Resources for banders and researchers

Useful books, manuals, guides, and other information.

North American bird banding manual

As the key reference for banders, this manual provides information on band types, sizes, numbering system, transferring bands and codes.

North American Banding Council manuals

Download the North American Banding Council’s educational and training materials. Created by the non-profit group whose mission is to promote sound and ethical bird-banding practices and techniques.

Guidelines to the use of wild birds in research

Standards developed by the Ornithological Council.

Recommended band sizes for birds

Species table, recommended band size, specifications. Birds vary in size and it is the bander’s responsibility to ensure that each individual is banded with the appropriate band size regardless of recommended size.

The Bander’s Code of Ethics

A code developed by the North American Banding Council that summarizes important bander responsibilities.

Pan American Shorebird Program

A standardized method for marking and identifying individual shorebirds in the field and to facilitate identification of the origin of banding. The shorebird marking protocol is a flexible framework for the coordination of shorebird marking throughout the Western Hemisphere while promoting standards and best practices for marking, resighting and reporting.

Canadian Atlas of Bird Banding

This atlas series gives results of bird banding in Canada from 1921 to 1995 for birds other than waterfowl. For each species, the banding effort is summarized, along with the number of recoveries. Maps show movements of birds between where they were banded and where they were found again. These maps are useful to help understand migration patterns for many bird species in North America.

The atlas has been published in four volumes, divided by species group:

Canadian Atlas of Bird Banding. Volume 1: Doves, cuckoos, and hummingbirds through passerines
The first volume covers small land birds (passerines and near passerines), including song birds, doves, cuckoos, hummingbirds, woodpeckers.
Canadian Atlas of Bird Banding. Volume 2: Seabirds
The second volume covers seabirds (albatrosses, petrels, gannets, cormorants, pelicans, jaegers, gulls, terns, and auks).
Canadian Atlas of Bird Banding. Volume 3: Raptors and waterbirds
The third volume covers raptors (hawks and owls), vultures and various waterbirds (loons, grebes, cranes, herons, and rails).
Canadian Atlas of Bird Banding. Volume 4: Shorebirds
The fourth volume covers shorebirds (plovers, sandpipers, yellowlegs, and godwits).

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