July, 2017 UPDATE: The BBL has moved to mobile-friendly online reporting only.
Birds are banded for research purposes. A bird that has been banded and then later sighted can reveal clues about migration patterns, travel speed, nesting behavior, and lifespan. The more birds that are banded, the more possible it is to determine accurate information about a particular species.
The Bird Banding Laboratory
(BBL) oversees North American bird banding. The BBL issues permits, keeps track of banding schemes, and accepts reports of banded bird sightings.
A typical band is made of lightweight metal and has a series of numbers stamped on it. Bands that contain an 8 or 9 number code and "WRITE BIRD BAND LAUREL MD 20708" or "AVISE BIRD BAND WASH DC" or "1-800-327-BAND" have been issued by the U.S. or Canadian government. These sightings should be reported to www.reportband.gov
. After a band is reported, a Certificate of Appreciation will be sent by email.
For much more information, check with the BBL's North American Bird Banding Program.
If you see a vulture with a tag on its right wing, please report it.
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