BIRD ISSUE FOURTEEN: OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013
THE MAGAZINE FOR HOBBYIST BREEDERS AND CONSERVATIONISTS
MICE, ROOFS AND BIRD ROOM CONSTRUCTION
ONCE THEY’RE GONE WE’VE LOST THEM FOREVER
BREEDING THE PAGODA MYNAH OR STARLING
19 ISS TH U E D 1 20 EC 5 O 13 EM UT BE R
THE NATIONAL EXHIBITION RESULTS
A valuable contribution from Adam Mogg on the birds he has kept
£ WANTED FOR CASH £ £ £ £ £ £ ££ £ £ £ £ ££ £ £
ALL TYPES OF PARROTS, COCKATOOS, MACAWS AND PARAKEETS
£ £ £ £
££££ £ £££ £
ALSO BUDGIES, CANARIES, FINCHES, COCKATIELS LOVEBIRDS, SOFTBILLS, GMR’S, TOUCANS & MYNAH BIRDS ALSO ANY TYPES OF EXOTICS, MONKEYS ETC PLEASE CALL RON ON 0161 273 5447. IF EX DIRECTORY DIAL 1470 FIRST.
£ ££ £ £ £ £ £ £ £
££ £ £
WE ARE HERE
MANCHESTER PETS AND AQUATICS, 66 STOCKPORT ROAD, ARDWICK, MANCHESTER M12 6AL
£ £ £ £
£ ££ £
PARROT SOCIETY MAGAZINE: 33
BIRD SCENE: OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013
CONTENTS DONATE TO OUR CONSERVATION FUND… CLICK THE LINK BELOW: www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/donations.php
MICE, ROOFS & BIRDROOM CONSTRUCTION Rosemary Low’s article is very timely as now is the time to look out for these unwelcome ‘guests’
ONCE THEY’RE GONE A valuable contribution from Adam Mogg on the birds he has kept
ON THE COVER
BIRD ISSUE FOURTEEN: OCTObER / NOvEmbER 2013
THE MAGAZINE FOR HOBBYIST BREEDERS AND CONSERVATIONISTS
MICE, ROOFS AND BIRD ROOM CONSTRuCTION
BREEDING THE PAGODA MYNAH OR STARlING
ONCE THEY’RE GONE WE’VE lOST THEM FOREVER A valuable contribution from Adam Mogg on the birds he has kept
THE NATIONAl EXHIBITION RESulTS
THE NATIONAL EXHIBITION RESULTS… with some excellent pictures of winners
BREEDING THE PAGODA MYNAH Ray Holland gives us his experiences with two pairs and looks forward to 2014
19 ISSu TH E D 15 20 EC O 13 EM uT BER
BIRD SCENE: Issue Fourteen: October / November 2013 BIRD SCENE is run by The Parrot Society UK, 92A High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 2BL, England. FOR SALES AND EDITORIAL ENQUIRES Telephone or Fax: 01442 872245 Website: www.theparrotsocietyuk.org E-Mail: email@example.com
BIRD SCENE 3
Les Rance, Editor, The Parrot Society UK | www.theparrotsocietyuk.org | les.rance@
ell here we are the fourteenth edition of Bird Scene. What a cracking National Exhibition we have just experienced the P.S. Council were delighted by the vast numbers of visitors to the event and very heartened by the favourable comments from our trade supporters many along the lines of ‘the best sale day ever’ Neil Randle our resident photographer was busy all day and managed to take 800 pictures, he was working very hard but this will give us plenty of material for future publications. The clubs associated with the National Exhibition were full of praise for the way the exhibition is developing and with over 4,000 exhibits they have every reason to be happy it might sound very confident but a 25% increase in birds staged next year would take us to the magical 5,000 birds a number not seen at any UK show since 2003 when the last Birmingham NEC National was held. I am sure it can be done and it would be great to achieve this figure in 2014. The autumn months are always so busy for the Parrot Society office as no sooner have we finished The National
Exhibition than we start to build up for our ‘Help Bird Keepers’ Show also at Stafford on Sunday 1st December tickets and tables can be booked from the PSUK Shop on our website. We are really becoming attached to this publication because it is without doubt ‘the way to go’ possibly the most interesting question in relation to ‘New Technology’ is when will all bird keepers have both the interest to grasp this type of publication and when will they have the hardware to access this form of offering? Bird keepers already have a hobby and a very rewarding one it is; they do not need computers and all that goes with their purchase, installation and maintenance. Currently they can obtain everything they need via bird related paper magazines but eventually that will change and when electronic magazines become accepted by the majority clubs will have to take the hard decision as to whether to continue with the paper magazine. But may I say that at present The Parrot Society have no plans to go down that road.
BY THE EDITOR
@theparrotsocietyuk.org Regular readers will know that Bird Scene has been produced to publicise The National Exhibition held each year at our October Sale Day/Show and to promote our Conservation efforts for threatened parrots in the wild. Previous editions are still to be found
in an archive at the foot of the Home Page of our website and if you would like to see earlier versions then do please visit the Bird scene archive. I do hope you enjoy reading this issue of Bird Scene as much as I have putting it together.
BIRD SCENE 5
BREEDING THE MYNAH OR STA (TEMENUCHUS PAGODARUM)
his was a new pairing for me put together in an aviary shared with a pair of Grey Backed Thrushes. There were no problems until I noticed the Mynahs taking live food into the nest box – they had earlier laid two clear eggs and I thought this was probably the end of their breeding attempt for the year. It was now apparent that they had young, but it was only after ten days that any calls for food were heard. With two pairs of adult birds competing for food it was obvious to me that the Thrushes had to be removed before any real trouble occurred. After they were moved everything seemed to calm down. I continued to feed mixed mealworms
E PAGODA TARLING
ARTICLE BY: RAY HOLLAND
DONATE TO OUR CONSERVATION FUND… CLICK THE LINK BELOW: http://www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/donations.php
BIRD SCENE 07
After about three to four weeks the young began to fledge. This was a very exciting time for me – they were really beautiful birds.
and some wax worms at least three times a day and twice a day I gave a ration of small and/or medium crickets. Something which should be mentioned now is that both the cock and the hen fed the young, usually entering the next box at separate times. Rarely was the cock seen to feed the hen at the nest box entrance for her to then feed the chicks. After about three to four weeks the young began to fledge. This was a very exciting time for me – they were really beautiful birds. At this stage I had no idea how many chicks were in the box
as I had tried not to interfere too much. The first chick left the nest followed by the second three to four days later and the third and final chick fledged after a further two more days. I thought to myself that this was great, the parents are doing a fine job looking after their family and all I had to do was to carry on feeding and all would be well. Is anything that simple and predictable in bird breeding? Shortly after the last chick fledged, as little as an hour or so, the cock bird set about the hen and I found them on the aviary floor with the back of the hen’s
head badly pecked. Unfortunately she did not survive this attack – I could not believe what had just happened. I kept asking myself WHY? Looking back over the previous weeks when they had been rearing their young (perhaps even before) there always seemed to be competition between them for the live food. This competition was heightened when they had young in the nest box. There were at least four feeding stations and they could always go and pick up crickets off the floor. I still cannot understand this behaviour – has anyone else experienced this? The cock bird has proven himself to be an exemplary father and brought up all three chicks by himself.
