Peregrine Falcons are fitted with metal leg bands to provide researchers with valuable data on peregrine survival rates, dispersal distances, and population growth rates.

The standard leg band for Peregrines is a silver metal band issued by the federal Bird Banding Lab. The band is inscribed with a unique 9 digit code that allows birds to be identified during future resights or captures. To report seeing one of these bands, visit the website.

A second bi-color band is fitted on the falcon’s opposite leg and includes a field-readable alpha-numeric code. Falcons in the Eastern US are banded with either BLACK over RED (1989-2004) or BLACK over GREEN (2000 – present). There are also several orientations and alphanumeric character arrangements on the bands. When reading a band, an observer should note the top character and its orientation (vertical or horizontal), the top background color, then note the bottom character code, orientation, and color.

Falcon Band types

For example, below are a mated pair of falcons from the Berkley Bridge in Virginia.

Female: Black E over Green 4 (Type 3)

Berkeley Bridge Female: Black E over Green 4 (Type 3)

Berkeley Bridge Male

Berkeley Bridge Male: Black 6 over Red horizontal D (Type 17)


Peregrines banded recently in Virginia wear a black-over-green resight band on their left leg and a green metallic USFWS band on their right leg

In Virginia, all falcon nestlings are banded with an anodized green US Fish and Wildlife Service band on the right leg and a bi-color alphanumeric band on the left leg. In addition, falcons that are hacked in cooperation with the National Park Service can have colored tape temporarily covering one of the bands.

Please contact The Center for Conservation Biology with information regarding sightings of Peregrine Falcons in Virginia. In your email, please include date of observation, detailed description of location, and any behavioral observations. Photos are preferred to confirm species.

Contact: Bryan Watts 757-221-2247


Please contact these biologists for peregrine sightings in each state. Photos are always helpful for confirming the species and band codes.

CT Jenny Dickson 860-675-8130 Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
GA Bob Sargent 478-994-1438 Georgia Department of Natural Resources
MA David Paulson 508-389-6366 Massachussetts Department of Fish and Wildlife
MD, DC, DE Craig Koppie 410-573-4500 US Fish and Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office
ME Charlie Todd 207-941-4468 Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
NC Christine Kelly 828-230-1320 North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
NH Chris Martin 603-224-9909 x317 Audubon Society of New Hampshire
NJ Kathy Clark 609-628-2103 New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife
NY Katherine Yard 518-402-8902 New York Department of Environmental Conservation
PA Art McMorris 610-664-2174 Pennsylvania Game Commission
VA Bryan Watts 757-221-2247 The Center for Conservation Biology
VT John Buck 802-476-0196 Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
WV Craig Stihler 304-637-0245 West Virginia Division of Natural Resources