How to Look Up Bird Band Numbers for Parrots

The metal band is located on his leg.

The metal band is located on his leg.

Bird banding is an identification protocol employed for both imported birds and domestic birds. The bands that the birds wear on their ankles have information about the bird's origin. The way you look up a parrot's band depends on the organization he came through. The letters and numbers on the band are an identifying code.

Search for the initials that are on the band. When a parrot is banded by a breeder or agency, the band bears a code for the organization with which he is registered. Organizations include the American Cockatiel Society and the African Lovebird Association. In the case of your parrot, a likely code is SPBE, that of the Society of Parrot Breeders and Exhibitors.

Look up the band number using an online database for parrot breeders. Not all breeders register their birds using online databases, but if the one from which your bird originated did, this will save you the trouble of making calls.

Contact the organization with which your bird is registered in online searching doesn't pan out. Using the numbers that accompany the initials on your parrot's band, the organization may be able to identify where your bird came from so that you can contact the originator to determine further information about your bird.


  • If the initials on the band don't identify an organization, your bird may have been imported. In that case, the first letter of the code represents the import station through which he entered the country -- for example, "I" means he came in through Illinois. Contact your state's department of agriculture or wildlife, which should keep records for the import and quarantine of birds. You'll need to report to this office with the entire code from the parrot's band, which -- if in the office's records -- will tell you where your bird came from .

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About the Author

Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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