I thought that I might have to hand rear the chicks but the pleading for food by the chicks worked wonders and he got on with it. All the chicks and their father are now sharing a flight and there seems to be no noticeable bickering – though he will force them off the roof of the nest box when they have the audacity to perch on it. I decided that as the cock had proved that he was willing to raise youngsters on his own he was worth pairing to a new hen. This, however, proved to be a mistake because he attacked his new wife. I can only assume that in his desire to reproduce he did not consider the hen which was obviously not in condition when he made his advances.
I decided that as the cock had proved that he was willing to raise youngsters on his own he was worth pairing to a new hen.
BIRD SCENE 09
I use are fairly deep and when I looked to see how the baby was progressing I was surprised to see that the parents had been very busy almost filling the box with pine needles gathered from the floor of their flight…
He attacked her on the head just like his original wife and even a year and a half after this attack, which fortunately did not prove fatal you can still see the point of attack as the feathers have not fully re-grown. He found a new owner who was prepared to give him another chance even though I fully explained his violent shortcomings. As soon as the hen recovered I supplied her with a new less aggressive cock and during the 2013 season produced three young in the first round, one of these youngsters was picked on by the father and when they were sexed by DNA they were two hens and one cock so I guess it was the young cock that was being picked on by the father. Not content with three young they then went on to breed again and in this second round 10
produced one youngster. The nest boxes I use are fairly deep and when I looked to see how the baby was progressing I was surprised to see that the parents had been very busy almost filling the box with pine needles gathered from the floor of their flight, there were about 8 inches of these on top of the fledging baby, I thought all was lost but as I started to remove handfuls of the needles I felt movement in the bottom of the box which greatly surprised me the baby was still alive! This has also been reared to maturity and proved to be a hen. So for 2013 the results were three hens and one cock. Results that I am very proud of because 2013 is not going to go down as the best breeding season UK breeders has experienced!! Roll on 2014.
WANTED ALL PARROTS
Founder member of the Parrot Society requires the following parrots
WANTED WANTED WANTED BEST COLLECTION
ALL HAND REARED PARROTS ALL PARENT REARED PARROTS ALL BREEDING PAIRS AND SINGLES
PRICES PAID IN CASH IF REQUIRED OR YOU DELIVER TO ME.
MOBILE: 07949 447282. HOME: 01670 822789 E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanting to breed some youngsters? better breeding condition? better fertility? less dead-in-shell? less eggbinding? better egg shell quality? bigger clutches? strong chicks?
You want EasyBird Super Breeder! Absolutely Super! So Easy! Mix into nely chopped fruit or vegetables or into Feast eggfood. A tasty, tas healthy treat! Customer Ratings*
“As a breeder of rare and endangered parrots, quality was my priority. Your products have been instrumental in my consistent breeding successes over the years. I particularly value Parrot Feast Fruit and Calcivet.” Mike Knight, formerly Wiltshire, UK, now Cyprus Parrot Feast (Natural or Fruit Flavour) EasyBird Super Breeder
Ask for a FREE supplement plan tailored to your ock! 01453 835330
www.BirdcareCo-Shop.com email@example.com Tel: 01453 835330
* As reviewed by our customers on our website
L 2013 REPORT
BIRD SCENE 13
LIZARD CANARY SECTION
The LCA was very pleased to have a good turnout of Lizard with 101 benched. With exhibitors coming from Guernsey in the south and Fife in Scotland from the North.
he LCA was very pleased to have a good turnout of Lizard with 101 benched. With exhibitors coming from Guernsey in the south and Fife in Scotland from the North. Judge for the Lizard section was LCA panel Judge Chris Jordan. Who selected Stan Bolton’s Non Cap silver hen as Best Lizard this bird had Very nice spangles. It also won best silver. Best Gold went to Keith Johnson with a Non cap gold cock. Keith won 2 other classes. Seemed a day for the Non caps. The biggest class was won by Andy Williamson with a Broken cap gold cock. The novice section saw slightly more birds than the champion section, this section was dominated by the excellent team from Steve Martin who took best novice silver and gold and best novice. The best novice was a Clear cap Silver hen which displayed good spangles and had good breast work. We would also like to thank Ray Smith for stewarding for Chris Jordan.
BLUE LIZARD CANARY SECTION
Judge for the day was BLCC chairman Andy Williamson who was very pleased to se such a good number of quality blue lizards.
nce again the BLCC was pleased to hold one of there zone shows at the National. With an entry of 38 which is an increase of 10 on last year which goes to show the gaining popularity of the Blue lizard. Judge for the day was BLCC chairman Andy Williamson who was very pleased to se such a good number of quality blue lizards. Best blue lizard went to Mr “lizard” Stan Bolton with a Broken Cap blue hen, winning the Kevin Skinner presidents Trophy. This bird had outstanding spangles and good amount of breastwork and lovely dark legs. This bird took best broken cap blue lizard. Best novice Lizard went to first time shower Les Evans with a very nice Broken cap Blue cock les also won second best Novice as well, well done Les. Other prince able winner were best Clear cap Blue DTA lizard stud AKA David Allen with a clear cap Blue cock. Best Non cap went to Stan Bolton with a non cap blue cock. Best overyear went to Kevin Skinner with a nice over-year hen. Thank you to the two stewards Steve and Mandy Martin.
BIRD SCENE 15
FIFE FANCY CANARY SHOW The Champion specials were keenly contested with two birds from Clark and Gillott in hot contention as the judges were evenly split over their clear buff hen and their variegated yellow cock.
he Fife Fancy Canary section at the Parrot Society National Exhibition 2013 attracted an entry of 576 exhibits this year which is excellent considering the reports of a poor breeding season across the country. Best Fife in show went to Mr T Campbell’s variegated yellow cock which led a class of twelve exhibits before going on to take the Best Novice award and the Best Fife award. This bird displayed a steady posture and showed good type and feather quality throughout the judging. This exhibitor from over the border swept the board with the Novice specials
taking Best Novice Variegated, Best Novice Heavily Variegated, Best Novice Self Green, and Best Novice White Ground with a variegated white hen. A splendid team , well presented, which did their owner proud. Best Novice Clear was a clear buff cock belonging to Mr C Twigg and Best Novice Cinnamon went to Mr Jack Clogg. The Champion specials were keenly contested with two birds from Clark and Gillott in hot contention as the judges were evenly split over their clear buff hen and their variegated yellow cock. The birds were put to one side for further deliberation after judging the
Best Champion Heavily variegated went to Tony Carline’s green yellow cock, Ashton & Goodwin won the Best Champion Self Green award with a little green yellow hen and Alan Wilson collected the Best Champion Cinnamon Award
Miss T M Carthy’s help with the stewarding was well rewarded as she was awarded the Best Juvenile and Best Juvenile Stam specials. Thanks are due to the judges, Bert Stillie, Tom Green, Barrie Durant and Dave Tanner for placing the awards.
