How many birds are banded?

As of November 23, 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 34,907 1,925
Alcids 304,745 6,661
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,234,177 854,961
Ducks 14,281,447 2,250,983
Geese 6,106,285 1,653,072
Swans 37,100 21,715
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 487,984 18,052
Shorebirds 1,025,431 22,471
Doves and Pigeons 3,032,601 167,926
Raptors (including Owls) 2,452,445 92,371
Near Passerines and Passerines 40,150,217 554,246

*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