How many birds are banded?

As of November 18, 2019 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 34,324 1,864
Alcids 298,405 6,563
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,193,068 767,284
Ducks 14,139,250 2,218,881
Geese 6,066,021 1,597,436
Swans 36,761 21,049
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 485,816 17,843
Shorebirds 1,014,978 21,199
Doves and Pigeons 2,983,592 164,464
Raptors (including Owls) 2,393,260 88,403
Near Passerines and Passerines 39,590,078 529,657

*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