novice section with the clear buff hen taking the Best Champion award in the final stages. Clark and Gilllott completed their show with the Best Champion White Ground, a clear white hen. Best Champion Heavily variegated went to Tony Carline’s green yellow cock, Ashton & Goodwin won the Best Champion Self Green award with a little green yellow hen and Alan Wilson collected the Best Champion Cinnamon Award. For the second year at the National Exhibition classes for Stams (teams of three birds) were on offer and five stams tested the judges eye for harmony within
the groupings. A Rodger’s self green buff Fife stam came out the overall winner and congratulations are extended. Miss T M Carthy’s help with the stewarding was well rewarded as she was awarded the Best Juvenile and Best Juvenile Stam specials. Thanks are due to the judges, Bert Stillie, Tom Green, Barrie Durant and Dave Tanner for placing the awards. Thanks are also due to the stewards for the smooth running of the show and for erecting and dismantling the staging. The Fife Fancy Federation is extremely grateful to the Parrot Society for organising such an event.
BIRD SCENE 17
GLOSTER FANCY SPECIALIST SOCIE This year’s GFSS All Gloster was an outstanding success with a record entry of 612 Glosters, but far more importantly 514 birds were on view, on the day, with record numbers in many classes. The judges Graham Beech and Paul Brown had a very busy day picking the winners and are to be commended not only for doing such an outstanding job but managing to complete the task on time, especially with so many quality birds on display. Once again we had top fanciers from all over the country competing for the top prizes, which included cash prizes and wine glasses and whisky tumblers depicting a Gloster Corona.
Best in Show was won, once again, by the father and son partnership of R & I Wright who, this year won with an unflighted Buff Consort hen, this bird also won Best Champion, Best Champion Consort, and Best Buff. Robbie and Ian also won Best Cinnamon with a Corona. Best Opposite Head was won by Burton and Reay with an unflighted Buff Corona Hen. The other main awards in the Champion section were Best 3PD to Cottrell and Rands with an unflighted Corona Hen; Best Yellow to P.Kavanagh with a Consort Hen and Best White to M.Miles with an unflighted Corona Cock. There were a number of Novices showing here for the first time, among
Congratulations to all our winners and everyone who had birds on show the quality really was extremely high.
ETY them John Cressey who took Best Novice with an unflighted Buff Corona Hen, this bird also won Best Novice Corona and Best Novice Buff. Best Novice 3PD went to I.Gooderham with an unflighted Consort Hen; Best Novice Yellow and Best Novice Cinnamon were both won by R and C Lootes and their son, Michael Lootes took Best Junior with a flighted Consort. Best Novice White was won by P.Cooper with a Fawn Consort Hen. Congratulations to all our winners and everyone who had birds on show the quality really was extremely high. Once again our GFSS secretary, Steve Jones had worked very hard to obtain over £200 – 00 in sponsorship and
our thanks go to Janis and Graham Hollinshead from the Red Lion Farm in Haughton for again donating £100 for the Best in Show award. Many thanks also to our other sponsors DM Builders, TJ’s Ground, Block Paving and Patio specialists and Dixon Fencing for again supporting our show with cash prizes. Naturally the larger the entry the more work there is but thanks to our Stewards , Judges , Show manager Brian Tarrant and committee members everything fell into place. Many thanks to all those who attended, we look forward to seeing you all again next year!
BIRD SCENE 19
IRISH FANCY CANARY The recent National Exhibition which was held at Stafford County Show Ground, on October 13th, was well supported by The Irish Fancy National, 176 Irish Fancy Canaries were benched, Those were judged by Gerry Brown From Derry Northern Ireland, Gerry Award For Best Champion Un/Fltd, and best Irish Fancy in Show to a neat Buff Cock owned by M. O’Connor, who also took the award for best FLTD, with a clear buff hen. Trevor Young took the best Novice Award with a Clear buff hen,
The overall Standard of the entries was high. On behalf of the Irish Fancy International I would like to thank the officials and The Parrot Society for their continued support, staging our National.
Best Novice FLTD, went to a Cinnamon Self Buff Hen owned by Darren Hadley, pleased to say there were 25 birds competing for the best Ladies award, That award went to a delightful Fawn Variegated FLTD Cock shown to perfection by Miss Caroline Bird. The overall Standard of the entries was high. On behalf of the Irish Fancy International I would like to thank the officials and The Parrot Society for their continued support, staging our National.
IBBA SHOW SPECIALS LIST Class Number, Cage Number, Exhibitor • Best Border in Show 46 10 M Barnett • Best Champion 46 10 M Barnett • 2nd Best Champion 52 5 M Barnett • 3rd Best Champion 44 5 A McGreechin • 4th Best Champion 49 2 M Barnett • 5th Best Champion 47 4 M Barnett • 6th Best Champion 12 3 M Barnett • 7th Best Champion 18 2 A McGreechin • Best Champion Clear or Ticked 41 4 A & L Smith • Best Champion Green Variegated 46 10 M Barnett • Best Champion Cinnamon 30 1 PK Whitehead • Best Champion Green 18 2 A McGreechin • Best Champion Green 3/4 Dark 52 5 M Barnett • Best Champion Cinnamon 3/4 Dark 26 3 Daniels & Speight • Best Champion White or Allied 35 2 A & L Smith • Best Champion Heavily Variegated 49 2 M Barnett • Best Champion Cinnamon Variegated 24 1 A McGreechin • Best Opposite Sex Clear or Ticked 2 1 M Barnett • Best Opposite Sex Variegated 45 11 A McGreechin • Best Opposite Sex Cinnamon 29 1 Anderson & McTaggert • Best Opposite Sex Green 17 1 C Egner • Best Opposite Sex Green 3/4 Dark 51 3 A & L Smith
• Best Opposite Sex Cinnamon 3/4 Dark 25 2 Anderson & McTaggert • Best Opposite Sex White or Allied - - • Best Opposite Sex Heavily Variegated 12 3 M Barnett • Best Opposite Sex Cinnamon Variegated 21 1 PK Whitehead Best Novice 103 1 G Holt • 2nd Best Novice 104 4 M Slater • 3rd Best Novice 102 2 M Slater • 4th Best novice 105 2 A O’Mahoney • 5th Best Novice 112 2 A O’Mahoney • 6th Best Novice 101 2 A O’Mahoney • 7th Best Novice 108 1 M Ferris • Best Novice Clear or Ticked 102 2 M Slater • Best Novice Green Variegated 103 1 G Holt • Best Novice Green 3/4 Dark 112 2 A O’Mahoney • Best Novice Cinnamon3/4 Dark - - • Best Novice White or Allied 94 1 M Slater • Best Novice Heavily Variegated 108 1 M Ferris • Best Novice Cinnamon Variegated 82 1 A O’Mahoney • Best Opposite Sex Clear or Ticked 101 2 A O’Mahoney • Best Opposite Sex Variegated 104 4 M Slater • Best Opposite Sex Green 3/4 Dark 113 1 G Holt
BIRD SCENE 21
BRITISH, MULE & HYBRID CLUB • Best Exhibit, Redpoll Mule, R Lawson & E Wells • Best Champion Mule or Hybrid • Best Hardbill .... Greenfinch Cock J. Lloyd. • Best Champion Hardbill • Best Novice Hardbill, Greenfinch Cock, D. Bond
• Best Novice Mule or Hybrid, Greenfinch X Crossbill, S.Bates • Best Novice Softbill, Redstart Cock, P. Devereux • Best Softbill • Best Unflighted Exhibit, Greenfinch Hen, J. Lloyd
FOREIGN SOFTBILL SOCIETY • Class 1: All sunbirds, hummingbirds, dacnis, mannakins, sugarbirds, tanagers, chlorphonias and euphonias. 1st: Peter Moore’s Collared Sunbird • Class 2: All yuhinas, bulbuls, minlas, mesias, pekin robins and zosterops 1st: Karl Marshall’s Broad-ringed zosterop pair 2nd: Rick Crook’s White eared bulbul pair • Class 3: All starlings, mynahs, thrushes, ground thrushes and laughing thrushes 1st: Paul Crowe’s Red-billed Starling 2nd: Cath Warren’s Spreo Starling 3rd: Paul Crowe’s Spreo starling 4th: Cath Warren’s Spreo Starling • Class 4: All flycatchers, redstarts, robins, robin chats, shamas and magpie robins 1st: Peter Moore’s Siberian Ruby Throat 2nd: Peter Moore’s Wattle eyed flycatchers
