I am looking for leg bands to identify my new hatchlings. Could you please let me know where to get them?
There are several different types of leg bands available to identify chicks. They are also available in closed and open bands. Band material varies depending on the bands and their purpose. Bands can be used to identify families of birds, as well as the individual bird. The closed bands can either be traceable or not. Depending on the species of chicks you are banding, there are a number of sources to purchase bands.
The most obvious place to purchase them would be from an advertisement in BIRD TALK or other avian publications. Specialty clubs can be another source. These are clubs that have been organized around a genus, species or a specific type of bird. There may be only one or a few clubs for the specific species, depending on the type of bird/birds involved. Some of these clubs require you to be a member in order to obtain leg bands from them. There are very few that sell bands to both members and nonmembers. The bands normally sold by these specialty clubs are closed, traceable bands.
One of the best sources of guidance and information often comes from a breeder willing to be your mentor. This person can help you with many details you haven't even realized that you need help with. Finding a band source, purchasing the bands and receiving the bands does not help you band your first chick. Yes, you may have or can find instructions on how to band a chick, but until you have banded your first chick, you have no idea of the stress you will put on yourself. Do you know which specialty club the majority of the breeders of your species belong to in your area? Do you know why? Are there specific laws regarding the banding of birds in your state? A mentor familiar with your species and in your local area, or at least in the same state, can provide you with these answers and give you a better understanding of other laws and restrictions governing your hobby.