43 Bird Scene - Summer 2019

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BIRD ISSUE FORTY THREE: SUMMER 2019

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THE MAGAZINE FOR HOBBYIST BREEDERS AND CONSERVATIONISTS

CONSERVATION OF THE AUSTRALIA

MAJOR MITCHELL’S COCKATOO

T

OMETEPE, ‘ISLAND OF HOPE’ FOR THE YELLOW-NAPED AMAZON

AU T 2N UM D N SE ED 20 PT ITI 19 EM ON BE O R U

BREEDING THE AMAZILIA HUMMINGBIRD BIRD

FR EE

IN AUSTRALIA IN NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA


Nuts in Shell, Kernels & Dried Fruits! Macadamias & Brazils out of shell Almonds, Hazels <FILBERTS>, Pecans, Peanuts & Walnuts in shell & out of shell < Kernels > (In shell, kernels & Dried Fruits NUTRIENTS INTACT) Small & Large orders MENTION = PARROT SOCIETY AT CHECKOUT TO GET 5% OFF ON ORDERS OVER £150 ON LINE ORDERS WEBSITE: www.afnuts.com EMAIL: sales@allnut.com / TEL: 01268 710850

Macadamia Nuts in Stock!!! A Favourite for Hyacinth Macaws and other types of Parrot. Nut Kernels (without shell) Human Consumption Grade

BOOKS AND PRINTS: AFRICAN POICEPHALUS PARROTS Print & Booklet £16 plus p&p UK £5, p&p world £10

THE MANUAL of COLOUR BREEDING PRICE REDUCTION!! on remaining copies, now only £20 each plus p&p UK £5, p&p world £10 THE ROSELLAS PRICE REDUCTION!! On remaining copies, now only £5 each plus p&p UK £5, p&p world £10

The Following Supplements & Titles are now out of print and unavailable:INDIAN RINGNECK PARRAKEET (Supplement to Manual) LINEOLATED PARRAKEET (Supplement to Manual)

Parrot Society UK > 23

COCKATIEL (Supplement to Manual) BREEDING THE AMBOINA KING (CD) GENETICS WIZARD

Cheques/drafts in BRITISH POUNDS STERLING ONLY payable to: J&P Hayward Carterton Breeding Aviaries, Brize Norton Road, Carterton, Oxon, ENGLAND OX18 3HW Tel: 01993 841736


CONTENTS BIRD SCENE: SUMMER 2019

CONTENTS 36

DONATE TO OUR CONSERVATION FUND… CLICK THE LINK BELOW: www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/donations.php

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BREEDING THE AMAZILIA HUMMINGBIRD BIRD Weltvogelpark Walsrode

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THE NATIONAL EXHIBITION 2019 Les Rance

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OMETEPE, ‘ISLAND OF HOPE’ FOR THE YELLOW-NAPED AMAZON Dr. David Waugh

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SECURITY REPORT Dave Dickason

ON THE COVER

BIRD ISSUE FORTY THREE: SUMMER 2019

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CONSERVATION OF THE AUSTRALIA

MAJOR MITCHELL’S COCKATOO

36 T

OMETEPE, ‘ISLAND OF HOPE’ FOR THE YELLOW-NAPED AMAZON

OU

6

BREEDING THE AMAZILIA HUMMINGBIRD BIRD

EE

IN AUSTRALIA IN NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA

FR

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THE MAGAZINE FOR HOBBYIST BREEDERS AND CONSERVATIONISTS

AU T 2N UM D N SE ED 20 PT ITIO 19 EM N BER

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CONSERVATION OF THE AUSTRALIA MAJOR MITCHELL’S COCKATOO IN AUSTRALIA IN NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA Les Rance & Ray Ackroyd

BIRD SCENE: Issue Forty Three: Summer 2019 BIRD SCENE is run by The Parrot Society UK, Audley House, Northbridge Road, Berkhamsted HP4 1EH, England. FOR SALES AND EDITORIAL ENQUIRES Telephone or Fax: 01442 872245 Website: www.theparrotsocietyuk.org / E-Mail: les.rance@theparrotsocietyuk.org The views expressed by contributors to this magazine are not those of The Parrot Society UK unless otherwise explicitly stated

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Les Rance, Editor, The Parrot Society UK | www.theparrotsocietyuk.org | les.rance@

INTRODUCT A

s I write this introduction in mid- May 2019 I am mindful of the effects of our recent weather for breeders attempting to breed in aviaries. In February the weather was very kind to us with temperatures some days of 14C which continued for so long that it brought some of my hens into breeding condition and egg production started. Sadly the majority of eggs were not fertile and temperatures in both March and April fell back. My 2018 bred young Budgerigars that I had been wintering indoors were only placed in their breeding aviaries on 5th May as I thought that up until then it was too cold for them, so they will be later breeders this year. However, hopefully there will be far fewer infertile eggs and therefore it might not turn out too badly at the end of the day. Believe it or not, it is now over two years since the up-listing of African Grey parrots that had been added to Annex ‘A’ of CITES on 4th February 2017 and we are still advising people on what is required from DEFRA to ensure that all Greys that are sold have the correct Article 10 papers. If you are thinking of buying an African Grey you must ensure it comes with the yellow CITES documentation, it is an offence 04

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to buy a Grey if it is not correctly licenced. At this time last year we were still experiencing Avian Flu and the whole country was classified as a Protection zone, but fortunately this did not affect Sales Days of hobbyist breeding stock. It seems that chickens, ducks, geese and swans are the birds most at risk from contracting Avian Flu. Dare I mention Brexit? At this time last year I wrote ‘What is starting to interest us is the affects that Brexit will have on bird keepers and the possibility that quarantine will be re-imposed on birds coming from mainland Europe. This would make quite a difference for companies who import birds for the pet industry as at the present time, as far as I am aware, there are no functioning quarantine stations for birds in the UK. These facilities can be quite expensive to both build and maintain and therefore anyone thinking of building one will obviously think very carefully before they go down that route. This may well mean a dire shortage of stock for the pet trade.’ Really at the time of writing this Introduction on 15th May 2019 nothing is any clearer! In this edition of Bird Scene we are very pleased to have three excellent articles, the first being on the breeding


@theparrotsocietyuk.org

TION

BY THE EDITOR

of the Amazilia Hummingbird at Weltvogelpark Walsrode Germany with some really excellent images of these small avian gems. The second article is that of the conservation of the Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo in New South Wales Australia by Ray Ackroyd. The third is a very informative article by Dr David Waugh on the Yellow-naped Amazon regarding the work Loro Parque has invested in its conservation. This is now the 43rd edition of Bird Scene, how quickly eight years can pass when you are working on a project – the first FREE on-line bird magazine produced in the UK. At 48 pages this is quite a big read! Every time we post the Parrot Society magazine I cringe at the cost. Postal costs appear to have increased far faster than inflation and if The Royal Mail are not careful they will find that their income will reduce even further as people and businesses send less and less by conventional means. With CPI inflation now running at 2.2% costs continue to rise. These costs obviously affect bird clubs when the show schedules have to be posted to potential exhibitors and equally it affects the exhibitors when they return their entries. In addition how much longer will bird clubs be able to afford

