Bird Banding Laboratory: Recent Accomplishments

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The Challenge: Bird banding is indispensable for the study of bird movement, survival and behavior. The US Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) was established in 1920 and expanded into the current operation supporting the activities of approximately 1750 Master banders and more than 5200 sub-permittees. In collaboration with the Canadian Bird Banding Office, it jointly coordinates the North American Bird Banding Program.

The Science: The Bird Banding Program supports the work of federal and state conservation agencies, academic researchers, nongovernmental organizations, professional and amateur ornithologists, and businesses. Banding and encounter datasets are used to establish hunting regulations for game birds, monitor bird populations, restore endangered species, investigate aspects of bird behavior and ecology, and address issues of human health and safety.

Recent Accomplishments: The BBL underwent a successful transition to the exclusive use of the REPORTBAND website for receiving reports of bird band encounters. This transition succeeded through the coordination and support of the Federal and State agencies responsible for managing migratory game bird populations. The BBL also recently released its new website and a new secure process for banders to directly interact with the BBL data management system.

The Future:  The BBL is updating its data management system and Internet applications. A new REPORTBAND website is planned for release during 2019. The BBL is also developing new applications for submitting banding data and to improve public access to banding and band encounter records. Improved data management capabilities provide opportunities to expand collaborative efforts with bird banding programs in Canada and Mexico.