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 jointly administered by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Canadian Wildlife Service. Their respective banding offices use the same bands, reporting forms, and data formats. You can report bird bands to either agency.

To report a bird band to the USGS, please contact the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory by following the instructions on the mobile-friendly USGS Bird Band Reporting website.

If the bird is already dead, you can remove and keep the band after reporting it.

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Image: Eskimo Volunteers Helping with Banding

Eskimo Volunteers Helping with Banding

Two Yupik Eskimo students from Chevak, Alaska holding a tundra swan cygnet. These student volunteers were helping with an annual USGS waterfowl banding program along the Kashunuk River near the Bering Sea coast in western Alaska.

Banded Bicknell's Thrush with color leg bands on Stratton Mountain, Vermont.

Banded Bicknell's Thrush

Banded Bicknell's Thrush with color leg bands on Stratton Mountain, Vermont. 

Image: Bird-banding Kit

Bird-banding Kit

The kit contains over 600 pieces and was used at the Bird Banding Laboratory at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Maryland.
Object ID: USGS-000219

Image: Bird-Banding Oystercatcher

Bird-Banding Oystercatcher

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