LES RANCE

to post magazines to their members? This must be a great worry to many club officials. Fortunately with an e-magazine we do not have this problem, or for that matter the cost of colour printing. As a result of increases to the costs of both postage and printing I am really pleased that we decided to produce Bird Scene as a FREE e-magazine. We have learnt a great deal over the past eight years about this way of communicating with bird enthusiasts and I am sure that this knowledge will become more and more valuable as we see further increases in costs to paper magazines. We are always happy to receive articles about the species that are being exhibited at The National and are very pleased to give publicity to the club supplying the information. Regular readers will know that Bird Scene has been produced to publicise The National Exhibition held each year at our October Sale Day/Show at Stafford County Showground which will be held on Sunday 6th October 2019 and to promote our Conservation efforts for threatened parrots in the wild. An archive of earlier editions of Bird Scene can be accessed from the link below the recent issues of Bird Scene. BIRD SCENE 05


BREEDING THE

AMAZILIA HUMMINGBIRD BIRD

AT WELTVOGELPARK WALSRODE

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FEATURE

H

ummingbirds are a family of new world birds, containing about 328 recognized species that inhabit different habitats in South America and southern North America. Most of these species are tiny - the smallest bird alive is in fact a hummingbird: the Bee Hummingbird, measuring 5 cm from head to tail and weighing less than 2 grams! Hummingbirds are well known for their extensively iridescent plumage and their main food source: nectar. Their bodies are adapted to their specific feeding habits: with their long, sometimes curved bill they can access nectar in flowering plants, and their hovering flight allows them to remain seemingly ‘motionless’ in the air while feeding.

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Hovering arises by extremely rapid wing movement: some species can flap their wings up to 80 times per second! Hummingbirds are solitary birds, often aggressively defending nectar sources. As a result, male and female hummingbirds will only associate briefly to mate, and the female hummingbird will take care of the eggs and chicks on her own. Chicks are fed with small insects and nectar, and as they grow, the proportion of insects will diminish. In adult hummingbirds, insects only make out 10% of the diet. Hummingbirds are rarely kept in zoos because of their specific needs. One of the better known species is the Amazilia Hummingbird (Amazilia amazilia), which occurs in Western Peru and Ecuador. This species measures 9 to 11 cm and weighs about 5 g. Amazilia Hummingbirds have a green head and upper back, a rufous tail and belly and an iridescent throat ranging from golden to turquoise green. Their wings are

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black and their bill is mostly red. Males and females look very similar, but females usually look a little duller and have a larger black tip on their bill. Amazilia Hummingbirds prefer semiarid to arid habitats with scrubs, thorn forests and desert areas. They are also common in cultivations, parks and gardens, even within larger cities such as Lima. The species breeds all year round, with females usually laying two eggs in a cup-like nest consisting of plant wool, fibers and spider webs. After an incubation period of 16 days the almost naked chicks hatch, weighing approximately 0.5 grams. Amazilia Hummingbirds have been bred in some institutions, but it remains very difficult to maintain a sustainable population in captivity. In 2011, Weltvogelpark Walsrode had the chance to start an Amazilia Hummingbird breeding project. This was a fantastic opportunity for us, but of course it needed much preparation! For our hummingbirds, we


FEATURE

designed a room where the light cycle, air inflow, temperature and humidity are artificially controlled. This room is divided into three parts: a kitchen for food preparation, enclosures for habituation and a large room for the breeding aviaries. Each of our breeding aviaries gives the bird access to two lamps for sun bathing, one pot with a fruit fly culture, one feeding tube with nectar, and one bath. Plenty of sticks and plants are available for the birds to sit down and rest, doors in between the aviaries allow for males and females to be easily put together for mating. On the 30th of October 2011 it was finally happening: 6 female and 5 male Amazilia Hummingbirds safely arrived at Weltvogelpark Walsrode! After the quarantine period, the birds were moved to their individual breeding aviaries. All of the birds responded very well to the transfers. One of our females even started

building a nest right away, resulting in the first egg on the 8th of march 2012! This egg was followed by another two eggs on the 18th and 20th of march. Sadly these first eggs weren’t fertilized, probably due to some fertility problems of the male or the pair did not harmonize very well. Once we recognized this, the female was paired with another male, which resulted in a fertilized egg on the 15th of May! At that moment we were confronted with another problem: all of our birds were very young, and none of them had any breeding experience. This is probably the reason why the female didn’t incubate very well. As a result, the egg had to be put in an incubator. Obviously, this was not an optimal situation, but it was very fascinating to see an embryo develop in such a tiny egg. Unfortunately, the embryo died on the 10th day of development.

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On the morning of December 8th, we were very happy to find one healthy looking chick in her nest! It hatched completely on its own on the 16th day of incubation. A few hours later it got even better: the second chick started hatching!

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FEATURE

After a quiet period in June and July, we had another egg on the 15th of August 2012. Because the female didn´t incubate at all, this egg had to be put in an incubator as well. After five days it was clear that the egg was fertilized, and 11 days later the first hummingbird chick finally hatched in Weltvogelpark Walsrode! Although the chick made a hole in the shell on its own, it was not able to hatch without our help and it weighed only 0.37 grams! The chick was hand reared in an artificial nest placed in a separate incubator. Initially, it only received some water, but after 24 hours, when the yolk sack was completely absorbed, we started feeding nectar and flies. The chick was fed every 20 minutes from 8.00 am to 11.00 pm and was left to rest during the night. Although the chick was begging very actively during the first two days, it looked very weak on the third morning and died a few hours later. It took some time before we had another chance to breed these beautiful birds, but in November, one of our females started laying again. We were able to monitor the breeding behavior by placing a camera above her nest. The female laid two fertilized eggs and incubated them perfectly. On the morning of December 8th, we were very happy to find one healthy looking chick in her nest! It hatched completely on its own on the 16th day of incubation. A few hours later it got even better: the second chick started hatching! This chick also hatched on its own, after only 15 days of incubation. The female took good care of both chicks. She was constantly catching flies to feed to her chicks and in between she was cleaning or incubating them. The chicks clearly received an enormous amount of flies, causing their crops to grow as big as their heads. Both chicks grew very fast and were begging actively. After a week, their eyes started opening and after 10 days the mother stopped incubating them

during the night. Sadly, on the 12th day after hatching, one of the chicks got some food in its trachea when it was being fed by the mother. We couldn’t do anything, and the chick died within two minutes. Fortunately, the other chick kept on growing and after a while it was sitting on the edge of the nest, curiously looking at the world around it. During this period we started feeding the chick with a feeding tube, so it would recognize feeding tubes after fledging. On the 7th of January 2013, the chick took its first flight and made a clumsy landing on the floor of the aviary. During the next days it became better and better at flying and it started feeding from a feeding tube on its own. A couple of days after fledging, the chick was separated from its mother and Weltvogelpark Walsrode had its first fully grown hummingbird chick! Two months after the first chick fledged, an egg was once again abandoned by its mother. The fertilized egg was put in our incubator, and on the 14th of March, a chick hatched after 15 days of incubation. Once again, we tried the best we could to hand rear this tiny bird, and this time our efforts paid off!

