How many birds are banded?

As of April 06, 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 34,386 1,872
Alcids 303,043 6,613
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,218,654 770,284
Ducks 14,150,021 2,234,708
Geese 6,069,534 1,624,082
Swans 36,868 21,382
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 486,791 17,927
Shorebirds 1,021,866 21,591
Doves and Pigeons 2,987,493 164,840
Raptors (including Owls) 2,421,814 89,705
Near Passerines and Passerines 39,894,128 542,552

*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