Ask Lafeber


January 17, 2023

Conure identification

I live in Canada and had a question about 2 conures that I got from a person who couldn’t take care of them.
It’s about their tags. I don’t know their sexes but upon reading on the internet, they wrote that if the tag is on either left or right leg, it will tell their gender.
Also, I wrote down the tag # but can’t find where to go and look up for any information on it.
Any help or where to look would be appreciated.
Thank you.


Hi Marc,

Leg bands are put on chicks randomly at just a week or two old. There is no way to know the sex at that age. Closed bands are used for parrots – this is a continual ring with no opening. The band must be placed before the joint gets too large, otherwise it’s too late. Open bands are rarely used because they are so dangerous, and those are the only type band that could be applied later to indicate gender. Some breeders apply a tattoo under the right wing for males, left wing for females. But birds that are sold as pets are generally not tattooed, even if they have the DNA test for gender.

As for ID via the information on the leg band, unfortunately there is no database. There are several leg band companies, and no restriction on what is on them, so two aviaries with the same initials can have the same leg bands. It is usually futile to try to get any information from a leg band. You have to Google to find the leg band companies, then contact each one individually to try to see if they made it, and if they keep records – many do not. At best, you can sometimes determine the year, because it is sometimes stamped on the band. But, because leg bands must be ordered in bulk, most breeders stopped adding years, or they use leg bands beyond the year that is on it. Sorry I can’t be of more help, but as for the sex, you probably need to have the test run again. It’s non-invasive and not very expensive.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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