All bird banding and transponder data should be submitted to the Banding Office using standardised templates.

Bird banding equipment.
Bird banding equipment
Image: DOC 

The New Zealand National Bird Banding Scheme (NZNBBS) curates all data pertaining to bird banding nationally. It has recently incorporated transponder data.

All banders must submit their banding records and band stocktake to the Banding Office on an annual basis using standardised templates – however, you are encouraged to do so more often.

Use the new template

As part of the development of a new database, a new data template has been created. This template replaces the previous Banding Schedule and Banding Recovery spreadsheets.

Updates will be available on this page – use the most recent version. In the future, the template will be used to upload data directly onto the database via an online interface.

Download the new template

Record all outstanding banding and recovery data (no matter how old) as well as a list of all bands held in stock using the new data template (v9.2) (XLSX, 1,163K) and email to by 31 May 2019.

All submitted data will be error-checked, so double-check the following:

  • correct formatting of fields (text, date, number, etc.)
  • no duplicate records of "first marking" or "Dead: Recovery"
  • correct band size used on species (refer to Species tab in new template)
  • band used for first marking has been issued to the Level 3 operator listed
  • band life cycle chronology is not violated (refer to BandLifeCycle tab in new template)
  • bander certification number and name matches

Tabs/worksheets for the new data template 

  • Bands is the worksheet where you enter all of your data, including bands held, schedules, resightings and recoveries and anything else that happens to a band.
  • The Examples worksheet provides a useful set of examples of data entry for various scenarios
  • Bands_Simple is a simplified spreadsheet with only the compulsory fields and no lookups or data validation.
  • Description of fields, including comments
  • Lookups lists all codes used. Field headings in the Bands tab are colour-coded to match the colour in the Lookups tab.
  • Species lists the species code and species names, as well as recommended band sizes. You can use the filters to search.
  • BanderNumbers lists the NZNBBS numbers of all registered banders (up to the date of the template version)
  • RegionMap for quick reference of Region codes
  • Explanation of ColourCodes used for colour bands, with examples
  • BandLifeCycle: Life cycle of a bird band – this provides an explanation of the NZNBBS_Codes

How does the new template differ from the previous ones?

Stocktake (bands issued), schedule (band/transponder data), resighting and recovery data are now entered onto a single spreadsheet. Bands that are lost, used for training or transferred to other banders are also recorded here. The NZNBBS_Code field is used to distinguish between these.

The idea is that you retain a master sheet (using the new template) with all of your records, adding data as you band and resight birds. To submit data, you simply select those records not yet sent to the Banding Office (filter for blank "Sent_date" rows) and copy those to a new spreadsheet to send.

The Permit lookup has been removed. However, it's still your responsibility to ensure that all capturing and marking of birds is carried out according to the conditions in the relevant Wildlife Act Authority (permit).

Use Decimal Degrees (WGS 1984) to fill in the Latitude and Longitude GPS coordinates, without any letters or symbols (remembering that latitude South and longitude West should be negative numbers). To obtain the coordinates of a location by clicking on a map or entering an address, or to convert between DMS and DD, go to GPS Coordinates website.

There are several fields that can be used for project-specific data, morphometrics, moult, breeding success, temporary marks (e.g. wing tags, Transmitters), samples taken, museum accessioned, egg weight, etc. If you use these columns consistently for certain data, then you can upload and download the data for your own use without needing to store this data separately from the banding or resighting records. These fields are not compulsory, but you can use this to ensure that all relevant data linked to a specific band (or transponder) number are kept together.

A data sharing moratorium allows you to enter a date no more than 5 years from the date of submission on data that you submit. This data will then not be shared with anyone without your written permission. You will be reminded to re-set this moratorium date close to expiry, giving you the opportunity to roll over the moratorium for a further 5 years. If the moratorium is not maintained, it will lapse, and these data will become accessible.


Contact the Banding Office if you have any queries. We're compiling a list of frequently asked questions – feel free to contribute.

Address: National Banding Office
PO Box 108, Wellington 6140

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