How many birds are banded?

As of August 08, 2022 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 35,774 2,070
Alcids 309,129 6,773
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,286,396 943,703
Ducks 14,467,605 2,306,310
Geese 6,230,803 1,757,863
Swans 37,450 23,639
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 491,025 18,386
Shorebirds 1,040,159 24,764
Doves and Pigeons 3,081,636 171,834
Raptors (including Owls) 2,544,577 100,697
Near Passerines and Passerines 41,089,190 612,323

*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