Leg Ring Identification Information


Staff member
There are two types of leg ring used basically (there is another one that is a split ring with a tiny screw but seldom seen in parrots). Some birds have been know to have two rings one for identification the other relating to if it was DNA sexed to show if its male or female. These days they usually stick to one ring and record all details relating to that specific bird sexing, disease testing, parentage etc, insurance, vet records to that specific ring number, gathering information from all the different places though if the bird has been sold on a few times is usually a bit of a nightmare.
The first is Close Rung (or closed ring) this ring is slipped over the baby birds foot at a very young age and should be the correct sizing for the specific species. The ring is as it is stated a closed ring without any break in it. Birds are close rung before they are 21 days old before the leg bones and feet bones are “set” before this stage they are still flexible and pliable enough to have the ring slipped on professionally. The information on the ring can have many different formats from a specific breeder chosen initials, a year of breeding, a specific chick logged number, or a registered aviary breeding number. If the bird is Cites listed (ie rare classification) it should have a ring on its leg that matches its paperwork and if there is no ring it should be micro-chipped – legally a cites bird that is not registered CANNOT be sold only gifted nor can it be used for breeding purposes nor used for any monetary gain such as showing etc.
Right back to leg rings. The easiest ones to read and get information from are the ones with PSUK on them these are Parrot Society registered breeders birds. This ring is on for life usually unless removed by a vet for health reasons.
The split ring is as it describes a ring that is incomplete and can be attached to the leg at any stage in the birds life, and removed (as well as damaged) more easily. It too can contain all of the above information as in the closed ring.
PSUK rings can usually by identified by the lettering PSUK, they also have the leg ring size on them for the specific species. The usually include the year the chick was hatched and it’s own specific number relating to records for only that chick ie who its parents were etc, the next bit of information is usually either the breeders initials or their aviary breeding name initials / number. Some breeders though like to have their own specific codings / information even on the PSUK rings.
Leg rings can be silver in colour or as preferred by a lot of breeders it would seem they use a year colouring so you can tell at a distance the year that bird was hatched hence its age.
You can contact the Parrot Society and request if they would be so kind as to let you have contact information with the original breeder, although if a bird has been sold on multiple times the information he / she has will be limited just the information of when it was originally sold, who too etc. BUT if you find a bird it’s a great way to start to find out about finding the rightful owner of the bird to repatriate them.

The colourings for the PSUK leg rings year wise are as follow:-
1990 Light Blue

1991 Green
1992 Pink
1993 Yellow
1994 Red
1995 Dark Blue
1996 Orange/Green
1997 Violet
1998 Green
1999 Light Blue
2000 Yellow
2001 Dark Blue
2002 Red
2003 Violet
2004 Orange
2005 Green
2006 Red
2007 Black
2008 Dark Blue
2009 Violet
2010 Gold
2011 Blue

2012 Red
2013 Black
2014 Lime Green
2015 Violet
2016 Orange
2017 Dark Blue
2018 Red
2019 Black
2020 Light Green
2021 Violet

(6 year cycle of colours)
I am sure other members will tag extra information on to this topic such as imported birds if they can.
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Nikki h

Mother Hen
Regular Member
Thought I would add to this as here is an andrew greenwood sexing ring which you might find on a bird....these are black for males s and gold for female....this fellas colour from the outside is now gone but you can see the inside is black!image.jpgimage.jpg
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Nikki h

Mother Hen
Regular Member
Tasch have added some pics to this hun your welcome to use them in your docs if you would like to! X
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Nikki h

Mother Hen
Regular Member
Here is another style of split ring which is more common on breeding birds being surgically sexed at some point in their lifeimage.jpg


Hi Everyone,

I'm new here, i've literally just purchased my parrot a week ago.  I've noticed a ring on the birds right leg and its a closed ring.  The breeder tells me that the bird is 3 months old.  I'm a little bit dubious as the bird is quite large to what I would have expected for that age.  The reason I am also dubious is the image which I seen of the bird (before going to view/ purchase) had the ring on the other leg (I'm assuming that it was the birds sibling in the photo I seen) compared to the parrot I have bought.  The ring is silver metal and has 15 stamped on it.  Does the 15 on the ring mean that the bird was definitely born 2015?  I'm yet to be able to take a closer look at the ring because the birds size has me a little thrown.  My other family members have parrots which I have been brought up with and they are approx 20 years old, and for the baby I have just bought to be nearing the size of them makes me wonder: 

A) what has the breeder been feeding him/ her on


B) have I been done out of money.

I think i'm just looking too much in to this (having never purchased a bird before) and that everything the breeder showed me and told me is legit, however you can't trust nobody these days. Any advice on ring numbers would be highly appreciated.

Thanks :-D


Staff member
Hi :welcome: from me and my flock. 

Firstly lots of questions which may help up to answer yours.

What type of parrot do you have and can we have a photo.

Where did you buy the bird from/see it advertised and did you visit it before you bought it.

What type of cage do you have and what is it being fed.

Usually a ring with 15 on would indicate a bird of that year, although it  is not necessarily guaranteed.

Do let us know.


Staff member
And a further edit to the list .... Just found out that the British Bird Council are issuing their another set of colouration marked rings besides their own brown rings .....
the standard British Bird Council Rings will be marked BCC and the new rings that they will be issuing are COM rings (Confederation Ornithogique Mondiale)
According to their website BBC COM rings are only issued to members, they are marked BC, followed by a registered ID code, year date, size code and issue number.

2016 - Orange
2017 - Dark Blue
2018 - Red
2019 - Black
2020 - Light Green
2021 - Violet


Hi I’m trying to get cites for my parrot and APHA emailed to say they need more information re ; breeder , previous owner ect I bought him online 3mths ago and only recently learned I should have been given/shown papers , I have tried to contact the seller but he has not responded, can anyone help me identify the breeder of my African Grey he has a closed ring and printed on it is XXXXXXXXX (removed by admin)
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Staff member
Hi I have just removed your leg ring number from your post its something that you should keep between yourself, your vet and your insurance company and nobody else gets to know it, should the worst ever happen then this is your means of identifying you are the owner
Right I can say your bird is Parrot Society UK registered breeder and it was hatched in 2014 so APHA need to be told your bird is over 5 years old so is hatched before the regulations came in so parentage etc you could find out but it shouldn't be required.
The paperwork your after … may I enquire why?
Cites 1 paperwork is needed if you intend to sell your bird, if you need to go abroad with your bird, if you intend to breed from your bird or use it in any way whatsoever to have monetary gain from it hmm like showing or selling its eggs or using it for public displays.

Edited to add the two numbers after the letter V (v is the ring size) is the birds identification with the breeder it was chick number XX bred by them and the letters are the breeders reference letters. You can contact the Parrot Society to obtain information on the following link https://theparrotsocietyuk.org/site/index.php/contact-us/ or via this email [email protected] alternatively you can ring them on 01442 872245


Thank you for removing the number, I just thought it would be better to have the papers incase circumstances change and I’m not able to look after him , I’m new to bird keeping and just panicked when I read it was illegal to buy or sell without the papers and some websites said it was best to have them so decided to apply
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