Banding is a critical tool for the management and conservation of migratory bird populations. It is used in studies of migration, survival, productivity, behavior, etc. These studies help biologists set hunting seasons for game species and determine the conservation needs of many other bird species (such as the threatened piping plover shown below).
The banding of migratory birds in the United States is regulated by the U.S. Geological Survey (Bird Banding Laboratory), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These organizations work with the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Canadian Bird Banding Office to manage studies and data across the two countries.
Reporting by the public of banded birds is critical to migratory bird conservation. Bands found on birds taken during hunting seasons, on bird carcasses or band numbers read or photographed on live birds, should be reported at the Bird Banding Laboratory website. The information will be forwarded to the appropriate researchers. The individual reporting the band will receive information on the bird and on where and when it was banded.