Bird Banding Laboratory



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How many birds are banded?

As of June 19, 2017 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 32,527 1,716
Alcids 287,551 6,304
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,066,340 687,959
Ducks 13,678,782 2,139,538
Geese 5,719,531 1,469,705
Swans 36,310 19,855
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 480,413 17,367
Shorebirds 978,103 18,768
Doves and Pigeons 2,831,791 151,998
Raptors (including Owls) 2,268,879 80,366
Near Passerines and Passerines 38,069,511 482,631

*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