Bird Banding Laboratory



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USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Bird Banding Laboratory
12100 Beech Forest Road
Laurel, MD 20708-4037
December 10, 2015

To:   All Banders

From:  Chief, Bird Banding Laboratory

Subject: Release of Bandit v 4.0

The BBL announces the release of version 4.0 of the BANDIT software. This software is now available at the BBL website at the following URL:

The installation process should be similar to the previous version of this software. While this process should automatically import your data from the current version of BANDIT, we strongly encourage banders to perform a complete backup of their current data set prior to installing the latest version of the software.

A number of significant changes have been incorporated into BANDIT 4.0. Some of these changes are briefly described below. Banders are encouraged to read the entire set of Release Notes that are linked to the opening screen. These notes provide more details about the changes that have been made to this version of the software.

Beginning with this version, BANDIT data files will be submitted automatically via FTP (file transfer protocol). When this data submission process is successful, you will receive a pop-up message indicating the data file was transmitted to the BBL FTP site. After the data file has been imported from the FTP site into the BBL data management system, email confirmation will be sent to the master bander and the person who submitted the data (if the email address of that person is provided in the BANDIT settings). If the data submission process fails, or if the FTP registration process does not occur properly during software installation, then you will receive a message indicating the need to manually attach the data submission file to an email message addressed to

The BANDIT 4.0 data submission files now contain all data fields associated with the submitted banding records. As in the past, data from the required fields will pass through data quality filters before importation into the BBL data management system. All other data fields will be maintained for archival purposes only and will not pass through the BBL data quality filters. However, in the event of a system failure or other major problem on a bander’s computer, the BBL will be able to provide back-up of the bander’s data sets from these archived files.

This BANDIT version has a module for reporting bird mortalities that occur in association with banding operations. Because concerns have been raised about the extent of mortality associated with bird banding, the BBL encourages banders to report these mortalities through BANDIT. Birds that die prior to receiving a bird band as well as mortalities of banded birds can be reported; please read the software manual for more details about reporting banding mortalities.

For banders placing auxiliary markers on birds, the process for reporting these markers has changed. Banders can now report every marker placed on a bird and should refer to the software manual for instructions on how to provide this information in the appropriate data fields. The ability to report split colors has been improved to allow for all color combinations. BANDIT also accommodates the reporting of auxiliary markers on individual birds at the time of capture and time of release, facilitating the reporting of new or replaced markers attached to previously-marked or unmarked birds.

Additional error fields have been added to the Recapture module. The data verification process for this module will now be similar to that used for banding data and will generate similar error messages. There are also changes to the How Obtained codes used for recapture data, with codes 53, 89 and 99 replaced by code 66 (previously banded bird trapped and released during banding operations). While not required, banders are encouraged to submit recapture data as well as any re-encounters via BANDIT.

The how aged and how sexed codes are modified and expanded and now recorded as 2-character codes. These codes are defined in the References section and banders should become familiar with them. A field was added to record the specific molt cycle of individual birds; the codes and code definitions for these cycles are provided in the References section. The species taxonomy and nomenclature is updated to conform to the latest revision of the AOU North American checklist. A list of hummingbird band prefixes is also provided in the References section.