How many birds are banded?

As of July 22, 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 34,105 1,840
Alcids 297,861 6,541
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,173,415 725,309
Ducks 14,020,876 2,207,980
Geese 5,978,944 1,573,020
Swans 36,738 20,856
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 485,181 17,772
Shorebirds 1,011,221 20,695
Doves and Pigeons 2,938,518 159,884
Raptors (including Owls) 2,379,908 86,821
Near Passerines and Passerines 39,427,772 522,836

*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