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pigeon Tips on Bandingpigeons
By James Turner

For years I banded my young birds and recorded the numbers in a record book. This was simple enough until I wanted to check a band number. Now I had to find my record book. If I was in the house my record book was in the loft, but if I was in the loft, guess where my record book was. After I found my book, I would start to look for the number. I would overlook the number a couple of times, before I faced my final problem, reading my writing.

The information I wanted most often was what pair raised this bird and what is its age. Usually, I wanted this information when I noticed a young bird doing something either good or bad in the kit. After a lot of experimenting I came up with a system.

I always referred to my breeders as pair #1, pair #2, and so on. It was always easy for me to remember the pair numbers, so I built my system around this.

If you have ten pair of breeders and 100 birds, this system offers a lot of information by simply looking at the band number. If your bands are 800-899, break them up in tens. 800-809 will be for pair #10, 810-819 will be for pair #1, 820-829 will be for pair #2, and so on. Forget the first digit, in this case it is 8. The second digit always refers to the pair number. If your bands have four digits forget the first two, in this system only the last two digits are used.

I use metal shower curtain hangers to put the ten bands on and hang them at the breeding compartment. I check my young birds daily and band them with first two bands off the hanger. For example when I band the first two youngsters off pair #4 the band numbers would be 840 and 841. The forties series tells me it is pair #4 and the 0 and the 1 tells me this is the first two of the nest. The last digit tells you the order of banding.

If you have more than ten pair, you can use this system by letting the second one hundred bands be pair #11 through #20.

I now can look at a bird’s band and tell the pair number it came from and its approximate age. If I look at a number and it is 874, I know it came out of pair #7 and because the last digit is 4, it is out of the third round. I know the parents and the age immediately, no record book checking.

If you have let someone else have some youngsters and you are at a fly in another state, you can give the owner a lot of information from the band #.

You may have better system, but if not this is simple and it works.

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