Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 - Happy Mardi Gras! The youngest African Senegal is one month old today! It will not be long and we will have a hard time telling them apart. I guess this is a good time to talk about leg bands.
I know some people think they are too dangerous and a poorly fitted band is. However, a proper-fitted band with good information can be amazing information throughout a bird's life. The closed band should fit snug, like a wedding ring, but not too tight. Easily turning on the leg. They must be put on at an early age before the top of the foot is too large. I think it is a waste of time to band a bird with a band that is not traceable. One example: leg band # ABC 890 gains no useful information unless you happen to know who ABC is. I use bands from SPBE (Society of Parrot Breeders and Exhibitors). My identification number is 454. I like to use the current year on my bands and the individual number of the bird, which reflects which pair produced the chick from your hatch records. An example of how my band would look is: SPBE 454 15 10 which means that it's from SPBE, my personal ID #, the year, and the number that bird was in my records. Anyone, anywhere can trace that band back to me. Which has come in handy many times!
When we sell a bird, we keep a record of any information we know, including the leg band and who we sold the bird to. If my records are kept up to date, I can tell you the hatch date and genetics of that bird and who I sold it to. Who I sold it to can perhaps be the difference of someone getting their lost bird returned or not. In addition to being helpful for information, it's also good to have the info on the band written down to prove ownership should the bird ever come up missing or stolen. Over the years, Birds of Paradise has had several times that traceable bands have helped us get birds back to their owners. There are numerous sources for traceable bands. The Lovebird Society (LBS), American Cockatiel Society (ACS), and the American Budgerigar Society (ABS) are just a few examples.
Unfortunately, these Senegal babies will not be banded so I will have to rely on trimming opposite wings or mark under the wing to distinguish the birds as they become fully feathered. Usually this breeder does band but these babies actually hatching caught her off guard. I never put my bands on someone else's birds. In the case that the bird is not banded, you could get it microchipped. Another
I'll close with our babies' current weights. The youngest is now 101 grams and the eldest is 130 grams today.