How many birds are banded?

As of December 17, 2018 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 33,803 1,802
Alcids 295,285 6,460
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,155,163 722,016
Ducks 13,988,895 2,191,485
Geese 5,946,521 1,550,089
Swans 36,610 20,545
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 483,831 17,668
Shorebirds 1,002,437 20,070
Doves and Pigeons 2,933,773 158,955
Raptors (including Owls) 2,346,356 85,112
Near Passerines and Passerines 38,962,127 511,127

*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