Friday, November 19, 2010

How old is my budgie? (3)

Age test 3/3

If you buy your budgie, he may have an ID band around one of his legs. If you take a closer look, you can see numbers and letters. If there aren't any numbers or letters on it, then it's a family band or "split band" - a coloured band that is split on one side so it can be placed and removed on a bird at any moment in his life. Breeders use this to keep track of the family line of the budgie. But it won't tell you anything about the budgie's age.

Left leg: ID band. Right leg: family band. The ringing itself often happens before the budgie is 10 days old.

On the ID ring, you can read the following information in this order:
  • The company who distributed the band
  • The breeder's number and/or initials
  • The year the budgie was hatched in (usually the two last digits of the year are displayed)
  • Serial/pedigree number of the budgie (example: if it says "29", then this budgie is the 29th budgie hatched that year)
You can also check the ID band colour. Different colours represent different years, it's an easier but less reliable way to find out how old your budgie is. You can find a short list on the ID band colours here. For the new six-year cycle that started in 2009, go here.

In Belgium, the system is pretty much the same. There are the so-called "open rings" (family bands) to keep the different families apart. To get hold of the "closed rings" (ID bands), you have to be a member of a bird/budgerigar club. On these rings, you can find the following information:
  • Serial/pedigree number, chosen by the breeder (max. 3 digits and 3 letters)
  • The initials of the budgerigar/bird club the breeder belongs to
  • A digit or number that says how many rings the breeder already owns (if it says "17", it is your 17th ring)
  • The year that the budgie was hatched in
You can choose between a regular, silver or coloured ring.

Information and images (c);


  1. I had no idea! I don't think I've ever seen that on a budgie before. How common are ID bands?

  2. In the US, the bands are either used to indicate that a budgie has been legally imported into the country, or domestically bred. I'm not sure about Europe. The only budgie here who had a ring was Simba (the English budgie). You are in any case not obliged to ring your budgies but it can be useful if you have a lot of them :)