Bird Security

Parrots can make great pets and can be both intelligent and loving. And with a life span that can last up to 70 years, a well looked after bird is a companion for life.

Get a quote for up to £5,000 of vet fee cover, death and theft cover for your large bird. Or £1,500 of vet fee cover for your small bird | We've been insuring exotic pets since 1996 | Check out our customer reviews on Feefo.

It is with sadness that we announce that John Hayward who contributed advice and guidance for this article, sadly passed away on October 3rd 2018. His knowledge was invaluable, and we thank him for this and his contribution to ExoticDirect over the years. 

So what would you do if your bird was lost or stolen? If this were to happen, having a means to identify your bird would be essential.

Identification rings for parrots

An identification ring is placed on the bird’s leg, and is a popular method for identifying a lost or stolen bird. 

The ring displays a unique identification number which you should make a note of. You can do this in the Parrot Passport, as provided by The Parrot Society.

If you lose your bird you can pass this number to Reunite, a lost, found and stolen bird register set up by The Parrot Society.

You should also notify ExoticDirect regarding your bird’s identification number, when purchasing your parrot insurance  as this will be helpful in proving bird ownership should it be lost. 

There are two different types of ring available; a closed ring and a split ring.

A closed ring

A closed ring is a permanent identification ring that should be placed on the bird as a hatchling.  This is usually done by the breeder.   As well as carrying a unique identification number, they are usually colour coded for the year.  Once they have been fitted, they are very difficult to remove.   Closed rings can be purchased via the Parrot Society website.

A split ring

A split ring can be placed on the bird’s leg at any age. It is also removable.  Again, the ring displays a unique identification number, which should be noted.  Split rings are also available via The Parrot Society.

Microchipping for parrots

Microchipping can be a very useful way of permanently identifying your bird.  Mini microchips are small enough to be used for all birds, including smaller birds such as parakeets.  Micro chipping should always be undertaken by a specialist Avian vet.  You can Find a Vet here

Why should I ensure my bird is identifiable?

Many people underestimate the flying potential of a bird. Even if your bird has never flown before, there is always a chance it could suddenly do so. 

John Hayward advised that there were many cases such as these resulting in a lost bird, and a devastated owner.   Even when a bird has had its wings clipped, the flying feathers will grow back.

Often birds are seen as a desirable target by thieves, not only are they attractive as pets, but they can also attract a good price when sold.  By placing a ring on your bird and/or by microchipping you can increase the chance of your lost or stolen bird being found and returned to you.

How can an identification ring or microchip help to identify my bird if it gets lost or stolen?

The ring number acts as a form of identification. If you lose your bird, you can contact Reunite, a lost, found and stolen bird register run by the Parrot Society and they'll record the number along with bird details. This will help identify you as the owner if the bird is found.  

If your bird is insured with ExoticDirect, we can also contact Reunite for you. 

Microchips can be scanned by a vet, with the number then added to a database. This can help reunite you with your bird. The finder of the bird would need to take the bird to a vet to enable this process.

How else can I protect my bird from being lost?

There are a number of ways:

  • The most important is to ensure that all windows and doors are protected in some way, so that if they are open, your bird cannot escape.
  • Curtains, or mesh panels over openings can work well. Be particularly careful over periods such as Christmas when we tend to have a lot more visitors, and the summer, when we tend to leave our windows open more often. Your bird can escape at any time however, so always consider its safety whatever you are doing.
  • Another way to protect your bird is to have its wings clipped. This involves removing its flying feathers.This however is not a fool proof way, as flying feathers grow back. This procedure can give a false sense of security to the owner and John Hayward reported at the time that fifty percent of lost parrots have been wing clipped at some point in their life. 
  • Take photographs and make written notes of your bird’s identifiable features. These will add to the range of identifiable means available should it be lost or stolen. You should also make a note of mannerisms, words spoken, likes and dislikes. Anything that can help identify your bird will be useful.
  • The Parrot Society's Parrot Passport offers one place to document all details.

Get a quote for up to £5,000 of vet fee cover, death and theft cover for your large bird. Or £1,500 of vet fee cover for your small bird | We've been insuring exotic pets since 1996 | Check out our customer reviews on Feefo.