How many birds are banded?

As of September 21, 2020 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 34,421 1,916
Alcids 303,189 6,626
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,230,147 801,053
Ducks 14,215,130 2,241,766
Geese 6,100,396 1,640,053
Swans 37,025 21,622
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 487,490 18,024
Shorebirds 1,024,443 22,300
Doves and Pigeons 3,030,788 166,872
Raptors (including Owls) 2,439,209 91,778
Near Passerines and Passerines 40,076,281 550,505

*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