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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 the BBL. There are other types of bands and markers, some of which should also be reported to the BBL.
As indicated on the bands, you can mail the information, or the band itself (from a dead bird), to:

The post office will recognize the address. You may also call 1-800-327-BAND.
For much more information, check with the BBL's North American Bird Banding Program.
If you see a vulture marked with an orange, white, or yellow tag on its right wing, attached to their RIGHT wing, please report it.
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