How many birds are banded?

As of May 20, 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 34,090 1,837
Alcids 297,582 6,534
Gulls/Terns/Albatross/other Seabirds 8,165,756 724,687
Ducks 14,014,683 2,205,572
Geese 5,949,530 1,569,151
Swans 36,681 20,784
Herons/Ibis/Rails/other Marsh Birds 484,568 17,753
Shorebirds 1,006,132 20,385
Doves and Pigeons 2,937,289 159,495
Raptors (including Owls) 2,374,982 86,395
Near Passerines and Passerines 39,335,371 520,083

*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