provided as a courtesy of the

hummer/bird banding research collaborative

Bird Banding Pliers

Information & Reviews

Updated January 2011

The contributions on this page are shared voluntarily by banders and plier makers and are not intended to reflect a bias toward any one plier brand by this webpage developer .

 

Money is tight!!! This page is strictly for the benefit of the banding community who wish to spend it wisely.

 

Constructive contributions based on facts and experience are welcomed and encouraged from the plier makers, banders, and interested individuals.

 

Negative contributions based on opinions and hearsay are not welcomed

 

Dialogue is the best means to developing great quality. All makes and models may ultimately be equally as reliable. You be the judge! At least there are some options!

 

As reviews from banders and plier makers are contributed, they will be added promptly.

e-mail your constructive contributions to: input

 

Ever wonder what we did before MacDonald pliers? Click here!

 

Roger MacDonald set a standard that has not been matched to-date! As early as 1961, with some adjustments along the way based heavily
on bander feedback, MacDonald created banding pliers to our satisfaction!

Below are four U.S. made pliers. What more could you ask for ... made in the USA!
Try them, provide feedback to the manufacturers, and share your "pros & cons" with this webpage.
If you feel any of the information below is in error, please contact input with supporting evidence to verify the error so that we can correct the information promptly. Thanks!
STAUFFER PLIERS FOWLER PLIERS MICHIGAN PLIERS AFO PLIERS


  STAUFFER FOWLER MICHIGAN AFO
SOLD BY/LINK Stauffer/Henley Tom Fowler Avinet AFO
NUMBER OF PLYERS: SIZE 0A-1A Various combinations 2 plyers needed 1 plyer 1 plyer - SIZE 0A-2
NUMBER OF PLYERS: SIZE 2-3 offered. Check website for details. 2 plyers needed 1 plyer 1 plyer 3-4
NUMBER OF PLYERS: SIZE 3B-4 " 2 plyers needed 1 plyer N/A
NUMBER OF PLYERS: SIZE 4-6 N/A 1 per band size N/A N/A
NUMBER OF PLYERS: SIZE 7 N/A 1 N/A N/A
BANDS STICK TO PLYERS Yes: Size X and 4 but will adjust if needed unknown Yes: Size 1B, 1A and 4 Yes: Size 1B and 4
HOLES OVALED "Yes" per manuf. No on Size X & 4 "Yes" per manuf. NO NO
CUSTOMER ISSUES INPUT ENCOURAGED/WELCOMED YES YES NO NO
TEETH ON JAWS Some yes, most no YES - Will remove if requested YES NO
MADE BY A BIRD BANDER YES NO - Cornel Lab of Ornithology Engineer/Retired UNKNOWN UNKNOWN
PRICE $60-70 $65 $75-$105 $45-$49
STAINLESS STEEL AVAILABLE YES - Smaller plyers only
MACHINED PINS YES YES YES NO
REFURBISH/re-pin OLD PLYERS YES - $25 YES NO NO
SIZE RANGE X-4 0A - 7 0A - 4 0A - 4
USER INPUT SUBMITTED YES NO YES YES
DELIVERY TIME Upon ordering Month - (made to order) Upon ordering Upon Ordering
MONEY BACK GUARANTEE YES YES YES YES
PIN GUARANTEED YES YES NO NO
PIN REPLACEMENT $35
PRO'S Maker will work with customer to customize hole size for special circumstances/issues Maker will work with customer to resolve issues with band sizes Works well opening/closing most bands. "Feels" good in-hand. Will make recommendations to manufacturer of plyer issues.
CON'S Some plyers have teeth on jaws. Handles/grips bulky. Teeth on Jaws. Month to deliver. Only two sizes of bands per plyers. Expensive.  Teeth on Jaws. Size 1B and 4 bands stick in plyers. Holes not ovaled. Pin on small plyers too thick. Cannot open 0A bands. Large hole on small plyers too small. Sticks to 1B&1A bands. Maker unwilling to accept feedback/input regarding issues. Attributes improper bander technique to plyer issues.            Pin on small plyers break easily. Size 4 bands do not fit in plyers. 3, 3B, 3A bands stick to plyers.
COMPARISON TO PRE-2000 MacDonald made plyers Holes not as ovaled No user input submitted Small Plyers: pin .16mm thicker at tip. Large hole .32mm smaller in diameter. Hole not as ovaled. "Feels" the same in hand. Same size.           No teeth on jaws.

Hummingbird Banding Pliers

Lee Rogers currently makes hummingbird pliers and hummingbird band making kits.

Send your request via e-mail directly to Lee.

Lee Rogers

  NON-

US Made Pliers (w/out opening pin)

   

"UK PLIERS" are sold via two different suppliers.
These pliers do not have a pin to open the bands.
______________________________________________
"UK" Pliers via AVINET.
Size 0A - 9
$72.
UKpliers via AVINET


Avinet photo
_______________________________________________
"UK" pliers via plier originator: British Trust for Ornithology

Large pliers - 25.00 (abt. $41)
Small pliers - 25.00 (abt. $41)

BTO photo


Australian Bird Study Association Pliers
Sizes 0A - 7
$82.25
ABSApliers
I have a pair of the large pliers. (Avinet sells them as "German-made".)
They are odd. The holes are oblonged. The brushed stainless steel is impressive looking! (from Avinet) I have not tried them on the larger bands as I usually just use my fingers to close them. It seems that if you close the bands to rapidly, these large pliers could mis-shape the band. Not sure if these are stainless through ABSA.
The smaller pliers look identical to the UK/BTO pliers.

   
 
OTHER BANDING EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS
A. MARQUETTE (bird bags)
ARMSTRONG INDUSTRIAL HAND TOOLS (retain ring pliers for band removal)
ASSOCIATION OF FIELD ORNITHOLOGISTS
AVINET, INC. (bird bags, scales, pliers, wing rules, leg gauges)
E & J SWIGART CO. of WASH., D.C. (fine needlenose pliers)
ECOTONE
FORESTRY SUPPLIERS, INC. (calipers, scales, etc)
GEY BAND AND TAG COMPANY (pliers for band sizes 0A-9)
NATIONAL BAND & TAG COMPANY (pliers for larger band sizes)
        PORZANA LTD. (pliers for hard metal bands and pre-opened bands)
SPIDERTECH

Some notes about certain problematic bands:

-- On occasion, the newer size 1A and 1B bands tend to stick in nearly every non "MacD" pliers ... sometimes even with newer MacD's produced after 2001 by a relative of Roger MacDonald.

-- Some recent size 0 bands are not closing round and become ovaled, sometimes beyond repair.

-- Stainless Steel 1A bands seem to be opening up on the legs of Cardinals (observed on a few recaptures) probably due to stainless steel memory.

Different generations of Roger MacDonald Pliers (left three)

Lee Rogers Hummingbird Pliers (far right)

 

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