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…five more chicks successfully hatched and fledged, from which three were raised by their mother. The young females seem to catch up on their breeding and rearing experience, so that 4 young were successfully parent reared!

The chick was always begging actively and it grew very well. It only weighed 0.5 grams on day two, but its weight increased to 3.3 grams on day 15 and 4.9 grams on day 25! We fed it fruit flies soaked in isotonic water, supplemented with nectar. The amount of fruit flies increased every day: on the 3rd day it was fed 45 fruit flies throughout the day, and on the

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15th day this amount had been increased to 445 fruit flies! After day 15 we started lowering the amount of fruit flies, since adult birds hardly need any insects. The amount of nectar was increased every day as well: 0.48 ml on the 3rd day, 5 ml on the 15th up to 8 ml on the 25th day. The chick fledged on April 4th 2013, 21 days after hatching. A few days later, when the


FEATURE

chick was completely independent, it was moved to a small aviary, where it could practice its flying skills. This chick wasn’t the end of our breeding success. In fact, five more chicks successfully hatched and fledged, from which three were raised by their mother. The young females seem to catch up on their breeding and rearing

experience, so that 4 young were successfully parent reared! At the moment of writing, there were 7 healthy chicks flying around in their individual aviaries! Weltvogelpark Walsrode is very proud of this accomplishment, and of course we hope our efforts to breed these little birds will keep paying off in the future.

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BY LES RANCE

THE NATIONAL EXHIBITION

BY LES RANCE

P

rogress with the background tasks associated with this year’s National is excellent. We held a meeting with the organising committee in Coventry on 12th May to review the 2018 event and make improvements for the 2019 show which will be the 13th we have held at Stafford County Showground. All clubs that participate in The National Exhibition are invited to attend this

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meeting. Each time we organise this Show we aim to improve both the exhibitor experience and that of the viewing public and the points discussed at this meeting prove invaluable in ensuring improvements continue to achieve these goals. It is very important to ensure that everyone is kept well informed about the progress being made with the organisation of such a challenging event.


FEATURE

The minutes from the last meeting follow:Minutes of meeting in Coventry on 12th May for the National Exhibition 1. Date of the National Exhibition is Sunday 6th October 2019 2. Chris Grange of Johnston & Jeff Ltd our sponsors and Lee Clarke a new Parrot Society Council member were welcomed to the meeting

3. Review of the 2018 National Exhibition: Judging Stands had not been taken down in the Sandylands Centre and staging is still not being placed on the correct pallets at the end of the show. The crowd control barriers need to be in the two Centres before staging is taken in and the pump action trolley also needs to be available early on the Saturday morning.

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The Australian Finch Society In association with

The Parrot Society UK Presents

The National Exhibition Sunday, October 7th 2018 Classes for:-

Australian & Waxbill Finches. Free entry,

For Schedule Email:- austfinchsoc@googlemail.com By down load from:-

www.Australianfinchsociety.co.uk

or

email mel.randall@me.com

NATIONAL BENGALESE FANCIERS ASSOCIATION

The NBFA is proud to announce that once again it will be holding ‘The Bengalese National’ in conjunction with the NATIONAL EXHIBITION on Sunday 7th OCTOBER 2018 at Stafford County Showground. For further show details please contact Show Secretary: Mr. Rick Crook, 15 Agard Avenue, Scunthorpe, North Lincs, DN15 7DY. E-mail:- rickcrook00@gmail.com

Or Phone; Show Secretary Mr Mel Randall 07774994507 Please enter as early as possible, Please include a Stamped Addressed Envelope. Full list of prizes see schedule. A.F.S. Members Rates £15 per annum £20 per annum- (if delivered by air mail outside of the U.K.) £15-00 if delivered by E mail. Junior Members; under 16 FREE Please make cheques payable to; Australian Finch Society. And send to Mr John Richards. 26 Allen Vale. Liskeard. Cornwall. PL14 4HL waxbills@hotmail.com 01579 344720 Please include a Stamped Addressed Envelope. Or pay on line @ http://www.australianfinchsociety.co.uk

The NBFA publishes three all colour magazines per year featuring club news, articles and photographs. Comprehensive details about the NBFA and Bengalese can be found on our website at www.nbfa.co.uk or from our General Secretary:Wayne Brown, 3, Orchard Flatts Crescent, Wingfield, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S61 4AS Email: wan68brown@gmail.com Telephone: 0755 2646 989 Subscriptions can now be paid by PayPal, including the option to pay by a credit or debit card.

In 2017 the NBFA launched a Facebook Group - National Bengalese Fanciers Association UK It is a closed group with a primary purpose of allowing NBFA members to raise and comment on matters related to NBFA activities. Many documents including past articles from the club magazines have been added, including the popular articles in the ‘Meet the Fancier’ series, which covers various subjects including their birds, accommodation, housing, feeding regime, breeding and show preparation. Many members have already joined including growing numbers from various parts of the world.

International Border Breeders Association Bringing Border Fanciers Together Worldwide 2018 NEW NATIONAL SHOW THE 2016 AT STAFFORD SHOWGROUND 7TH OCTOBER SUNDAY 9TH THE BORDER SECTION WILL BE MANAGED BY THE INTERNATIONAL BORDER BREEDERS ASSOCIATION THE RULES OF THE BORDER CONVENTION WILL APPLY

Judges engaged are: Michel. Apuzzo (Italy) Montano.(Italy) Valentino Cherubini ( Italy )Antonio. and Terry James ( England ) And Simon Tamman (England) CASH SPECIALS FOR TOP 7 BIRDS CASH SPECIALS FOR TOP 7 BIRDS

IBBA NATIONAL TROPHY FOR THE TOP 7 CHAMPION AND TOP 7 NOVICE BIRDS IBBA NATIONAL TROPHY FOR THE TOP 7 CHAMPION AND TOP 7 NOVICE BIRDS

IBBA ROSETTE FOR THE BEST OF EACH COLOUR IBBA ROSETTE FOR THE BEST OF EACH COLOUR SCHEDULES AVAILABLE ON-LINE www.borderconvention.org.uk SCHEDULES AVAILABLE ON-LINE www.borderconvention.org.uk OR FROM THE SECRETARY. ORMALCOLM FROM THE BARNETT, SECRETARY. THE OLD VICARAGE, SEA DYKE WAY, MALCOLM BARNETT, MARSHCHAPEL, THE OLD VICARAGE, SEA DYKE WAY, LINCS. DN36 5SX. MARSHCHAPEL, TEL. 07944244594 LINCS. DN36 5SX. TEL. 07944244594

‘The Bengalese’ book published by the NBFA is still available.

