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Accession Number 5001796

Title North American Bird Banding Program

Project Description The North American Bird Banding Program is administered by the Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL).

BBL does not conduct research. Rather it functions as a service and administrative center for

those who depend on banding for their work on migratory birds. BBL issues permits and bands;

supplies forms, instructional materials and technical advice; coordinates use of auxiliary markers

such as neck bands and radio transmitters; serves as the repository for banding records; serves

as the clearing house for reports of banded birds; disseminates banding data to researchers and

managers; and assists in the development and coordination of banding projects.BBL jointly

administers the North American bird banding program with the Canadian Wildlife Services Bird

Banding Office (BBO). BBL and BBO have similar functions and policies, and use the same

bands, reporting forms and data formats. Joint administration of the program dates back to 1923.

Informal partners in the management of the program include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,

state/provincial Waterfowl Flyway Councils, The Ornithological Council, and the North American

Banding Council.Banders, and other cooperators and customers of the banding program, include

federal and state conservation agencies (individual scientists, research centers, national parks,

forests, and refuges; the academic community (primarily professors of ornithology or biology and

their students); amateur ornithologists; bird observatories; environmental centers;

nongovernmental organizations such as the National Audubon Society and Ducks Unlimited; and

environmental consulting firms and other private sector businesses.Data from banded birds are

used in monitoring populations, restoring endangered species, studying effects of environmental

contaminants, setting hunting regulations, and addressing issues of human health, safety and

economy such as Lyme disease, bird hazards at airports and crop depredations. Results from

banding studies support national and international conservation programs such as Partners in

Flight, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and Wetlands for the Americas.

Annually, approximately 1.2 million birds representing some 900 species and subspecies are

banded. About 85,000 are subsequently encountered and reported. BBL data files contain records

of 63,000,000 bandings and 3.4 million recoveries, with some records dating back to 1908.

Keywords bird banding,

Principal John Tautin, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:;


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