Nita's Nest - How to Apply Closed Bands
This baby cockatiel is 9 days old.  Depending on how well the parents have fed them, the window for banding babies is usually between 6 and 10 days. This baby would have been more easily banded two days prior.
I hold the baby in my left hand, since I am right handed. With my right hand I pull the 3 longest toes together to the front - this means you must include the longer BACK toe as well as the two forward-facing toes.  I then hold these toes with my left hand.
I then put the band over those 3 toes, and push it on as far as it will go.  Make note of which way you place the band on, too.  I always place mine so that the writing will be right-side-up if read while the baby is standing.
Last, I use a toothpick to release the other back toe, so that the band is turning free above all 4 toes.

Piece of cake!  Takes all of 5 seconds once you get used to it, and it provides permanent indentification for your babies.

I must say that I have never had a single cockatiel hurt by wearing a closed band.
I have had problems with a few finches getting their bands caught, but because of the advantages of identification and record-keeping, I will continue to closed band my birds.

All Content Copyright 1998,
Anita M. Golden
--All Rights Reserved--