade. Apply some glue to the free side of the inner band. and press the outer band against the inner such that the inner band is completely closed. Chesapeake Street email: jkelly@ou. Jeff Kelly. Hold the band closed in this manner for about a minute. simply wrap the band around the bird's tarsus making sure that the outer piece of tubing remains on the outside. but if possible. and you are done. OK 73019 http://animalmigration. Jeff Kelly Lab Step 7.