Pigeon bands help identify where birds are from and who they belong to.
To work this out you need to understand what the numbers and letters on the band mean.
Bands numbers are laid out like this:
[Country Code – Year – Organisation (optional) – Ring Number]
For example, GB-2020-F-28768, tells us:
GB – this pigeon is from Great Britain (AKA the United Kingdom)
2020 – the pigeon was born in 2020
F – this tells you which organization the pigeon belongs to (this is not used by many organizations)
28345 – the pigeon’s unique identification number
These consist of two or more letters that tell you which country the pigeon belongs to.
Most countries have one overarching organization for the whole country to which all pigeon clubs will belong to.
Be aware that the USA has two main organizations so has two different codes:
- American Racing Pigeon Union (AU)
- International Federation of American Homing Pigeon
|AU||American Racing Pigeon Union||pigeon.org|
|AUSTRIA||Österreichischer Verband Der Brieftaubenzuchter||brieftauben.at|
|BELG/BE||Royale Federation Colombophile Belge||kbdb.be|
|CU/CRPU||Canadian Racing Pigeon Union||crpu.ca|
|CZ||Ceskomoravsky Svaz Chovatelu Postovnich Holobu||postovniholub.cz|
|DAN||De Danske Brevdueforeninger||brevduen.dk|
|DV||Verband Deutscher Brieftaubenzüchter e.v.||brieftaube.de|
|ESP||Real Federacion Colombofila Espanola||realfede.com|
|FR||Federation Colombophile Francaise||colombophiliefr.com|
|RPR/GB/UK||The Royal Pigeon Racing Association||rpra.org|
|HUNG||Maygar Postagalambsport Szovetseg||postagalamb.hu|
|IF||International Federation of American Homing Pigeon|
|ITA||Federazione Colombofila Italiana||colomboviaggiatore.it|
|LT||Lithuanian Racing Pigeon Association||–|
|LUX||Federation Colombophile Luxembourgeouise||–|
|MALTA||Federation of Pigeon Racing Clubs of Malta||maltafederationofracingpigeons.com|
|NL||Nederlandse Postduivenhouders Organisatie||duivensportbond.nl|
|PL||Polski Zwiazek Hodowcow Golebi Pocztowych||pzhgp.pl|
|PORT||Federacao Portuguesa De Colombofilia||fpcolumbofilia.pt|
|RO||Federatia Romana De Sport Columbofila||–|
|SK||Slovensky Zvaz Chovatelov Posovych Holubov||postoveholuby.sk|
Knowing which country a pigeon is from will help you narrow down which organization they belong to.
The organization can then put you in touch with the relevant club or owner.
The year simply tells you what year the pigeon was born.
This can either be two numbers or four numbers long, e.g: 17, 2017.
A well-cared-for racing pigeon can live for more than 20 years so (at the time of writing) the year could even be as far back as 2001 or even the late 90s in rare cases.
Organization codes are not used by all federations.
Federations including Slovak, Czech, Hungarian, and German federations do use them.
These usually start with ‘0’ and will precede the ring number.
Pigeon Ring Number
4532 – This is a number that will help pigeon fanciers identify the pigeon as theirs.
The club to which the pigeon belongs will use it to identify them.
It can be as short as 2 digits or significantly longer.
Also Read: Why Do Pigeons Have Tags On Their Feet