How many birds are banded?

As of April 15, 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 34,036 1,839
Alcids 296,905 6,528
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,164,577 724,107
Ducks 14,002,696 2,203,606
Geese 5,949,281 1,565,867
Swans 36,659 20,739
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 484,457 17,736
Shorebirds 1,005,728 20,309
Doves and Pigeons 2,935,835 159,436
Raptors (including Owls) 2,372,884 86,053
Near Passerines and Passerines 39,300,591 519,558

*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