goose banding

DNR biologists banding a goose

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Report bird band recoveries

Have you ever experienced the excitement of harvesting, finding or observing a banded or neck collared bird? Those who do may wonder where the bird originated, how old it is or where to report the information on the band.

The North American Bird Banding Program is jointly administered by the United States Geological Survey's Bird Banding Lab (BBL) and the Canadian Wildlife Service. Their respective banding offices have similar functions and policies and use the same bands, reporting forms and data formats. Joint coordination of the program dates back to 1923. They work in close cooperation with US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and state and provincial wildlife agencies.

To report a bird band recovery visit www.reportband.gov [exit DNR], follow the instructions and submit as much information as you are able to provide.

If you do not have internet access, you can also can also call 1-800-327-BAND (1-800-327-2263) or mail the band number along with the date and location of recovery plus your name and address to:

Bird Banding Lab
12100 Beech Forest Rd.
Laurel MD 20708

Anyone is welcome to keep the bands they report and will be emailed a certificate of appreciation that tells where, when and by whom the bird was banded. Please do not buy or sell bands, especially unreported bands, as this impacts our ability to monitor harvest rates and could have negative impacts on future bag limits.

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 as the BBL does not keep a database of these birds. You can find more information and provide recovery information to the pigeon's owner at the American Racing Pigeon Union [exit DNR].

More on bird banding

Contact information
For information on waterfowl banding, contact:
Kent Van Horn
Migratory game bird ecologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management
608-266-8841
Last revised: Monday September 16 2013