How you can report a bird band via email, phone or online/postal forms.

If you have found a bird band, we encourage you to report the banding recovery. There are several ways you are able to do this.

Do not remove a band from a live bird.

Types of bird band

Racing pigeon band

Racing pigeon.
Racing pigeon

If you have found a racing pigeon with a band (as in the photograph), then Pigeon Racing New Zealand has an online form that you can complete.

If you wish to make personal contact, a list of contact details for the various pigeon clubs around New Zealand is available on the NZ Birds website

Wildlife, DOC or museum band

If you have a band which has: Wildlife, Department of Conservation, Dominion Museum or National Museum written somewhere on it, then use one of the band recovery forms below. You can also use the forms below if the band has an overseas address on it.

Colour band

If you sight a bird with colour bands and are able to record the details of all the coloured bands, you can report your observation even without the information on the metal band. You will need to know the colour and position of each band.  Taking a photograph can assist with this.

Gamebird band

If the band is on a gamebird then use the gamebird band recovery form, if not use the non-gamebird form. See below for a list of what birds are classed as gamebirds.

You may keep these bands if you wish or send them in to the banding office. If you are going to keep a band ensure that you record the number accurately on the appropriate form below.

Recovery forms

Use these forms to report the recovery of a bird band.

Non-gamebird recovery form

Non-gamebird band.
Non-gamebird band

Non-gamebird bands have a letter prefix, as in the example to the right (R-44502).

This form covers most non-gamebird New Zealand birds or birds banded with a band or ring from another country. If you are not sure what kind of banded bird you have found you can also use this form.

If you sight a colour banded bird you can use this form as well. Take care when recording the position of each colour band – note which leg it was on and the position eg, right leg: red over black, left leg: metal over white.

Non-gamebird band report form

Gamebird band recovery form

Gamebird band.
Gamebird band

Gamebird bands have a one or two number prefix as in the example to the right (13-82351).

Use this form if you have a band from a gamebird. Gamebirds include: mallard, grey duck, paradise shelduck, black swan, Canada goose, pukeko, pheasant and quail.

Gamebird band report form

Printable forms

Alternatively, you can print and post in a band recovery form for either game or non-game birds:


National Banding Office
PO Box 108, Wellington 6140

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