How many birds are banded?

As of February 18, 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 33,883 1,808
Alcids 296,823 6,515
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,161,945 722,592
Ducks 13,993,319 2,200,999
Geese 5,948,515 1,561,004
Swans 36,627 20,631
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 484,222 17,699
Shorebirds 1,004,242 20,147
Doves and Pigeons 2,934,302 159,264
Raptors (including Owls) 2,365,350 85,562
Near Passerines and Passerines 39,194,521 517,352

*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