Bird Leg Band Information
Prior to 1992, most imported psitticine birds (parrots) were imported into private quarantine facilities under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). All of these imported birds were provided leg bands with identification that contained three letters followed by three numbers. There were facilities in:
Florida - bands starting with the letter F
California - bands starting with the letters C and O
Michigan - bands starting with the letter M
Illinois - bands starting with the letter I
Louisiana - bands starting with the letter L
New York - bands starting with the letter N
Some of these birds entered through USDA quarantine facilities, their leg bands have USDA on them.
In 1992, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enacted the Wild Bird Conservation Act. This legislation stopped the commercial importation of psitticine birds (parrots) into the United States. Prior to that time there were many thousands of parrots imported into the United States, many of them wild caught.
If your bird has a leg band with three letters (the first one being F, C, O, M, I, L, or N), followed by three numbers, it was undoubtedly imported into one of the above listed States prior to 1992.
Most of the import records up to and before 1992 have been discarded. We do have a very limited number of import records. The only information these records can provide is the year the bird was imported into the United States, we are not able to trace ownership.
January 20, 2007