• Class 5: No entries • Class 6: All other foreign softbills larger than a pekin robin 1st: Peter Moore’s African Oriole Warblers 2nd: Karl Marshall’s Yellow-headed Blackbirds • Class 7: Junior class- no entries • Class 8: Sales class (any species of foreign softbill) 1st: Roy Baugley’s Chestnut backed Thrushes 2nd: Roy Baugley’s White crested laughing thrushes 3rd: Peter Moore’s Bronze sunbirds 4th: Peter Moore’s Collared sunbird Major Winners: • Best softbill in show: Paul Crowe’s Red billed starling • Reserve best in show: Karl Marshall’s Broad-ringed Zosterops • Best Current year bred award: Cath Warren’s Spreo starling
MICE, ARTICLE BY: ROSEMARY LOW
ROOFS AND BIRD ROOM CONSTRUCTION
DONATE TO OUR CONSERVATION FUND… CLICK THE LINK BELOW: http://www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/donations.php
ice and rats are extremely resourceful creatures. If there is a way to get into our aviaries and bird rooms, they will find it. This means that waging war on rodents must commence literally before the foundations of the building are laid. In fact it should start with the planning. If you decide to build a wooden bird room or perhaps convert a double garage which is partly constructed from wood, it will be almost impossible to exclude vermin. Gnawing through wood is so easy for mice. Once they enter it will be extremely difficult to exclude them. If you must use timber, take the following precautions: 1. Stand the building on a concrete base. 2. Be aware that insulating the bird room is asking for trouble. Of course it helps to prevent heat loss but it is better to spend a little more on heating the room (if heat is necessary) than living with mice breeding in the cavities between the two walls. I know because this happened to me. After two micefree years, the mice moved in. The glasswool insulating material was deemed perfect for mouse nestmaking. The only solution was to
BIRD SCENE 25
rip out the inner wall, including the roof lining, and leave the building permanently without lining. The mice moved out. But that was not the end of the problem. They moved into the other building which was lined, and took up residence in the roof. A nightmare scenario! The patter of feet which I was hearing daily were those of mice. There
was no alternative but to take the roof off and construct an entirely new one. That was four years ago and my bird room is now mousefree. One advantage was that with the new roof I did away with the skylight windows. Its inclusion had been a mistake because it caused condensation to drip from the roof to the floor.
3. If you have a wooden building, nail tin plate or aluminium, inside and out, to the height of 1ft (31cm). This precaution will be useless if there are any holes through which mice can enter. Check the point where electricity cables leave the building, cover ventilator and extractor outlets with small mesh and ensure that all doors and windows are tight-fitting. Also remember that if you have popholes to allow your birds access to outdoor flights, mice will enter if they have access to the flights. Welded mesh should be buried around the perimeter of the flights to prevent this. For preference, don’t build a bird room from wood. Brick is much more expensive but if you can afford it, brick or breeze blocks are ideal materials. You might also consider obtaining, second-hand, the kind of prefabricated cabins which are used on building sites, for example. As long as there is no wood in their construction!
Precautions If you have outdoor aviaries and you feed your birds in the flight part, mice will be almost impossible to eliminate. You might also attract rats. To protect food and water from vermin, weather and the droppings of wild birds (increasing the likelihood of disease being transmitted), it is essential to have an indoor section, either an enclosed shelter or a cage inside a building, where the birds are fed. This increases the length of time it will take mice to find a food supply, although it is not guaranteed to keep them out if wood is used to construct shelter or building. There are other precautions that you can take to discourage mice from finding your garden attractive. If you feed the wild birds, clear up any uneaten food before nightfall. If you keep rabbits or other pets that have a dry food, remove any dry food at night. Finally, do not discourage your neighbour’s cat from visiting your garden at nightfall. Generally speaking, once a cat has discovered it cannot reach the birds
BIRD SCENE 27
in your aviaries, it will lose interest in them - but if there are mice about it will return night after night. I would strongly advise that when planning your aviaries, buy enough welded mesh to double wire all surfaces that are accessible to cats and owls. It might seem like an expensive exercise but this will prevent deaths from injuries by night marauders. Also, with the increase in Sparrowhawks in gardens, it will prevent these pests from attacking your birds. Another tip is to grow climbers such as passionflower, honeysuckle and clematis over the top and sides of the flights. Sparrowhawks are now so numerous, even in city gardens, that every step should be taken to prevent them diving on the aviaries. Even if they cannot reach the birds, the shock can cause birds to desert eggs or young. 28
Eliminating mice The trap is the most environmentally friendly form of elimination. But does it work? At the risk of displeasing mouse trap manufacturers, I have to say that I have never caught a single mouse in the metal traps that catch mice alive. I am told that wooden ones are more successful. Obviously traps can be used only in bird rooms where there are no birds loose. They can be used in aviaries only if they can be placed inside a box and if no small birds are present which could enter the box. The traditional type of spring trap, usually baited with cheese, can be successful - assuming you are not squeamish about removing victims. Note also that mice absolutely love chocolate and this can be the best bait of all. Be warned that some very cheap wooden
spring traps are almost impossible to set. I once tried a plastic spring-trap which was very easy to set. I soon found it had a major disadvantage. The spring was not strong enough. The mice would be trapped but not killed. I found mice trapped by the tail or the foot and being too soft-hearted to see any animal suffer, I would release these victims alive. The newspapers often feature advertisements for ultrasonic mouse deterrents. I have not tried them since I have been assured by two people who have that they are not effective. Members’ experiences on this method would be welcome. The obvious alternative to traps is poison. I greatly dislike the use of poison since it can get into the food chain and because death is not swift. Presumably it could also poison a cat if a cat caught a mouse which had eaten poison. I look on poison as a last resort. However, to deal with rats and, in some situations, with mice, there seems to be no alternative. The mouse poison which you can buy in a hardware store is unlikely to be effective over the long term, since mice will eventually become
immune to it. It is therefore advisable to contact the vermin control department of the local council. On one occasion I saw a rat in my garden and a very helpful man from the Council arrived with some blocks of poison placed inside small cardboard cartons. There is no charge for this service. If you as much as catch a glimpse of a rat, call the council immediately. Do not leave nest-boxes in position in outdoor aviaries all year unless you close the entrance by nailing wood over it. If a rat enters the aviary and finds a bird roosting inside, it will kill it and you are likely to find a headless victim. If you place mouse poison in your bird room, don’t think all you have to do is to put it in a suitable place and wait for the mouse population to crash. Now your work begins. On the first and succeeding nights of poison use in a bird room, sweep the floor, clean the cage trays, etc, and remove every food container. If they can feed on seed, they will not take the poison. Mice are so resourceful that they can learn to feed during the day but offering them only poison at night will usually solve the problem.
