US Geological Survey



John Tautin

Date of this Version



U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1422, 255 p.


Published in Perry, M.C., ed.


Located at Patuxent Research Refuge (PRR) and functionally part of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (Patuxent), Laurel, MD, the Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) is the service and administrative center for bird banding in the United States. Over the years, the BBL has been associated with both the PRR and Patuxent, which collectively are commonly referred to by the public (and in this chapter) as “Patuxent.” The BBL issues permits and bands; supplies banding software, instructional materials, and technical advice; coordinates the use of auxiliary markers such as neck collars and radio transmitters; serves as the repository for banding records and the clearinghouse for reports of banded birds; disseminates data to researchers and managers; and assists in the development and coordination of banding projects. The BBL is a large and complex operation with a long and rich history that predates its transfer to PRR in 1942, when it began a remarkably successful and mutually beneficial collaboration with research and management functions colocated at PRR. Prior to 1961, the BBL was known simply as the “bird banding office.”