Reporting a bird with a Federal Band or Color Marker

Each type of band is made in many different sizes so that every bird has a suitable size band available for use by banders.  Photo courtesy of Diane Benyus

I monitor the Facebook page of the Anne Arundel (MD) Birding& Bird Club and just saw a post from a member noting that she had seen this banded bird and read the tag number. The group moderator suggested that she report it and gave the link information.  Since I know little about the subject, I decided to check it out. (I first observed banding at the North Branch Nature Center and am intrigued about how some birders are great at spotting bands.)

Reporting a bird with a Federal Band or Color Marker

PLEASE NOTE: If the band has the letters “AU”, “IF”, “CU” “NPA” or “IPB” it is probably a captive pigeon band. Please do not report captive pigeon bands to the BBL, we do not keep a database of these birds. You can find more information at:

When you submit a report, we will provide you the details about when and where the bird was originally marked. A copy of your report will be provided to the researcher who originally applied the band and/or marker.

Your report will be added to a database maintained cooperatively by the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory and Canadian Wildlife Service, Bird Banding Office. This database contains more than 4 million band encounter records that document movements, longevity, and sources of mortality for North America’s migratory birds. This information 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.

Examples of Federal bands and color markers

Have you found a banded bird – how about leaving a comment? You should sign up by RSS feed or via email to have future articles sent to you.  Thanks

This entry was posted in bird banding and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.