I greatly dislike the use of poison since it can get into the food chain and because death is not swift. Presumably it could also poison a cat if a cat caught a mouse which had eaten poison. I look on poison as a last resort. However, to deal with rats and, in some situations, with mice, there seems to be no alternative. The mouse poison which you can buy in a hardware store is unlikely to be effective over the long term, since mice will eventually become immune to it.
BIRD SCENE 29
Budgies, Canaries, Cockatiels, Conures, Finches, Large Parakeets, Lovebirds Parrots , Quail, Small Parakeets, Softbills, Chinchillas, Chipmunks, Degus, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, Mice, Rabbits, Rats, Tortoise, Hamsters Weavers Coving, Towcester Road, Whittlebury, Northants, NN12 8TD T: +44 (0) 1327 857594 M: 0770 2277 246 (Guy) / 0796 2099 830 (Lee) F: +44 (0) 1327 858965 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.skybirds.co.uk
Pet Parrot Insurance • V eterinary fees, theft & mortality cover for pet parrots
Exclusive r discount fo iety parrot soc ! members
• P ublic liability cover for bird shows/ bird clubs/ exhibitions • Q uote PS1 and your membership number to get your first month free! The first name in exotic animal insurance For a no obligation quote or further information call us now:
or visit our web site at
www.exoticdirect.co.uk ExoticDirect Pet Insurance. 4 Bridge Road Business Park, Bridge Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1TX ExoticDirect is a registered trade mark of Brooks Braithwaite (Sussex) Ltd & is authorised & regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
Parrot Society DEC2011.indd 1
Only the best!! Special products for special pets GOLD GOLD STANDARD PROBIOTIC
AVIPRO PLUS VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR INFO & SHOPPING www.vetark.co.uk
vitamins & minerals There simply is NO SUBSTITUTE
Top quality UK manufactured, veterinary medicinal products
LIQUID CHELATED calcium & D3
The ONLY licenced MEDICINAL calcium for birds
WATER SOLUBLE WORMER
VETARK PROFESSIONAL PO Box 60, Winchester, SO23 9XN Tel: 44-(0)1962-844316 Available from all good stockists Trade Enquiries Welcome Parrots0412ShowGuide.indd 1
ONCE THEY’ WE’VE LOST FOREVER
ARTICLE BY: ADAM MOGG
ou might expect a dramatic title such as ‘Once they’re gone we’ve lost them forever’ to relate to a rare and endangered species of Amazon Parrot, with a limited island range, or one of the Black Cockatoos, with a tiny gene pool within European aviculture. But no, on this occasion I refer to some of the previously commonly bred species of parakeet, which appear now to be rarely appreciated or bred in any numbers. This situation is being made worse by mixed subspecies and even species being paired together, in addition to the proliferation of mutations, not in addition to normal birds, but instead of normal birds. All of this, during a period when the numbers of individuals actually keeping and breeding birds, has decreased sharply. Anyway, before I ramble on with my own views, a little about my own bird keeping experiences and how they relate to my concerns. I’ve kept birds on and off for 34 years, my father and both my grandfathers kept birds, my first being a pair of Budgies when I was aged 6. This
’RE GONE T THEM
N O T R PA
I’ve kept birds on and off for 34 years, my father and both my grandfathers kept birds, my first being a pair of Budgies when I was aged 6. This developed through my teens, until I had a mixed show team, with everything from Hummingbirds, Flowerpeckers and Sunbirds, to Waxbills, Mannikins and Whydahs. developed through my teens, until I had a mixed show team, with everything from Hummingbirds, Flowerpeckers and Sunbirds, to Waxbills, Mannikins and Whydahs. In addition I bred numbers of Australian Finches, mostly Gouldians, and all parent reared. My collection, and in reality other than the Australian Finches, it was just that, a collection in planted aviaries, developed to include some Australian Parakeets. Turquoisines, Bourkes, Elegants, Redrumps, Manycoloured and Stanleys were all kept and bred reasonably well. A cherished pair of Swifts were eventually received from a Belgian breeder in exchange for 12 pairs of Gouldians. This was 1983, these being the first Swifts I had ever seen, unfortunately they never laid an egg, let alone reared a chick. As I reached my mid teens, the attractions of nightclubs, fashion, music, alcohol and above all girls, led me to moving on from keeping softbills and indeed showing birds, though I still kept a number of small seedeaters. Violet Eared Waxbills, Purple
BIRD SCENE 33
Eastern Rosella - Red mutation
Grenadiers, Peale’s Parrotfinches, Grey Headed Olivebacks and my Australian Parakeets. Although I kept all my seedeaters in 12ft long planted flights, with only 2 pairs per flight, and a good quantity of livefood, I never reared a single bird successfully, though chicks were commonplace. During this time my father, Martin Mogg, filmed and produced a video on keeping and breeding Australian Finches and then a second video on Australian Parakeets. I was lucky enough to accompany him, as we visited a number of parakeet breeders, primarily in the north of England. It was here that I saw my first Hooded, Brown’s, Tasmanians, Cloncurries, Yellow Vented Bluebonnets and Blue Winged Grass Parakeets, the
Hooded in particular breeding very successfully. Although I had previously seen some rather poor Pileated, imported from Belgium, during one of these filming visits I was lucky enough to see two fantastic pairs of Pileated at one breeder’s aviaries, both with large broods of chicks just out of the nest. What enthused me most, was that here was a group of birds, Australian Parakeets, that had not received any extensive fresh blood for 20 years, but was still breeding quality young. Predominantly of what I considered the true wild type, without being handreared or fostered. My father was fortunate enough to have two visits to Australia during this time, both of three months in duration. He managed to visit upwards
FEATURE of 20 parrotlike breeders in Australia, where he filmed all of the Australian Cockatoos, plus Orange Bellied and Rock Grass Parakeets, Naraethae Bluebonnets, Golden Shouldered, Blue Cheeked Rosellas and the different subspecies of Brown’s and Eastern Rosellas, even the elusive Ground Parrot. The footage he brought back seemed to indicate that the Australian Parakeets in the UK, were every bit as robust, large and well coloured as the birds kept in Australian aviculture and presumably the wild population. At 17 I left home in Yorkshire and moved to the south coast to work, having sold up all my birds and flights. Two years later I joined the British Army, and any plans to keep birds again were on long term hold, or so I thought. About 12 months into my first posting to Northern Ireland, a mate of mine found an escaped Zebra Finch. The fawn cockbird soon took up residence in a home made cage, next to my bedspace in an eight man portacabin. I bought a pied hen to join him and they were soon on eggs. During my second posting, in Wiltshire, I married my wife Jill and moved into a married quarter. This provided the opportunity to construct a couple of small flights, one housing a mixed group of Gloster Canaries and one a stunning pair on Splendids. All bred well, and when we were posted up to Lancashire, a third flight followed. This contained a mix of Masked Grassfinches, Black Rumped Bichenos, Bandtailed Seedeaters, Lavender Finches and Angolan Bluebreasted Waxbills, nest baskets overflowed with eggs but no chicks were reared. Eventually the
