How many birds are banded?

As of January 20, 2020 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 34,355 1,869
Alcids 300,504 6,602
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,209,676 769,127
Ducks 14,145,230 2,230,583
Geese 6,068,462 1,609,192
Swans 36,855 21,279
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 486,315 17,888
Shorebirds 1,019,170 21,360
Doves and Pigeons 2,985,561 164,647
Raptors (including Owls) 2,413,806 89,034
Near Passerines and Passerines 39,773,348 535,620

*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