New color banding project >>

Banded hawks subsequently encountered by humans are—hopefully—reported to the US Bird Banding Laboratory by the finder, and the GGRO receives a report of where the bird was found and what the circumstances were.

Banding recoveries help us answer questions about raptor populations we are tracking in our count studies—what are their geographical ranges? Recoveries also give us insight into causes of raptor injuries and deaths. GGRO band recovery maps are coming soon!

If you find a bird with a band on its leg, please report it to the Bird Banding Lab online at, or by calling 1-800-327-BAND (2263) from anywhere in Canada, the United States and most parts of the Caribbean. The operator will need to know the band number, how, when and where the bird or band was found. Please do not use this number to call them about other matters.

Please look out for color banded Red-tailed Hawks and Cooper’s Hawks! GGRO has begun marking Red-tailed Hawks with lavender bands (below left) and Cooper’s Hawks with green bands (below right). Each band has a 3-digit alpha-numeric code (a capital letter above a two-digit number) repeated twice around the band. If you see a color band on a hawk, please note whether it was on the bird’s right or left leg, and try to read the code on the band or get a picture (e.g., through your spotting scope or with your digital camera). We hope to increase our ability to understand where these birds go, how long they live, their survival rates, and what habitats they use by collecting information about color banded individuals. Report sightings to the Bird Banding Laboratory at and call the GGRO with any questions at (415) 331-0730.

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