seedeaters were replaced with a pair of Stanley Rosellas, but disaster soon struck. I had just entered the Stanley’s flight to check on the six newly hatched chicks, when my young daughter opened the door behind me. The cockbird saw his chance and was away. The hen did her best to feed the chicks, but they eventually died one by one. An operational tour to Bosnia in 1995, meant I had to sell the birds, with the exception of the hen Stanley, which my wife took care of particularly well. On my return a posting to Kent soon followed, the post was as an instructor, providing some stability, so the hen Stanley was paired up and then joined by pairs of Manycoloured and Elegants. The next posting came round all too soon, and a move to Bedfordshire and deployment to Kosovo meant disposing of my parakeets. Our next post in Dorset, was to a particularly hectic unit, deployments to East Timor, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan meant I saw plenty of exotic birdlife but keeping birds was simply out of the question. Throughout this time I had maintained the dream that I would one day settle down and be
I joined the British Army, and any plans to keep birds again were on long term hold, or so I thought. About 12 months into my first posting to Northern Ireland, a mate of mine found an escaped Zebra Finch. The fawn cockbird soon took up residence in a home made cage, next to my bedspace in an eight man portacabin.
BIRD SCENE 35
able to establish a serious breeding collection of Australian Parakeets. Many a quiet hour during operations or exercises was spent mapping out aviary plans and I kept up my PS membership throughout. In addition my father, now living in Belfast, had an extensive breeding collection of Lories and Lorikeets, which I saw on annual visits. Sadly he became seriously ill during 2004 and the breeding successes suffered, when he died in 2005 the birds, including the best Red Stellas Lorikeets I’ve ever seen were practically given away. With 12 years served, house prices rising rapidly and a daughter deserving a stable school environment, I opted to buy a house in North Yorkshire. My wife and daughter settled in and were soon joined by a second little girl. I was serving down in Hampshire, living in the 36
Warrant Officer’s & Sergeant’s Mess during the week and commuting home at weekends. Immediately after an Iraq tour, five, 12ft flights were soon constructed and filled with Stanleys, Manycoloured and Yellow Rosellas, my wife and eldest helping to feed them during the week. I’ve been lucky enough to stay within the Army’s training environment since 2004, which has allowed me to build my breeding stock. I’m now in my final two years, in the stable but busy position of a Regimental Sergeant Major. My birds consisting of Pileated, 28s, Port Lincolns, Cloncurries, POWs, Tasmanians, Yellow Rosellas, GMRs, Mealies, Brown’s, Stanleys, Many Coloured, Turquoisines and Finschii Slatey Headed, all being normal wild coloured birds.
So, how exactly do my experiences relate to my concerns? Well, if you excuse the pun, I have in effect been parachuted back into bird keeping after a gap of 20 years. What I now see is a real dearth of quality normal or wild coloured Australian Parakeets, with some other formerly established birds, like the stunning Cardinal Lories and Stellas Lorikeets have seemingly disappeared. I have found good quality normal Grass Parakeets particularly hard to find, most pairs being adulterated with mutation blood and throwing party coloured youngsters. I have just had the same experience with Yellow Fronted Kakarikis, having visited five breeders to buy normal pure bred YF Kakarikis, I finally found an unrelated pair, not carrying Red Fronted blood, yellow flecks, pied or lutino blood. Sadly, I checked their nestbox earlier this year to find the largest and eldest chick, was pinning up with yellow feathers and had clear red eyes, a lutino! I would hate to think that all these amazing parrotlike birds will not be able to be kept and bred by my daughters, only a handful of species in mutations resembling different sized Budgies! So a final plea, try and encourage someone to take up birdkeeping each year, they may well end up as the recipients of all the young stock you breed and hopefully sell each year. Lastly, try and make space for a pair of normal birds, especially the formally commoner species, be it Lovebirds, Grass Parakeets or Redrumps, you’ll probably find they hold their price and demand far longer than mutations in the long term.
CURRENT STATUS OF THE AUSTRALIAN PARAKEETS IN UNITED KINGDOM AVICULTURE KING PARROT (Alisterus Scapularis) Once considered a real avicultural rarity, the numbers of successful breeding pairs has increased apace over the last 10 years. This has resulted in a surplus of young birds and prices dropping considerably, with some breeders selling off successful adults pairs. It is likely that if this trend continues, fewer individuals will put down mature breeding pairs, with availability reducing and prices eventually turning a corner and increasing again. Size and intensity of red colouring does vary, though most birds are of a good quality. A washed out looking dilute mutation is being increasingly bred, as are yellow pied birds.
CRIMSON WINGED PARROT (Aprosmictus Erythropterus) Availability has remained pretty constant over recent years, with young stock normally being available. Prices asked for young birds have however dropped over recent years. The intensity of the black mantle on the cock birds does vary, possibly reflecting the birds distant heritage, as the wild population also shows this variation over it’s range. Birds originating from New Guinea having less back on the mantle and an overall longer, leaner body shape, characteristics which are even more defined in the Timor Crimson Wing.
BIRD SCENE 37
Yellow pied birds are now being bred on the continent.
BARRABAND PARAKEET (Polytelis Swainsonii ) Popular and widely bred, with large numbers of young being available each year. Recently some breeders have sadly disposed of adult pairs due to supply of young outstripping demand. Quality is generally high, though care should be taken to obtain unrelated birds. Birds displaying a degree of yellow flecking are occasionally offered for sale.
ROCK PEBBLER PARAKEET (Polytelis Anthopeplus) Reasonably popular and widely bred, with large numbers of young being available each year. Again some breeders have disposed of adult pairs recently due to the supply of young outstripping demand. The depth of yellow colouration in cock birds varies significantly, reflecting the two geographically separated wild populations. A washed out dilute mutation and a lutino are now being bred on the continent.
