How many birds are banded?

As of July 16, 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 33,317 1,777
Alcids 292,954 6,423
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,121,815 720,538
Ducks 13,856,445 2,177,360
Geese 5,857,133 1,524,731
Swans 36,500 20,454
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 482,730 17,613
Shorebirds 993,461 19,675
Doves and Pigeons 2,887,137 155,861
Raptors (including Owls) 2,325,160 83,887
Near Passerines and Passerines 38,723,573 500,293

*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