How to Find the Correct Leg Band Size for your Bird

Did you know, National Band & Tag manufactures leg bands ranging in size from a hummingbird to a swan? With so many leg band sizes to choose from, it may be confusing to find the correct size for your species of bird.

There are two different options for finding out which leg band size you should order:

Option 1: Find the diameter of your bird’s leg. The easiest way to do this is to use a piece of string. You might want to have one person hold the bird, while another holds the string and measures.

  • Step 1: Place the tip of a string onto the bird’s leg where the band is going to sit. Wrap the string around the leg until the string reaches the tip on the end of the string you are holding in place.
  • Step 2: Mark the point where the string touches the tip with a marker.
  • Step 3: Stretch the string out across the length of the ruler and then locate the mark on the string. Read the measurement on the ruler. This tells you the circumference of the bird’s leg.
  • Step 4: Divide your circumference measurement by 3.14. (Example: a circumference of 34.54 mm / 3.14 = a diameter of 11 mm)

Option 2: Check for your species on the USGS’s Recommended Band Size chart. This is a guideline, and NB&T is not responsible for incorrect size bands being ordered based on this chart. While the USGS’s list is reliable for most standard birds, your bird could be slightly different. For example, wild mallards usually wear a size 14 band, but farm-raised mallards tend to be a little fatter and may need to go up to a size 16 band.

find your perfect size leg band for birds

Next Steps:

Now that you know the diameter of your bird’s leg, you can view our bird bands and find the band that correlates with your diameter. From our example in option 1, if the diameter is 11 mm, then our size 14 at 11.13 mm would be the best option. It’s ok for the band to be slightly bigger. You don’t want the band to be too tight, otherwise, it can cause damage to the leg. When ordering your leg bands, don’t forget that each size band needs its matching applicator to properly seal it. If you are ordering multiple sizes of bands, you will also need multiple applicators.

Prevent Flock Cannibalism with “Clip-On” Blinders / Peepers

Stop feather pecking with National Band & Tag’s “Clip-On” Blinders / Peepers!

All birds mildly peck to establish a pecking order amongst the flock. When this behavior escalates to feather pecking is when your flock is in trouble. Feather pecking includes ripping feathers out, damaging the skin, or even making another bird bleed. Feather pecking leads to cannibalistic behaviors.  You should try to prevent these behaviors, or immediately squash them in order to keep the whole flock from becoming cannibalistic. Birds have a tendency to copy each other, so if one starts pecking, others may follow.

Some conditions that can cause poultry (chickens, pheasants, quail, etc) to start feather pecking include overcrowding, lack of food/water, stress, inadequate nest boxes, and more. You can get more details about these causes in the article, “FEATHER PECKING AND CANNIBALISM IN SMALL AND BACKYARD POULTRY FLOCKS” (By Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky). For gamebirds, space recommendations need to be double compared to chickens, and even larger for pheasants, according to, “Poultry Cannibalism: Prevention and Treatment“, (By Phillip Clauer, Pennsylvania State University).

You can take preventative measures by using NB&T’s “Clip-On” Blinders / Peepers on your whole flock before they start pecking, instead of just on the hens who are pecking. Our pinless peeper was designed with you, the customer, in mind. We spent over a decade developing, talking with customers, modifying, and improving the design of our pinless peeper (Style 3184L). While pinless peepers will have a percentage of loss, ours will stay in longer. You know it’s a National Band & Tag peeper because ours have “NB&T” molded into the back of the crossbar!

 

Clip on blinders and peepers         A chicken with pinless peepers on

 

We sell peepers in packs of 25, 50 & 100 on Amazon.  For quantities of 100 or more, you can buy from us directly online.  We offer quantity price discounts at 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000. We offer 10 different colors: Yellow, Orange, Green, Light Green, Blue, Light Blue, Pink, Purple, Brown, and White.

World Migratory Bird Day 2020: Birds Connect Our World

What is World Migratory Bird Day?

In 2018, the Environment for the Americas (EFTA), joined the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), to create a single, global, bird conservation education campaign, World Migratory Bird Day! This day is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.

World Migratory Bird Day Poster

We celebrate World Migratory Bird Day on the second Saturday of May in the US and Canada (May 9, 2020), and the second Saturday of October in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean (October 10, 2020). There are two celebration days a year because migratory birds are all migrating at different times in different parts of the world. The 2020 World Migratory Bird Day conservation theme, Birds Connect Our World, focuses on the tracking technologies used to explore the routes of migratory birds across the globe, and how this knowledge is used to inform conservation.

How NB&T Supports World Migratory Bird Day:

National Band & Tag is a supporter of migratory birds, and World Migratory Bird Day because we manufacture millions of bird bands each year. Researchers and conservationists use our bird bands to track birds and collect data. Our bands fit in with this year’s theme of Birds Connect Our World because our bands are used for tracking! Bands have been used since 1595 to track and identify birds. Other bird tracking systems include satellite tags, light-level geolocators, weather radars, satellite imagery, and data from people using birding apps. Tracking migratory birds provides us with lots of useful information! We learn about the places where birds nest, stop to rest, and where they spend the non-nesting months. We can examine their habitats, threats they face on the ground, and how we can help improve their migratory journey.

World Migratory Bird Day, Federal Bird Bands used by the USGS bird banding lab

How to Participate in World Migratory Bird Day while in Quarantine:

It’s a crazy time we live in right now. We aren’t able to get out and take a bird tour or attend a local WMBD activity. But there are still lots of ways you can celebrate World Migratory Bird Day from home! Check out www.migratorybirdday.org/resources for WMBD coloring pages, at-home scavenger hunts, and activity pages. You can also go birding in your backyard. Observe what birds you can see from your home, and then try learning more about your local birds online. Show off how you are celebrating WMBD on social media using #WMBD2020, #WorldMigratoryBirdDay, and #BirdsConnectOurWorld.