PRINCESS OF WALES’ PARAKEET (Polytelis Alexandrae) Not as readily available as it was only 10 years ago, good quality normal birds being particularly hard to come by, with demand outstripping supply. Considerable variation is seen in the intensity of the colouring on the cock’s head and particularly the rump. Length of tail, size of bird and even the overall body shape do vary considerably,
however these are all seen in the bird’s massive wild range. Blue, lutino and albino mutations are well established, yellow pied birds are also occasionally seen.
TASMANIAN ROSELLA (Platycercus Caledonicus) Some very good quality birds now available, with few if any showing the adulteration caused by hybridisation with Pennant’s or Yellow Rosellas, which occasionally happened in the past. A reasonable number of breeding pairs are being kept, but as they take some time to mature and tend to have small clutches, demand usually outstrips supply. Thankfully no one has as yet been irresponsible enough to attempt to introduce mutations through hybridisation with other Rosellas, though yellow pied Tasmanians are now bred on the continent.
PENNANT’S ROSELLA (Platycercus Elegans Elegans) Very popular and widely bred, though good quality normal birds are becoming harder to find, many so called normals being adulterated with mutation blood. Birds showing characteristics of the sub species Nigrescens are occasionally seen, being slightly smaller and darker, and with chicks appearing from the nest being crimson with an almost bronzy wash, rather than a haphazard mix of olive green and dull red in the nominate race. A wide variety of mutations are now being bred, though the popularity of each new mutation tends not to last long with prices consequently plunging.
BIRD SCENE 39
ADELAIDE ROSELLA (Platycercus Elegans Adelaidae)
EASTERN ROSELLA (Platycercus Eximius)
Very few now being kept or bred in the UK, Adelaides vary considerably in terms of the orange base colour, some being a beautiful tangerine colour, others being a rusty red brown colour. Birds produced by directly crossing a Pennant’s Rosella with a Yellow Rosella are occasionally seen, some being identical to Adelaides, others having random splashes of red and yellow feathering. Mutation Adelaides are now appearing, often being introduced through crosses with Pennant’s Rosellas.
Almost always advertised as Golden Mantled Rosellas in the UK, despite very few actually being from this smaller and more brightly coloured sub species. Birds vary considerably in size and colouration reflecting a mix of the nominate race, the sub species Cecilae or Golden Mantled and the sub species Diemenensis or Tasmanian Eastern. The Golden Mantled is a smaller bird with yellow and black scalloping on the back and mantle, a bright aqua or mint blue/green rump and a dark blue tail. In the nominate race the scalloping is greenish yellow, the rump is apple green and the tail green and blue. The Tasmanian race combines the yellow and black scalloping of the GMR with the rump and tail colour of the Eastern, in addition it shows even more clear yellow on the nape than the GMR and is considerably larger. A tiny number of individuals are now breeding birds of both the genuine GMR and Tasmanian Eastern types, though many breeders simply don’t really know what birds they have. A wide mix of mutations are now available, as each new colour appears their popularity and price soars, as a reliable breeding species the market is then flooded and birds are very difficult to dispose of.
YELLOW ROSELLA (Platycercus Elegans Flaveolus) Never massively popular or widely bred, possibly due to the drab colouration of the youngsters, few youngsters are currently offered for sale each year. Quality varies considerably, as does the extent of orange suffusion into the yellow of the plumage. Most hens show at least some orange colouration on the upper breast, though birds which show signs of hybridisation with either Adelaides or Pennants’ in their past are now rarely seen. Bizarrely a yellow pied mutation of the Yellow Rosella is now being bred, with it’s popularity impacting on the number of pure bred normals available.
Quality varies considerably, as does the extent of orange suffusion into the yellow of the plumage. Most hens show at least some orange colouration on the upper breast, though birds which show signs of hybridisation with either Adelaides or Pennants’ in their past are now rarely seen. Bizarrely a yellow pied mutation of the Yellow Rosella is now being bred, with it’s popularity impacting on the number of pure bred normals available.
MEALY ROSELLA (Platycercus Adsiticus Palliceps) Reasonably popular and widely bred, the birds advertised as Mealy Rosellas
vary markedly in colouration, though it has to be said that this is also true of the wild population. Most birds now show plumage characteristics, not only of the
BIRD SCENE 41
pale grey breasted Pallicps but also of the brighter and darker blue breasted sub species’. Sadly Mealy x Eastern hybrids are occasionally seen, as are Pennant’s x Eastern hybrids, though young Mealies with red flecking on the head should not be discounted as this common marking is also seen in the wild population. Both yellow pied and fallow mutations have now appeared.
BLUE CHEEKED ROSELLA (Platycercus Adsiticus Adsiticus) This is in fact the nominate type of Pale Headed Rosella, being distinguished from the Mealy by it’s smaller size, slightly slimmer appearance and blue cheek patches. The easiest way of recognising pure Blue Cheeked however, is the fact that they have a greenish yellow rump and upper tail coverts, not blue or grey as in other forms of Mealy or Pale Headed. A high proportion of birds advertised as Blue Cheeked in the UK are in fact birds of mixed ancestry and not true Blue Cheeked. Pure birds are however available on the Continent and a handful of breeders are now keeping them in the UK, though breeding successes have as yet not been high.
BROWN’S ROSELLA (Platycercus Venustus) Always rare and in demand the availability of Brown’s Rosella has remained steady over recent years. Only a tiny number of breeders concentrate or succeed with them in the UK, many being put off with the difficulty of making up pairs or producing good numbers of chicks, choosing to turn
FEATURE their attentions to the easier challenges of mutation Pennants or handrearing African Grey Parrots. A number of both adult cocks and adult pairs seem to change hands all too regularly, with no breeding successes, some of these birds being unwanted birds, useless for breeding, from the Continent. Making up unrelated, first year young pairs from reliable breeders being the only way ahead with this species. Most birds in the UK show the basic plumage of the nominate race, with the blue cheek patches of the sub species Hilli. Birds with a blue tone to the body as seen in Hilli, are however rare. Hens will often leave the nest with some red or yellow feathering interspersed amongst the black of the head, particularly just above the beak, this usually reduces with age and is again also seen in the wild population.
STANLEY ROSELLA (Platycercus Icterotis Icterotis)
Not as popular or commonly bred as it once was, Stanley Rosellas are still widely if thinly bred. The quality of birds for sale is often patchy and care should be taken to obtain the best unrelated birds that you can. A tiny number of Australian Parakeet breeders are making attempts to re-establish through selective breeding, the Red Backed sub species Xanthogenys. These beautiful birds have paler yellow cheeks than the nominate birds, red extending fully down the back to the rump, dark blue tails and a bluey green base colour when compared with the nominate Green Backed birds. It may be that birds of the true Red Backed sub species exist on the
BIRD SCENE 43
continent, certainly I am aware of claims from Holland, Norway and Austria. The grey coloured blue mutation was incredibly popular and widely kept up until recently, a new wave of mutations has now appeared on the Continent.
