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 trained banders who apply their expertise and thoughtfulness towards the health and well- being of the birds they are handling.

The Bander's Code of Ethics applies to every aspect of bird banding. This code was developed by the North American Banding Council and summarizes the most important responsibilities of every bird bander. For a detailed list of rules and responsibilities, see the Bander’s code of ethics.

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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 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

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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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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 www.reportband.gov. 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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How can I stop birds from repeatedly hitting my windows?

This is a common problem. The bird sees its reflection in the window and thinks another bird is encroaching on his territory. One solution is to put a silhouette of a hawk in the window. That scares them off. Birding and nature stores sell paper cutouts that you can tape to the window.

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 Bird being banded with a USGS federal band at BBL fall migration monitoring station
August 30, 2018

Bird being banded with a USGS federal band at BBL fall migration monitoring station

Unique ID bands for waterfowl
June 2, 2018

USGS scientists attach small metal bands, each with its own ID, to the ankles of adult waterfowl to identify where the animal was caught. When it is re-captured later in its migration, researchers can use that information to determine how far the animal traveled. 

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

Measuring the wing length of a banded Iiwi

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.

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