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Humingbird Banding
Sharing Information to Study Hummingbirds

People have been banding birds for centuries. The first records of bird banding in North America are those of John James Audubon in the early 1800's.

Bird banding is one of the most important tools in ornithological research. Individual identification of birds makes possible studies of dispersal and migration, behavior and social structure, life-span and survival rate, and population growth.

Banding "vagrant" hummingbirds, birds found outside their normal range, is a way to identify and record a vagrant's locations and activities. When banded birds are re-captured in a new location, we can learn about their movements. This data gives researchers tools to study individuals that have strayed from the normal migration pattern.

After a bird is banded and released, their data is filed and stored with the Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL), a part of the USGS, or with the Canadian Wildlife Service. Later, if someone captures the same bird, the band number and information is reported.

All bird banders receive special training and go through certification processes. Learn more: BBL Web site.

distribution map
Hummingbird Distribution

banding gallery
A Look at Rufous Banding

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