What are they? What do they tell me?
Leg bands are a "bracelet" around your birds leg, Breeders put them when the chicks are young (5-12 days old), MOST bands have Initials, a State abbreviation, and numbers if it is from a group like a budgie society group, they use certain colors for each here
the info on the band is very useful,
The state abbreviation - tells you what state your bird was bred in
The Initials - is the breeders Initials
2 digit numbers - is the year the bird was born
other numbers is normally the number of the chick
as a example I will use what mine has on it
K & M
on this particular bird - it was Born in INDIANA (IN), My Initials (K & M), 08 (Year it was born) 1 (1st baby born to me in 2008)
When you get a bird with a leg band it is very good practice to write down all the information from the band - and put this in a safe box (fire box type thing), also take pictures of the band and your bird where the band is visible put these pictures in that same safe box
if your bird is ever lost or stolen you have proof it is your bird!, Just saying "yes this green/ yellow bird is mine won't be sufficient, and even have a picture of just a green/yellow bird no longer proves this is your bird. but when you have on file the band information - no one can deny it is your bird.
Do not for any reason attempt to take this off your self - yes they make a certain tool to do this - but seriously if you do not know what you are doing, you can break the birds leg!
Most close bands cause no threat (I.E. Getting caught on anything this is why close bands are used more so then open bands), it shouldn't bother your bird at all if the breeder put it on right, if the breeder did not put it on right, the irritation would be noticed way before you got the bird. as there legs stop growing at a certain point. this is why the leg band is put on at a young age.
and from the threads i've been reading lately , when you take your bird to the vet it may become good practice to make sure Every one in the office, From the vet to any and all nurses, even the receptionests knows you do not want the leg band removed for any reason!, because i've read too many times recently the leg band was removed at the vets office with out the owners knowledge or persmmison
These bands may not have perdient information to them, but to us the bird owner they do.
even if they don't have the breeders intitals, year, or state on them they'll still have a set of numbers - and that will prove the bird is yours IF you follow the simple steps. of writing down the numbers (and any other information on the band), taking a picture of the leg band, and your bird with the leg band visiable and keeping it all in a safe place. where it won't get lost.
here are a couple pictures outlineing what is on most bands (That I broke down at the start of this thread)
The I.D. Band is on the left (the band on the right is a "family" band it has no info on it, it is for the breeder to keep track of what baby went to what pair
Reading an ID band:
A) issuing society
B) breeder ID #
C) year of birth (bear is for Calif.)
D) bird ID#
ID band is on the left.
Recent colors the ABS "The American Budgerigar Society" have used.
GOLD - '96
SILVER - '97
GREEN - '98
ORANGE - '99
LIGHT BLUE - 2000
BLACK - 2001
GOLD - 2002
SILVER - 2003
DARK BLUE - 2004
WHITE - 2005
YELLOW - 2006
BLACK - 2007
I hope this has eased some minds, of what is the "bracelet" on my birds leg and why is there, and how can I get it off (which again you do not want to UNLESS it is 1000% necassiary and then have a professional do it)