How many and what kinds of leg bands do peregrines get and what do the codes mean?
Peregrine falcons banded in North America typically receive 2 leg bands-one on each leg. The first band is a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) band which contains a number unique to that individual falcon (similar to a Social Security number). The numbers are small and hard to read unless you have the bird in hand. The color of this band can help identify the geographic region where the bird was banded. For example, USFWS bands used on Ohio falcons are purple. For birds that are hatched in the wild, the USFWS band is placed on the right leg. On falcons that were part of a release program, the USFWS band is placed on the left leg. A second band is placed on the leg opposite of the USFWS band. This band is usually one or two colors and may only have a few numbers and/or letters; these symbols are larger and repeated several times around the band. This band is made to be read from a distance, usually using a spotting scope. The colors of this band also help identify the geographic regi