National Exhibition October 7th 2018 Location, Stafford County Showground, Stafford, ST18 OBD

IRISH FANCY INTERNATIONAL OPEN SHOW

LIZARD CANARY ASSOCIATION OF GREAT BRITIAN

Best Novice

Crystal Award

Best Champion

Crystal Award

Best Novice

Flighted £5.00

Best Champion

Flighted £5.00

Best Novice

un/flighted £5.00

Best Champion

un/Flighted £5.00

Best Junior,

Trophy, large Rosette + £3.00

• Judge: Phil Lloyd • Birds Accepted Saturday 6th from 5pm to 7pm. Sunday 7th 7am to 9am • Exhibitors must wear entry wrist bands when they enter the hall on Sunday to book in their birds. • Judging 9.15 or before if all entries are staged. Please support this event, to help secure a future for this wonderful hobby • Maurice Secretary Mobile 07428 013228 Email mauriceifin@hotmail.co.uk • PLEASE USE THE CLUB SHOW CLASSIFICATION

4. Sponsorship arrangements for 2019: Chris Grange said that Johnston & Jeff Ltd were fully committed to sponsoring the National both in 2019 and the future. The package of sponsorship includes one tonne of various seed mixtures divided between the supporting clubs, high quality Rosettes in two colours for specials and current year bred birds, five trophies for the five main sections and the entry wrist bands for the event. All the clubs greatly appreciate the support for J& J. With new packaging being developed by the company the Parrot Society logo will in future be displayed on relevant mixtures.

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To obtain an entry Form

Please send to the LCA secretary :- David Allen, 108 Nowell Road, Rosehill, Oxofrd OX4 4TD TEL: 01865 452 476

LCA newsletter {twice a year} LCA Handbook LCA Closed rings scheme advantageous prices. [available from the secretary]

Best Irish Fancy in Show £15.00

THE NATIONAL EXH EXH

SUBSCRIPTIONS | Adults £12.00 | Juniors £5.00

Benefits for LCA members are:-

Special Awards:

The Lovebird(1990)Society ar

And schedule for the

The Lizard Canary Association hold an annual show each year and award patronage to several shows throughout the UK. For Patronage applications, apply to the secretary.

Lovebird Section Please send a SSAE to:

OPEN SHOW

Stevie Stewart

9 Berniehill Avenue Bathgate

BLCC

West Lothian

BLCC

EH48 2RR

Open to all

The Blue Lizard Canary Club of Great Britain.

Lovebird Breeders Saturday 6th 5-7pm Sunday 7th 7.30-9am

The best Blue Lizard will win the Presidents Trophy the Kevin Skinner Cup. Club subscriptions are £10 for UK members and 15 Euros for overseas members Please send to the club Secretary:- David Allen 108 Nowell Road, Rosehill, Oxford OX4 4TD All schedules will be sent out to current members, but this is an Open show so anyone wanting a schedule should contact David on the above address or by telephone 01865452476

Bernard Howlett Beckett End, Beck Street, Hepworth, Diss, Norfolk IP22 2PN Telephone 01359 221245

9.15am or before if all entries are staged

Cash prizes £150 Rosettes & Specials

For further information check the Club’s website www.bluelizardcanary.com

5. Checking In facilities: Generally the arrangements that were in place for the 2018 event will be continued but an effort will be made to open the three doors on the long edge of the Sandylands Centre so that canary exhibitors can use these when delivering their exhibits. 6. Erection of staging: This will commence from 12.00 on Saturday 5th October as in previous years. Around 4.00pm spray paint will be used to mark the three different types of staging so that it can be more instantly recognised in future years. The Parrot Society will purchase this paint.

F n


FEATURE

THE CANARY COUNCIL The Fife Federation National Fife Canary Show 2018 The Fife Fancy Federation is proud to present its National Fife Canary Show on Sunday 7th October 2018 at the Stafford County Showground.

The Canary Council began its life in 1984 as an off-shoot of the National Council for Aviculture. Delegates from the ten canary sections (Border, Irish Fancy, Lizard, Blue Lizard, Norwich, Rare and Old Varieties Yorkshire, and Hosos) now meet at least twice a year to discuss and act upon matters appertaining to the canary fancy and aviculture as a whole. The Canary Council’s aims and objectives are: To encourage the keeping, breeding, exhibition/contest and study of all recognised breeds of domestic canary throughout

The 2018 show will have a prize money of over £650 The perpetual trophy for best in show along with awards for best in show, best champion, best novice and best junior will be given out this year.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The special for most class wins will now be for both champion and novice sections. Additional awards also include 2nd best champion & 2nd best novice awards with added prize money. Supporting this will be the added awards for 2nd best specials being placed with a rosette.

H H

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JUDGES ENGAGED: Frank Sanderson, Tom Campbell, Tom Green, Bert Stillie & Steve Cook. A 6th judge may be appointed pending numbers of birds expected.

H

ALL FIFE EXHIBITORS WILL NEED TO PURCHASE AN EARLY ENTRY WRIST BAND.

H

Staging of the birds will be between 4pm & 7pm on Saturday 6th and on the morning of the show Sunday 7th between 7:30am & 8:30am prompt. Judging will commence as the last entries are booked in. The presentation will be completed at approximately 3pm.

H

Award sheets will be available on the day and can be purchased from the show organisers. Lifting times will be agreed by all societies at the venue. No birds shall be lifted prior to this specific time.

To encourage governing bodies of each variety domestic canary to become members of the Canary Council.

To organise shows, events, campaigns, promotions or other such activities in the interests of the canary fancy. To do anything else the Canary Council considers appropriate and reasonable to achieve its objectives.

: The

Canary Council is proud to support the National Exhibition and awards trophies for Best unflighted Canary, Best

: The

Canary Council has produced a booklet “Canary Basics” on the care requirements of canaries as pets or hobbyist

livestock. It covers housing, feeding, breeding and the moult. Copies are available from the Canary Council Secretary: Chris Smith, 61 Eastmead Avenue, Greenford, Middlesex UB6 9RF, for £1 plus an SAE.

Fife Federation Website: http://www.thefifefancyfederationwebsite.yolasite.com Fife Federation Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/fifefancyfederation

: Find

For more information please contact either Adam Kendall on 07891048441, Sharon Kendall on 07816687698 or email fifefancyfederation@gmail.com

Norwich

To send representatives to the meetings of, and otherwise participate in, the activities of the NCA.

White Unflighted Canary and Best Unflighted Junior Canary in show.

Show schedules and entry forms will be sent out to everyone who exhibited in 2017. They can also be downloaded at the following:

re supporting

To make representations, either directly or through the NCA to statutory bodies, national organisations and government departments and other on matters appertaining to the Canary Fancy.

We hope the fife fancy fanciers support the committee in making 2018 another great show.

