How do I renew or modify my existing federal bird banding permit?

To renew or make changes to existing bird banding permits, use the links below:

●      Request a sub-permit

●      Change in the responsible individual for a Master Station Banding Permit

●      Permit inactivation

●      Permit reactivation

●      Renew your permit

●      Request color and auxiliary marking permission

Additional information is on the General Permit Information webpage of the Bird Banding Laboratory.

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What functions are available in the Bander Portal for bird banders?

Use the Bander Portal to:

  • View and update your contact information,
  • List subpermittees, band inventory, and locations associated with your permit,
  • Order bands and confirm bands as received,
  • Request
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How can I get bird banding and encounter data from the Bird Banding Laboratory?

Banding and encounter data are available for research purposes. Individual banding data records exist electronically starting in 1960. Pre-1960 banding data are available only for birds that have been encountered. Individual encounter data are available from 1913. To make a data request go to the

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How do I submit bird banding and/or bird recapture data?

Bird banding and band recapture data from banding activities must be submitted to the Bird Banding Laboratory using Bandit, The Information Manager for Banding Operations. Bandit is desktop

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I have a federal permit to band birds. How do I order bands?

If you already have a federal permit or sub permit to band birds, sign in to the Bander Portal to order bands and/or confirm bands as received.

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How do I obtain a federal bird banding permit?

A Federal Bird Banding and Marking Permit is required whenever someone wants to place a bird band or any type of marker on a wild bird that is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act or on a federally-protected bird that will be released into the wild. To obtain a permit, visit the

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What are the ethics and responsibilities of Bird Banders?

Bird banding has long been recognized as an important research tool that has substantially improved our understanding of many aspects of avian biology and provided critical information for the management and conservation of bird populations. It is normally safe when proper techniques and equipment are carefully employed by

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Does banding hurt birds?

No, banding does not hurt birds. When proper techniques and equipment are carefully employed, it’s a safe procedure for birds. Trained banders, who apply their expertise and thoughtfulness towards the health and well-being of the birds, follow strict procedures based on the

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How do I get a certificate of appreciation after reporting a banded bird?

Certificates of appreciation are given to people who have found birds with leg bands or color markers and reported them to the Bird Banding Laboratory through Certificates are automatically generated when you report a bird and can be downloaded immediately after

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I found (or killed) a bird with a band or color marker around its leg. What do I do?

Bird band information is an important tool that is used to monitor populations, set hunting regulations, restore endangered species, study effects of environmental contaminants, and address such issues as Avian Influenza, bird hazards at airports, and crop depredations.

The North American Bird Banding Program is

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Who can band birds?

Because banding birds requires capturing the birds and handling them before the banding takes place, the banding of birds in the United States is controlled under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and requires a federal banding permit. Some states require a state

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Man measuring a little red bird.
2017 (approx.)

Measuring the wing length of a banded Iiwi

banding waterfowl
July 26, 2017

The captured waterfowl are gently banded with a unique number that can be read if and when it is captured again. 

A little red bird being handled by scientist
2015 (approx.)

Adult Iiwi being banded at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Hawaii

tagging long-billed curlew
May 1, 2015

USGS biologist places identification bands on the leg of a long-billed curlew as part of a study to estimate long-billed curlew abundance and density using unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct surveys at the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility (NWSTF) in Boardman, OR.

Image: Canada Goose Banding
May 31, 2008

As part of an annual statewide waterfowl banding effort, Iowa State Coop student Brad Heller holds a Canada Goose still while Iowa DNR wildlife biologist attaches a leg band to the bird, outside of Clear Lake. The project is aimed at providing information on population parameters, such as survival and harvest rates.

Aluminum band and one plastic colored leg bands in a Brown Pelican 

Aluminum band and one plastic colored leg bands in a Brown Pelican 

Placing a federal band in a Northern Parula

Placing a federal band in a Northern Parula

Image: Bird-Banding Oystercatcher

Alaska Unit master's student Julie Morse bands a black oystercatcher.