Bird Banding Laboratory


The Bird Banding Laboratory is an integrated scientific program established in 1920 to support the collection, archiving, management, and dissemination of information from banded and marked birds in North America. This information allows for developing effective bird science, management, and conservation. Since 1923, the lab has collaborated with the Canada’s Bird Banding Office to administer the North American Bird Banding Program and manage more than 82 million banding and encounter records. 

100 years of the Bird Banding Laboratory

Federal Permits

Federal Permits

Following the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and its associated Federal regulations (16 U.S.C. 703-712), a Federal Bird Banding and Marking Permit is required to conduct all bird banding and/or marking activities.

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Bander Portal

Bander Portal

If you already have a federal permit or sub-permit to band birds, sign in to the new Bander Portal.

Sign in

Report Band

Report Band

Reporting a bird with a federal band or auxillary marker

 - Report a band at

 - Obtain your Certificate of Appreciation

  - About federal bands

  - About auxiliary markers

Report Band


Date published: September 24, 2021

The Launch of the Banders Without Borders Initiative

On 9 Sept 2021, the United States Bird Banding Lab (BBL) recently introduced a new initiative to strengthen connections with our sister banding schemes all over the world. This effort is part of our “Banders Without Borders Initiative;” an initiative that will allow banding schemes to share information about their banding program, history, staff, and current projects.  

Date published: July 7, 2021

Partner Spotlight: The Canadian Bird Banding Office

Many North American migratory bird species travel from North America to Central and South America during their yearly migrations. Therefore, studying birds in a coordinated fashion across borders is critical, making the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory’s partnership with the Bird Banding Office in Canada vital in managing the North American Bird Banding Program.

Date published: February 24, 2021

Highlights from 2020: Bird Bandings and Encounters

An overview of the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory’s successes in collection and curation of bird banding data in the last year, featuring some of the remarkable bird bandings, recaptures, and encounters from 2020.


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Year Published: 2021

Local fruit availability and en route wind conditions are poor predictors of bird abundance and composition during fall migration in coastal Yucatán Peninsula

In migratory stopover habitats, bird abundance and composition change on a near daily basis. On any given day, the local bird community should reflect local environmental conditions but also the environments that birds encountered previously along their migratory route. For example, during fall migration, the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in...

Feldman, Richard E; Celis-Murillo, Antonio; Deppe, Jill L.; Dorantes-Euan, Alfredo

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Year Published: 2020

Divergent movement patterns of adult and juvenile ‘Akohekohe, an endangered Hawaiian Honeycreeper

The movement patterns of birds across a landscape are often highly variable and influenced by complex interactions between individuals and environments. Because periods of movement can be marked by high mortality, especially among juvenile birds, understanding these patterns may be vital for the conservation of many bird species. However, these...

Wang, Alex X; Paxton, Eben H.; Mounce, Hanna L; Gorresen, Paulo Marcos

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Year Published: 2020

Transmitter effects on growth and survival of Forster’s tern chicks

Radio‐telemetry is a commonly used scientific technique that allows researchers to collect detailed movement, habitat use, and survival data of animals; however, evidence indicates that using telemetry can affect behavior and survival. Using multiple breeding colonies and years, we investigated the effects of attached radio‐transmitters on growth...

Herzog, Mark P.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Hartman, C. Alex; Peterson, Sarah H.