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Bird Banding Laboratory History

The U.S. Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) has had a long and rich his­tory beginning with its founding in 1920 by the visionary Frederick C. Lincoln.

Frederick Lincoln at desk
Lincoln was an accomplished biologist, administrator and writer. (Public domain.)

During the 1920s, Lincoln laid the foundation for the banding program and established many principles, procedures, and policies that stand today. He also led the banding lab and nurtured the banding program through the 1930s and most of the 1940s when econom­ic depression and war made for difficult times in the United States. From 1947 to 2002, the five BBL "Chiefs" who followed Lincoln led BBL to further achievements and serv­ice to the banding community. In every decade of its existence, BBL has had to attend to practical matters such as issuing permits, supplying bands, and managing records while adapting to programmatic changes in the field of avian research and management. 

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