How many birds are banded?

As of March 01, 2021 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 34,951 1,955
Alcids 305,249 6,683
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,245,382 909,116
Ducks 14,288,461 2,267,056
Geese 6,106,937 1,669,464
Swans 37,173 21,988
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 488,222 18,089
Shorebirds 1,027,169 22,876
Doves and Pigeons 3,034,343 168,623
Raptors (including Owls) 2,473,101 93,826
Near Passerines and Passerines 40,342,507 566,340

*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