How many birds are banded?

As of December 05, 2022 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 36,005 2,120
Alcids 310,042 6,787
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,294,042 953,434
Ducks 14,585,023 2,319,444
Geese 6,273,637 1,780,631
Swans 37,462 23,686
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 491,902 18,452
Shorebirds 1,043,766 25,181
Doves and Pigeons 3,124,061 177,288
Raptors (including Owls) 2,559,915 101,672
Near Passerines and Passerines 41,203,986 617,517

*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