How many birds are banded?

As of October 15, 2018 and since 1960*, the BBL has received over 64 million banding records. Since the inception of the North American Bird Banding Program, the BBL has received over 4 million encounter records. On average, over the past decade, the BBL received 1.2 million banding and 87,000 encounter records per year.

Total numbers by species groups:

Bird Group # of bandings # of encounters
Loons and Grebes 33,400 1,785
Alcids 293,547 6,434
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,137,810 721,543
Ducks 13,965,079 2,181,951
Geese 5,940,808 1,540,244
Swans 36,591 20,497
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 483,664 17,645
Shorebirds 1,000,401 19,946
Doves and Pigeons 2,932,952 158,785
Raptors (including Owls) 2,335,829 84,542
Near Passerines and Passerines 38,861,338 502,958

*Banding data from 1914 to 1959 are not available in electronic format.

Where are the grouse, quail, turkey, pheasant? These birds are no longer banded with federal bands. Each state or province uses their own bands on these birds, as they are not covered by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Retrieve summaries of banding and encounter data