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

Please familiarise yourself with the template and start using it for data entry and submission. 

Download the new template

New data template, Nov2018_v8.4

Support documents

The example data spreadsheet provides several examples of how to enter different data, together with explanations for each column and example. This is the quickest way to familiarise yourself with the new template.

The instructions document explains how to use the new template, while the lookups document provides a quick view of the colour-coded lookups. The region map provides a reference for region codes.

Tabs/worksheets for the new data template 

Bands: Use this tab for data entry of bird marking (bands and/or transponders and other marks), resighting and recovery. Unsent records in this tab are copied to a new (blank) spreadsheet and submitted to the Banding Office.

Description: This tab describes what data should be entered into each field, with notes providing additional information.

Lookups: The colours on this tab match both the Description and Bands tabs, giving the relevant Lookup Code (the only bit you enter into the Bands tab), as well as the corresponding code description. Additional comments provide context or examples.

Species: This tab provides a Lookup for the 3-character species codes.

BanderNumbers: This tab provides a Lookup for the 4-character Bander ID numbers, with the names of the banders. 

Instructions: Follow the instructions in this tab for data entry and submission.

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).
  • Please 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 
  • 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.

National Banding Office
PO Box 108
Wellington 6140
Phone:  +64 4 471 3248

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