How many birds are banded?

As of January 24, 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 35,561 2,030
Alcids 306,880 6,725
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,270,023 938,815
Ducks 14,438,279 2,296,157
Geese 6,194,950 1,730,931
Swans 37,316 23,258
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 490,374 18,278
Shorebirds 1,035,556 23,847
Doves and Pigeons 3,077,433 171,522
Raptors (including Owls) 2,525,398 97,714
Near Passerines and Passerines 40,783,900 593,588

*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