How many birds are banded?

As of September 20, 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 35,411 2,006
Alcids 306,069 6,713
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,260,186 923,775
Ducks 14,365,674 2,274,435
Geese 6,185,189 1,701,548
Swans 37,214 23,111
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 489,440 18,216
Shorebirds 1,032,422 23,506
Doves and Pigeons 3,071,423 170,650
Raptors (including Owls) 2,495,817 96,295
Near Passerines and Passerines 40,586,115 581,816

*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