How many birds are banded?

As of June 14, 2021 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 35,194 1,972
Alcids 305,903 6,706
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,250,415 918,511
Ducks 14,317,761 2,271,935
Geese 6,108,595 1,680,688
Swans 37,178 22,738
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 488,768 18,174
Shorebirds 1,029,510 23,212
Doves and Pigeons 3,034,885 168,833
Raptors (including Owls) 2,483,386 95,540
Near Passerines and Passerines 40,477,816 578,260

*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