A device for spraying dyes onto nearby birds for individual identifica
tion is described. The technique was used to color-mark Common Terns (
Sterna hirundo) without trapping. Refillable hairspray bottles, filled
with dye,are activated from a distance in order to spray dye towards
a bird sitting in an appropriate position. This technique can be used
for any medium- to large-sized species that regularly uses artificial
or natural resting or nesting sites.