HIBITION HIBITION 2017 2018

To affiliate to and uphold the rules and objectives of the National Council for Aviculture (NCA).

out more about the Canary Council on our website: www.canary-council.co.uk

Judges: Steve Gash and Sam Guy

Sunday 7th October 2018

GLOSTER FANCY SPECIALIST SOCIETY MEMBERS & OPEN SHOW £100 FOR BEST GLOSTER IN SHOW

Best in section cash prizes and engraved glassware. Entry Fee £50p per bird. Please enclose SAE for cage labels and site pass. The Gloster Fancy Specialist Society is proud to be associated with the Parrot Society, The National Exhibition at the Staffordshire County Showground. Closing date for entries Saturday 29th September Schedules Available from: Secretary:- Steve Jones 5 Ashbrook Close, Gnosall, Staffs.ST20 0HB Tel: 01785 822533 email joness74@sky.com Entries:- Show Sec. & Treasurer: John Herring 28 St. Matthews Drive, Derrington, Stafford. ST18 9LU email john.herring3@icloud.com

Canaries

Open Show at the at The National Exhibition Sunday 7 October 2018 Apply for a Show Schedule Stamped addressed envelope please To Show Secretary Mr S Camilleri, 897 London Road, High Wycombe, Bucks HP10 9TB. Telephone: 01494 523633 Email: cam897@hotmail.co.uk Our Show Sponsors

BIRDS & THINGS 01384 402920 and 07788 624197 Trade enquiries most welcome

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Free entry in order to maximise the number of birds on show

SUPAPETS -online.co.uk

The Yorkshire British Bird & Hybrid Club are proud to present the British section at the 2018 National Exhibition on Sunday 7th October 2018. AT STAFFORD COUNTY SHOWGROUND ST18 0BD SUNDAY 7th OCTOBER JUDGE: Mr Paul O’Kane from Northern Ireland Schedules From: S Fitzpatrick – 01709 528258 13 Brunt Road, Rawmarsh, Rotherham S62 5EW bullysean@hotmail.com Entries close, Monday 1st October 2018

7. To improve the Show experience for visitors the Council of The Parrot Society would like to erect some display aviaries in the Bingley Hall, where bird sales take place and wondered if clubs could ask their members if they could supply some birds for these aviaries. However there were concerns about such a project. 8. Lifting Time: Although Lifting Time will continue to be from 3.30 pm at the end of the Show once the birds in the Argyle Centre have all been claimed by exhibitors the exit doors to the Argyle Centre will be opened. This will hopefully mean that these exhibitors will be ‘out of the way’ by the time the Sandylands Centre doors are opened.

This change will be trialled for this 2019 show and the situation will be reviewed at this meeting next year. 9. The Parrot Society will again supply free tea, coffee and biscuits in the Argyle Centre when the staging is being erected on the Saturday and on the Sunday when birds are being checked in. Meeting closed at 4.00pm The National Exhibition is organised by 18 bird clubs who have a strong interest in exhibiting cage birds. The exhibition of birds has been an interesting hobby for many bird enthusiasts over very many years. Over these years The National Exhibition has been held at a variety of BIRD SCENE 19


large halls. I have personal experience of attending The National held in the late 1960’s at Alexandra Place in North London and also at The National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. These shows were run by Cage and Aviary Birds when this publication was owned by IPC Magazines Ltd up until 2003. The Parrot Society organised a meeting in 2006 to discuss the possibility of arranging an exhibition alongside of our successful sales events at Stafford County Showground every October. This suggestion was very well supported by the clubs who are now regular attenders at this one day event. Historically The National Exhibition like a number of other specialist shows was a two day event but as these require an expensive overnight stay most exhibitors prefer to attend a 20 BIRD SCENE

one day event. We have been very fortunate to be supported by Richard Johnston the managing director of seed wholesaler Johnston and Jeff Ltd from Yorkshire his sponsorship has included a tonne of seed for the winning exhibitors, some high class rosettes, entry wrist bands and awards for the winners of the


FEATURE five main categories. In addition Ray Howells of Birds and Things donates a cut glass rose bowl for The Best in Show and Steve & Claire Roach of Rosemead Aviaries award a similar prize for the best junior exhibitor. Keith Jones the Parrot Society Treasurer is The National Exhibition co-ordinator. The Parrot Society can only thank the bird club officials that have all worked so hard to increase the number of exhibits year on year and made this exhibition the success it has become. We were pleased to announce that the London Fancy Canary Club, who joined our canary clubs four years ago for the first time are again exhibiting their member’s birds this year. The Parrotlet Interest Group who also joined the ranks of exhibiting and their birds will

again be in The Parrot Society section where there is a good sized show schedule to cater for these miniature gems of the parrot world, the list of classes had been expanded for 2017 and this expanded schedule will be retained for 2019. The Irish Fancy International will this year be organised by Les Summers. Also the Yorkshire Canary Club who exhibited in 2018 will be there, so we will have a vast array of canaries at The National. Twelve years ago The Parrot Society started out on a venture of hopefully rebuilding “The National Exhibition” that had


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FEATURE been run up until 2003 at the Birmingham NEC. The defining factor was whether it was possible for all branches of our hobby to jointly pull together and ‘make it work’ after recording such a success in the first year the question was then whether the enthusiasm would be sustained. It has indeed worked each year since the first Show in 2007 the numbers of exhibits have increased and we are working hard to ensure that even more varieties of exhibition quality canaries are on the show bench for this year’s event. By combining this exhibition with the already highly successful Parrot Society October Sale Day at the superbly equipped Staffordshire County Showground a large proportion of the exhibitors were familiar with both the location and the available facilities. UK bird exhibitors now view this event as the premier ‘all variety show’ on the UK calendar. We are delighted that the exhibition is obtaining increasing support from both continental judges and breeders who travel long distances to attend this event it is exciting to think that in a very short time this exhibition has been able to attract these dedicated fanciers from all over Europe. The continental influence is not only limited to the fanciers, there is an increasing demand from continental traders to attend this event, further increasing the range of products available to all our enthusiastic visitors. As it is located on

the A518 only a few miles to the east of junction 14 of the M6 so vehicles can quickly arrive at the Showground. We are indebted to the management and editorial staff of Cage & Aviary Birds magazine for the production of a very well designed insert, with our contribution being the collation of the information from all the exhibiting clubs. The supplement will appear in one of their editions near the end of August 2019 and as previously will carry advertisements from all the exhibiting clubs and details as to who to approach to obtain the Show Schedule for your chosen species. This supplement has now become a feature of “The National Exhibition”.

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FEATURE

exhibition during the judging of the birds and allows both exhibitors and general visitor’s access to the exhibition at the earliest possible time on the day. The Parrot Society Council members hope that all the exhibitors and the officials of the specialist exhibiting clubs have a very enjoyable day. The Parrot Society would like to thank the clubs for all the kind words and support that you have given us. It will make this year’s “National Exhibition” a pleasure to be involved with. Since the show took on the name “The National Exhibition” in 2010 the demand for trade space has significantly increased, with some new traders making their first appearance this year. So whatever your bird keeping requirements they will be on offer at Stafford on 6th October. The Sandylands Centre and half of the Argyle Centre will again be used to accommodate the exhibits with the ‘booking in’ and club stands filling the remainder of the Argyle Centre. This facilitates the management of the

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DONATE TO OUR CONSERVATION FUND… CLICK THE LINK BELOW: http://www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/donations.php


SALE DAYS IN 2019 SUMMER SHOW: Sunday 7th July 2019 NATIONAL EXHIBITION: Sunday 6th October 2019 ‘HELP BIRD KEEPERS SHOW’: Sunday 1st December 2019

ALL P.S. MEMBERS ENTER OUR SHOWS EARLY. ALL SHOWS IN 2013 WILL BE HELD AT STAFFORD COUNTY SHOWGROUND ST18 0BD

PARROT SOCIETY

THIS IS JUST A NOTI FICATION OF DATE S PLEASE DO NOT BO OK UNTIL YOU SEE FU LL DETAILS IN THE MAG AZINE All our shows are he ld at Staffordshire County Showground, Westo n Road, Stafford ST 18 0BD.

