Why Closed Bands are Important

Record keeping - for the breeder so there’s no accidental inbreeding. For the breeder in case the bird ends up in a future breeding situation to avoid inbreeding.For the pet owner even if the bird’s microchipped - consider this:So, your bird accidentally gets away or stolen, he’s microchipped for ID but no closed legband. Six months down the road, you’re walking along about a mile away from where you last saw your bird. You hear that distinctive singing, chirping, squawking from inside a house. You absolutely know that’s your bird! You’re so excited! You knock on the door. Guy answers and you explain that he has your bird. You explain your bird’s chipped. He says it’s not your bird and slams the door in your face. What do you do? I know I don’t have a chip reader I can take back to show the guy the bird’s chipped. So you take the guy to court and explain to the judge that the bird’s chipped. Highly unlikely the courtroom has a chip reader and you don’t have a chip reader. The judge for whatever reason decides there’s no proof that the bird’s yours and you don’t get your bird back. (Don’t think this would never happen. I was a paralegal for 20 years and I’ve seen judges make some really freakin’ moronic judgments that would make you think they’re doing crack.)With a closed legband you can at least tell the guy who answers the door, “Hey, look, my bird has a blue legband that says 2011, CA BR549.” You can both look at it right then and there. Most people don’t take their birds to the vet and remove the legband. Same if you end up in court, “Look your honor. My senegal has a blue legband that says 2011, CA BR549.” And the judge can look at it right then and there and give you your bird back. All the better if the breeder’s banding w/ an AFA closed traceable legband. You can contact the AFA and get the bird’s breeder info, call the breeder - “Hey, my bird was lost/stolen and had one of your leg bands. Can you send me the records on the bird so I can prove its identity?”

Most animal shelters have chip readers these days, so I’m pretty sure getting access to one wouldn’t be a big problem. However, there is no visual clue that a bird is chipped. On the other hand, a band can be cut off if a person wants to keep a found bird. So I think it isn’t completely black and white here. But aside from all that, if you have a pet that doesn’t have a closed band, you are pretty much SOL in that department – you can’t fit one on an adult. I expect if I were breeding, I’d band, but as an owner I may not have a lot of choice.

How you going to get that guy to take the bird to the shelter to read the chip? Highly unlikely the shelter’s going to let you take their reader. Also, not all shelters have all the readers to read all the different chips out there.I’m just expressing the importance of anyone contemplating breeding to band their birds. It’s at least something.