How many birds are banded?

As of July 06, 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 34,408 1,886
Alcids 303,060 6,618
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,222,940 788,515
Ducks 14,168,490 2,239,475
Geese 6,072,094 1,630,889
Swans 36,917 21,579
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 487,060 17,990
Shorebirds 1,023,109 22,054
Doves and Pigeons 2,987,838 165,049
Raptors (including Owls) 2,429,305 91,001
Near Passerines and Passerines 39,974,249 545,061

*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