How many birds are banded?

As of September 16, 2019 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 34,210 1,849
Alcids 298,023 6,556
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,182,894 750,850
Ducks 14,063,161 2,209,755
Geese 6,027,422 1,583,794
Swans 36,739 20,951
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 485,434 17,808
Shorebirds 1,013,203 20,983
Doves and Pigeons 2,978,116 163,214
Raptors (including Owls) 2,387,268 87,812
Near Passerines and Passerines 39,510,871 526,660

*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