How many birds are banded?

As of November 19, 2018 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 33,740 1,787
Alcids 294,381 6,438
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,152,536 721,807
Ducks 13,986,519 2,187,782
Geese 5,945,966 1,546,414
Swans 36,599 20,523
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 483,767 17,663
Shorebirds 1,001,187 20,016
Doves and Pigeons 2,933,556 158,918
Raptors (including Owls) 2,340,027 84,845
Near Passerines and Passerines 38,910,408 503,752

*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