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A pair of Yellownaped Amazons. © LOCO

OMETEPE, ‘ISLAND OF HOPE’ FOR THE YELLOW-NAPED AMAZON DR. DAVID WAUGH CORRESPONDENT, LORO PARQUE FUNDACIÓN

F

rom the surface of Lake Nicaragua, in the country of the same name, two volcanoes rise up to form a spectacular island called Ometepe. The two volcanoes, known as Volcán Concepción and Volcán Maderas, are joined by a low isthmus, thus forming the island in the shape of an hourglass. With its longest axis of 31 km and an area of 276 km2, Ometepe is not only the largest island in Lake Nicaragua, but also one of the world’s largest freshwater islands. If 06 26

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that wasn’t enough, Volcán Concepción reaches an altitude of 1,610 m, making Ometepe the world’s highest lake island. Such an inspiring place gives optimism for the future of one of its inhabitants, the endangered Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata). Indeed, the Loro Parque Fundación is supporting a conservation project, dubbed the ‘island of hope’, which is being carried out by Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and a


FEATURE Map of Ometepe Island.

local group of ornithologists called ‘Loreros Observando y Conservando Ometepe’ (LOCO). The project is responding to the rapid decline of the Yellow-naped Amazon throughout most of its geographical distribution from Mexico to Costa Rica, due to the loss and degradation of its natural habitats and unsustainable exploitation for the wildlife trade. Although island populations of wild species are often more vulnerable to human-induced threats, in the case of Ometepe there is a good chance that its isolation can aid the successful conservation of the amazons. Yellow-naped Amazons are known to be seed dispersers, and therefore important to the health of the dry and moist tropical forests in which they live. Regrettably, this ecosystem value is sorely under-appreciated and, despite that all capture and trade in the Yellow-naped

Amazon has been illegal since 2013 In Nicaragua, these parrots continue to be offered as pets in the domestic market and are also trafficked across the borders with neighbouring countries. Such nestpoaching has also been happening in Ometepe but, most encouragingly, recent population surveys on the island indicate that it supports at least 1,869 individuals, making this the largest and most dense remaining population of Yellow-naped Amazons anywhere. It helps that Ometepe is designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the aim of which is to promote a balanced relationship between people and the natural world. Threats to the island’s wildlife and forests include increased demand for new farm land and unsustainable tourism development. Local community organisations are being helped to tackle these threats through targeted

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A distant view of Ometepe Island. © D. Armstrong

species conservation, environmental education, improved land stewardship, environmentally friendly farming and ecotourism. Within this framework, surveys by the field team of the Yellow-naped Amazon project have identified four priority roosting and nesting areas on the island for the amazons, at Mérida, Peña Inculta, Tichana and Pull, and have generated important new data on the nesting ecology of this island population, indicating that the breeding season in

the isthmus between the two volcanos is starting much earlier than elsewhere in the range of the species. Monitoring in 2017/18 and 2018/19 confirmed that Ometepe has two nesting seasons for the Yellow-naped Amazon, being OctoberJanuary in Pena Inculta and January-April at all other sites on the island. This unusual phasing of nesting should encourage more research into the behaviour and ecology of this population on Ometepe. One result of monitoring the nests is a georeferenced map of nesting

Forested lowlands stretch towards Volcán Concepción. © L. Davis

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FEATURE sites, leading to confirmation of the most important nesting areas. A population census of free flying parrots on Ometepe in JulyAugust 2018 resulted in 1,869 Yellownaped Amazons, 2,562 Northern Mealy Amazons (Amazona guatemalae) and 1,402 individuals of other species of Psittacidae. During 2018, anti-poaching efforts were focused on the protection of 52 nests in the four priority areas, and hatchlings from 26 nests successfully fledged. Five nests were illegally poached and the rest were unsuccessful due to natural predation or loss. In collaboration with the local community, the project has protected over 100 hectares of forest in the Peña Inculta (one third of its total area) from deforestation and is protecting Yellow-naped Amazon nests to prevent specimens from entering the illegal market for this species. During the census, a household survey collected data on parrots in captivity and the status of their health, highlighting the communities across Ometepe where this practice is prevalent. Surveys were conducted in 688 households on Ometepe (50% of households per community, across nine communities). The findings showed that 27% of households have at least one parrot in captivity as a pet, and of the species found to be in captivity, 44% were Orange-chinned Parakeets (Brotogeris jugularis) and 40% were Yellow-naped Amazons. From questioning the owners, the estimated age of these

parrots is between three and five years old, which means that few chicks are in captivity. This suggests that they have not been extracted in recent years, which may be due to LOCO’s successful presence in the communities over the last four years. The survey also discovered that allegedly many poachers come to La Palma to extract eggs and chicks from their nests and smuggle them out of Ometepe Island, and this is an issue to be investigated further. People from 25 families engaged with the project to promote conservation and protection of the Yellow-naped Amazon, and community-led patrols have been accompanied by local authorities (Ministry of Environment, National Police and Naval Force) in five separate patrols to assist in stopping the illegal trade of the species. These patrols provided support to the group by adding to the awareness activities that have been carried out in the Peña Inculta

Crater lake encircled by forest on Volcán Maderas. © L. Davis

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Adult Yellow-naped Amazon at its nest entrance. © LOCO

Chicks and egg in wild nest of Yellow-naped Amazon. © LOCO

LOCO team member lowers a chick from the nest to the ground. © LOCO

community and surrounding communities. This also incentivised three private owners to support the protection of nests within their properties. Another of the successes was the construction of a small rescue centre to house chicks that have presented problems when flying, have

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been damaged or have some kind of disease, with a view to their later release to the wild following the correct health and behaviour screening. The project continues to raise awareness amongst islanders for the need to conserve Ometepe’s parrots.


FEATURE

Local young people supporting the conservation of the Yellow-naped Amazon. © LOCO

Yellow-naped Amazon chick receiving its health check. © LOCO

Environmental education events held in schools and communities at six localities were attended by 320 young people. Local radio broadcasts have been made about the Yellow-naped Amazon, and Ometepe’s first and highly colourful Parrot Festival took place in September 2018, with the

LOCO team members construct an aviary for the rescue centre to accommodate chicks. © LOCO

aim of increasing awareness and community support for conservation actions. The project has also enabled the building of local capacity for parrot monitoring, protection and conservation leadership on Ometepe, the ‘island of hope’.

