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.

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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. John Hayward has offered some guidance for our bird loving community. Guidance has also been taken from the Parrot Society website.

Identification rings

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.  This number along with bird details gets sent to the National Theft Register should your bird be lost or stolen.  The Parrot Society provides a ‘Parrot Passport’ for you to make a note of your bird’s ring number.  The Passport can be downloaded via the Parrot Society website.

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. 

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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 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.   For details of specialist Avian vets you can contact The Parrot Society.

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 sees 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?

If you lose your bird, you can contact ExoticDirect who will notify John Hayward of the National Theft Register that your bird has been lost.  You can also contact John Hayward directly. 

Your bird’s details will be recorded on the Register, which can be viewed on the Parrots Magazine and Parrot Society website.  Your bird’s ring number is not displayed, for security reasons.

If a bird is found, as well as checking for a ring number, John Hayward will always advise the finder of the bird that it should be taken to a local vet to be scanned for a microchip.  Microchip numbers are registered with a database and the resulting information should identify the bird owner, resulting in bird and owner being reunited. 

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 reports 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.

The Lost and Found Register

If your bird is insured you can contact ExoticDirect who offer a complimentary Lost and Found Notification Service as part of their parrot insurance . They will notify John Hayward, who will update the Register accordingly.

Alternatively, you can contact John Hayward Directly on 01869 325699 or email him on

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Alternatively you can call us on 0345 982 5505

Where can I view the lost and found register?

The Parrot Society and the Parrot Magazine both display the Lost and Found Register.

The Lost and Found Bird Register can be found by visiting our useful links section and following the links for either Parrot Society or Parrots Magazine.

Are you a multiple pet household?

You can buy multi pet insurance to insure your dogs and cats under one policy with Bought By Many. Policies include a 15% discount.