PORT LINCOLN PARAKEET (Barnardius Zonarius Zonarius) Widely bred and relatively easy to obtain, the Port Lincolns in the UK display much of the variation found in their large wild range. Those of what is widely accepted as the purest form have no red feathering above the beak, though a small amount of red, particularly in young birds can also be seen in the wild. The green colouring of the back and upper breast is variable and can have a bluish wash, likewise the intensity of
the yellow on the belly is variable. Some breeders have recently sold off breeding pairs as a result of not being able to sell on youngsters or to make room for more valuable and consequently lucrative breeding birds. A blue mutation is now available.
28 PARAKEET (Barnardius Zonarius Semitorquatus) Very hard to come by in the UK, though very popular and widely bred on the Continent, with only a tiny number of breeders with normal, wild coloured birds. Size varies considerably with some being significantly larger than even the bulkiest Port Lincoln, the same can also be said of the head and beak which can be incredibly robust in some strains. This peculiarity can make
with a quantity of black in the head that may indicate a previous crossing with a Port Lincoln and Barnard x Port Lincoln hybrids are unfortunately sometimes offered for sale to the unknowing. Blue, pied and fallow mutations have all appeared, the popularity of the blue mutation undoubtedly impacting on the numbers of normal birds bred.
CLONCURRY PARAKEET (Barnardius Zonarius Macgillivrayi)
sexing by sight particularly difficult. Birds are occasionally seen which demonstrate previous hybridisation with Port Lincolns, with some yellow or yellowish feathering on the belly. The blue mutation is now common on the Continent, this is reflected in the UK, with as many people attempting to breed blues as attempting to breed normals.
BARNARD’S PARAKEET (Barnardius Zonarius Barnardius) Kept and bred in reasonable numbers in the UK, though far less so than only 5 or 6 years ago. Barnard’s are always incredibly variable in their plumage, particularly the depth of colouration on the back, the orange belly band and head markings. Occasionally a bird is seen
Once incredibly sought after, the market was flooded during the 90s and the price plummeted. Cloncurries are now bred in steady numbers, though not as commonly as they are on the continent. Due to a tiny initial gene pool in European aviculture, unrelated birds should always be traced to make up breeding pairs.
RED RUMPED PARAKEET (Psephotus Haematonatus) Very widely kept and bred in the UK, the issue here being the scarcity of normal birds. Only a tiny number of pure normal Red Rumped Parakeets now exist in this country, and many of those advertised as such actually display some opaline markings on the wing coverts or are of a slightly washed out colour when compared with true normal birds. Amazingly and incredibly sadly there are probably far more breeding pairs of Hooded Parakeets in the UK now than there are pairs of pure normal Red Rumps. The establishment of a nucleus of breeding normal Red Rumps must surely be a worthwhile goal for someone.
BIRD SCENE 45
MANY COLOURED PARAKEET (Psephotus Varius) Ever in demand, the supply of young Many Coloured never seems enough, particularly if sensibly priced. Reasonable numbers are bred each year, yet the number of established and successful breeding pairs never seems to increase. As with Brown’s Rosellas, some birds seem to change hands regularly and some owners must surely be guilty of not giving their birds enough time to settle and breed, before swapping them for the next latest fad. Birds in the UK do vary considerably both in colouration and size, but this is also true of the wild population. The base green colouration on the cocks can have a turquoise blue wash and hens can be a base brown or closer to a dull green colour. The amount 46
of red on the abdomen and lower breast is variable in both sexes, with some hens having red scalloping right the way up the chest. These characteristics have been increased by selective breeding on the Continent, where attractive high red bellied birds are now available. In my view this is one Australian Parakeet
Birds in the UK do vary considerably both in colouration and size, but this is also true of the wild population. The base green colouration on the cocks can have a turquoise blue wash and hens can be a base brown or closer to a dull green colour. The amount of red on the abdomen and lower breast is variable in both sexes…
FEATURE where the quality of Continental birds of both the normal and high red bellied birds is generally better than those in the UK.
HOODED PARAKEET (Psephotus Dissimilis) Having finally become widely available in the late 90s, their popularity dipped with fewer breeders keeping pairs of these birds in recent years. However, a corner seems to have been turned and 4 or 5 breeders are now having consistent success. Some birds, particularly hens are noticeably small, and every effort must be made to make up pairs from robust unrelated birds. A few young birds are available annually in the UK, though in mainland Europe they are relatively easy to procure. A number of birds have been bred on the continent in recent years displaying abhorrent plumage, a blue and something resembling a fallow, though neither has as yet become established.
GOLDEN SHOULDERED PARAKEET (Psephotus Chrystopterygius) Having been considered an avicultural rarity for many years, the Golden Shouldered Parakeet is now being bred on the Continent in good numbers, using the same conditions as Hooded. The size, colour and robustness of birds is variable and breeders should beware being offered cast offs by some Continental breeders. A few breeders are now keeping Golden Shouldered in the UK, some breeding with good success, though stock is very rarely offered for sale.
RED VENTED BLUEBONNET PARAKEET (Northiella Haematogaster Haematorrhous) Though not as popular or commonly bred as on the Continent, a reasonable number are bred on a fairly consistent basis each year, though these seem to originate from only a handful of successful breeders with prolific adult pairs. Birds are by and large of a good quality, though size and colouration does vary. Prices have remained steady and perhaps surprisingly low over recent years, surplus adult cock birds always seem to be available at the various sales events. Any potential purchaser is however advised to make up pairs of young unrelated birds, rather than odd adult birds. Selectively bred high red fronted birds have been developed on the Continent for some time, they are now as widely kept as the normal birds, with the price varying little between the two.
Continued Next Issue…
DONATE TO OUR CONSERVATION FUND… CLICK THE LINK BELOW: http://www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/donations.php
BIRD SCENE 47
PALM NUTS - Natural food for Parrots Palm nuts are the natural food of African Grey parrots. It is actually the yellow flesh around the nut that is important although larger parrots such as macaws can crack the nut as well. Palm nuts are good for all parrots particularly breeding birds. As some birds tend to be fussy eaters it is best to start with just 250g to try them out. On arrival, put the palm nuts into a deep freeze. They should be thawed overnight and washed before use. Feed a pair of African Greys 4 nuts per day.
od better fo o n is e r r The d to you e e f ld u y you co what the n a h t s t o parr e wild. eat in th
250g Palm Nuts (ssp00250) 1kg Palm Nuts (ssp00031) 5kg Palm Nuts (ssp00035) 25kg Palm Nuts (ssp00025)
£6.99 £14.99 £59.99 £250.00
Some postcodes in the UK have a longer delivery than 2 days due to their remoteness. These items are ordered at your own risk and we cannot be held liable for any spoilage due to delivery time.
For the very latest news and products
SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER. Just e-mail email@example.com
P&P £6.95 up to 30kg (to most UK postcodes) unless included in price. Open for collection from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday Rob Harvey Specialist Feeds, Kookaburra House, Gravel Hill Road, Holt Pound, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LG
Tel: 01420 23986 Fax: 01420 520722 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are mail order specialists