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SECURITY REPORT DAVE DICKASON

Dave can be reached on 07545 347177 or email reunite@theparrotsocietyuk.org Enquiries can also be made with the PSUK office Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm.

A

s the warmer weather arrives reports of lost and found birds are slowly increasing. Two recent reports of birds being lost were involving accidents with cages whilst the birds were being transported. On one occasion the bottom fell out of a cage whilst being carried allowing a parrot to escape and on the other the carrier box was accidentally dropped and the pin came out of the door allowing two budgies to escape. These incidents led me to think that it may be a good idea to tape the doors of carrying cages and the bottom if it’s a clip on base whilst transporting birds. This may be something worth considering when transporting birds to / from shows. 06 32

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Talking of shows security needs to be kept in mind, don’t leave birds unattended and be careful not to give unknown members of the public any details which might enable them to trace your home and aviaries. Always use catching aviaries if they are provided , if not then try and find somewhere safe to transfer birds, I see birds escape on a regular basis at shows , particularly birds for sale where people fail to use catching aviaries. I’ve had two cases recently where birds have been found and have close rings, I’ve managed to trace the breeder, however on contacting the breeder they haven’t a clue who they sold their birds to. Records of purchasers and contact telephone numbers should be kept with


accurate details of ring / microchip numbers this information enables any lost bird to be reunited with the owner, this applies to any home or sales at shows. It is a requirement at sale days to submit details of all birds sold to enable purchasers to be contacted should there be an outbreak of any disease etc. When purchasing birds that you’re not familiar with check whether the bird is listed on annex 1 of the Cites list (rare and endangered birds) if so it requires an article 10 certificate which the seller must supply at the time of any sale. The list can be found on the internet. At home ensure all windows are closed and doors are shut before allowing your bird out of its cage. Cover bird room windows with netting in case of an

Records of purchasers and contact telephone numbers should be kept with accurate details of ring / microchip numbers this information enables any lost bird to be reunited with the owner, this applies to any home or sales at shows. escape whilst cleaning cages out etc. Don’t assume your parrot cannot fly, many birds are lost when their owners take them outside on a warm day. Check that flight feathers haven’t grown back if your bird’s wings are clipped. If you are unfortunate and loose your bird please let me know and hopefully in the event of it being found we will be able to reunite it with you. BIRD SCENE 33


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06/01/2017 14:45

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CONSERVATION OF THE AUSTRALIA

MAJOR MITCHELL’S COCKATOO

IN AUSTRALIA IN NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRAL

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LIA

FEATURE

ARTICLE BY: LES RANCE & RAY ACKROYD

I

n Issue 10 of Bird Scene we gave a fairly in-depth report on the background to the tree-tinning project to prevent the active nests of Major Mitchell Cockatoos (Cacatua leadbeateri) being predated by goannas, a type of monitor lizard also known as the Lace Monitor. This article is still accessible from our website and well worth studying if you are interested in our conservation activities which to date have seen over £20,000 donated to this particular conservation project which was strongly driven when John Mollindinia,

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travelled to Australia to gain first-hand experience of the Major Mitchell’s cockatoo. There he met Ray Ackroyd, who to this day organises tours in the south-eastern states of New South Wales and Victoria as well as being a government licensed bird trapper and carries out the tree-tinning work that has done much to increase the numbers of Major Mitchell’s in the wild. At the end of the article in the last issue we reported that the latest news on the Conservation front is that Ray Ackroyd has been asked by the state of Victoria to help promote

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ways to save the Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo in the state which will involve the assistance of school children. An AUS$10,000 fund is available for this project and we look forward to hearing how this project unfolds in Victoria. The Major Mitchell’s cockatoo is such a beautiful bird we are sure that the school children will rally to support it. The intention is to pay each child up to AUS $100 for reporting the location of active nesting sites of the rare Cockatoos so that they can be tinned. To help the children achieve this goal Ray Ackroyd has written the following guide.


FEATURE

NESTING OF MAJOR MITCHELL’S COCKATOOS IN THE WILD Do Major Mitchell’s cockatoos mate for life? Yes they do and can nest together for up to 50 years. If one bird dies or gets killed does the remaining bird seek out a new mate? Yes What type of tree do Major Mitchell’s nest in? Dry gum trees and Cypress Pine that is alive or dry. What time of year to Major Mitchell’s go to nest? Late August to early September. Do they pick out a special tree? Yes they do: usually on a sand ridge or in open country away from other trees. They like to be able to see what is going on around them. It’s a precautionary thing so that they can identify any predators including mankind. Do Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos nest in big trees? Not really. Some may pick out a dry Cypress Pine tree that has no top or a broken limb that has left a hollow. Some trees are small and nests that are 5 metres from the ground are common. Do Major Mitchells like a special entrance to their nests? Yes they do. Major Mitchells like an entrance to their nest that is shaped like an upturned canoe. * Note – it is important to know that when looking for nests. Do Major Mitchell’s take long to prepare their nesting site?

No they don’t. Both birds go into the nest chamber and pare off small chips of wood to form a soft base to lay their clutch of eggs. This usually only takes a few days to prepare. How far down from the entrance do Major Mitchell’s lay their clutch of eggs? That can vary but usually about ½ a metre. How many eggs do Major Mitchell’s lay each year? Depending on the season. If it’s a good year with lots of herbage on the ground they will lay up to four eggs. However the norm is three eggs. How long is the incubation period or how long does it take to hatch from egg to chick? 28 days. Who sits on the eggs? They take turns. The Cock may sit during the day and the Hen at night or vis versa. Is it easy to find the nest of Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos? No it isn’t easy. They are a very secretive bird when nesting and can hear footsteps approaching a long way from the nest tree. When is the best time to find a Major Mitchell’s Nest? When they are on eggs or have small young. Before or after that time is doubtful. * Note – It is important to note that Major Mitchell’s return to the same nest site every year and will continue to do that unless the tree is lost to fire or habitat loss through logging. How can I study a nest once I have found it? Walk slowly toward the tree and identify the nest entrance. You must walk very quietly or he or she will leave the nest and not return

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Almost all Major Mitchells return to the same tree every year. Usually around mid August.

until you have gone. The best way to study a nest is to build a hide just away from the tree and wait and watch. At no time should you disturb the nesting procedure. If Major Mitchell’s lose their nesting tree because of fire or land clearings do they leave that area? No they don’t. Usually they try and select a new nest site in the same area. It may not be the same type of tree, so if a nest is lost look for the new site and it should be found within a half kilometre.

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How long do the young stay in the nest? Around seven weeks. When the parents want the fledged babies to leave the nest they will encourage their young to climb up to the nest entrance and feed them there. This is an extremely bad time for predators to attack the young and the parent birds become very aware of that. Are Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos reliable breeders? Most certainly. Almost all Major Mitchells return to the same tree every year. Usually around mid August.


FEATURE

What is the average clutch size of nesting Major Mitchells? Average: 2.5 some raise 2, most raise 3 and 4 is not unusual. How far do Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos fly from their nesting site in the off season? Up to 300 kilometres. How long do the baby birds stay with the parents after leaving the nest? Approximately six weeks then they join into a small flock situation.

How long before young birds can breed themselves? Three years. If Major Mitchells are such a good and reliable breeder in the wild, why then isn’t the overall population increasing? Good question. • First and foremost it is predators. • Secondly it is bad fire management. • Thirdly it is land clearing. • Fourthly it is competition from other tree hollow nesting species that take over nests of Major Mitchells.

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Are baby Major Mitchell’s a noisy feeder when being fed in the nest and can that noise be heard from a distance? Good question! Yes they are a noisy feeder and that is to their detriment. The major predator is Goannas and each year they kill large numbers of baby Major Mitchells and in the early part of the season also take the eggs. Goannas bite into and suck out the contents of the eggs. If the Hen Major Mitchell lays a second clutch, the Goanna will usually return for a second time. It is important to note that Goannas know that Major Mitchells return to the same nest each year so immediately they come out of hibernation they do the yearly rounds of the nests. Other predators at the nests are feral cats, possums and foxes, once the baby Major Mitchell’s leave the nest and at this early age are unsure of predators. Prevent predators from attacking the nests of Major Mitchell Cockatoo? Most certainly: The most effective method of preventing predators from climbing nest trees is to attach a collar around the tree with the base of the collar one metre from the ground. What is the collar made of? Smooth galvanized tin or heavy duty plastic. Both need to be one metre wide and can be cut to size and nailed around the tree. This method has proven to be fully successful. The tin or clear plastic is very slippery and doesn’t allow the predator to climb the tree. Research has shown that where Major Mitchell’s nesting trees were collared up – not one nest was lost to predators. Very successful deterrent to protect nests, who thought of that? During October 1990 an elderly English birdman from the English Parrot Society, Mr

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John Mollindinia conducted a study on Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos in Western NSW. This study clearly indicated that almost 80% of Major Mitchell’s nests were taken by predators that climbed the nest trees from the ground. On his return to England following his study he indicated to the English Parrot Society that they should fund a trial project to protect the nesting trees of the Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos in Western NSW. That could be achieved by placing a smooth tin or plastic collar around the trunk of each nest tree making it impossible for predators to climb to the nest. That trial project set the benchmark for tinning trees to species such as Major Mitchell’s or Glossy Black Cockatoos to mention just a few. Since that time a new heavy duty flat plastic is now available and has proven to be an upgrade on tin. Also clear plastic does not stand out and makes it almost impossible for any person to


FEATURE

identify the nest tree. The English Parrot Society is very proud of being able to fund a project to protect one of Australia’s most outstanding Cockatoos. The fund has been ongoing for many years thanks to Mr Mollindinia. The Parrot Society attached a plaque at the base of a Major Mitchell’s nesting tree in honour of the late John Mollindinia for his outstanding work. So how can we find the nests to collar them up and how do we inform the landowners? Firstly you have to search for the nests when the Major Mitchell’s are on eggs or very early young. Following that time they are difficult to find at the nest site. A good pair of binoculars is essential and out of bed early. Try and get to an elevated spot and watch for the white birds. Once you find a nest you must remember where it is so you can return and collar the tree, provided the landowner agrees.

How do we get this message across to landowners whose properties are the habitat of Major Mitchell’s? Local newspapers and any media coverage is good value. Let them know how important this issue is. Take pictures of any tree protection you are doing and give talks at school meetings. What about Major Mitchell Cockatoo nest trees in national parks? Do the managers protect breeding trees? Most state national parks have their own management strategy. There is evidence that some parks are constructing artificial nest sites at great expense. Whether these additional nests will attract Major Mitchell Cockatoos is yet to be clarified. At this time I do not know of any tree that hosts the nest of Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo being protected by way of collars, either tin or plastic in national parks – but it works!

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This article is still accessible from our website and well worth studying if you are interested in our conservation activities which to date have seen over £20,000 donated to this particular conservation project which was strongly driven when John Mollindinia, travelled to Australia to gain first-hand experience of the Major Mitchell’s cockatoo.

How do you tell the difference between the Cock and Hen Major Mitchell’s? Both birds are the same size: Cock – has black eye and not as much yellow in the comb as the hen. Hen – has pink eye and more yellow in comb. How do you tell the difference between the Eastern race of Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo and the Western race called ‘Mollis’ Mollis have a longer crest and upon maturity, ie 3 years, has a comb without yellow. Do Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos fly at great heights when travelling? No they don’t. Major Mitchell’s, no matter how far they are going, do not fly at great heights. In essence Major Mitchell’s fly just above tree height and in fact sometimes between trees. I believe the reason is because they are white and a slow flyer compared to other cockatoos.

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The tree line allows them to identify hawks or eagles that may attack them and escape into that tree line as a form of protection.

Background of Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos Other Names: Genus – Cacatua Calcatua Leadbeateri • Chockalott • Cocklerina • Desert Cockatoo • Inca Cockatoo • Leadbeaters Cockatoo • Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo • Pallid Cockatoo • Pink Cockatoo • South Australian Pink Cockatoo • Southern Pink Cockatoo • Wee Juggler


FEATURE

Distribution Semi-arid and arid interior regions of Australia with the exception of North East Australia

Sub Species Cacatua Leadbeateri Mollis Distribution West of Ceduna SA West to Esperance WA – North to Carnamah WA Other Names • Mathews Pink Cockatoo • Western Pink Cockatoo What do Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos feed on in the wild? Like all birds Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos have a built-in mechanism that allows them to follow an annual food pattern. Listed below are some of the most common seeds utilised by Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos:• Wild Orange [capparis mitchells] • Crows Foot [eleusine indica] • Wilga [geijera parviflora] • Camel Melon [ citrullus lamatus] • Paddy Melon [cucumis myriocarpus] • Currant Bush [exocarpos aphyllus] • Murray Cypress Pine [callitris preissii murrayensis] • Mallee Cypress Pine [callitris preissii verrucosa] • White Cypress Pine [callitris columellaris] • Black Cypress Pine [callitris endlicheri] Mulga [acacia ameura] • All other acacia beans

Do Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos drink every day? Major Mitchell’s visit watering places usually twice daily, very early morning, late afternoon. Major Mitchell’s have that very special mechanism for finding water and will travel many kilometres to drink. They very seldom drink from rivers, they like small dams, water troughs or house tanks. During very hot weather they may visit their water base several times each day. Do Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos bath? Major Mitchell’s are always lovely and white in all weather yet after 60 years studying them I have never seen one bath. The Council of The Parrot Society UK sincerely hopes that the above notes which obviously took Ray some considerable time to compose help the school children of Australia to make every success of this new venture. We will continue to monitor this exciting new development that will we hope will do much to increase the status of the rare indigenous Australian Cockatoos.

DONATE TO OUR CONSERVATION FUND… CLICK THE LINK BELOW: http://www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/donations.php

Introduced Seeds • All cereal grains • Almonds • All citrus

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