53 Bird Scene - Winter 2021

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BIRD

ISSUE 53: WINTER 2021

CAPE DOVES

BY LES RANCE

COLOUR MUTATIONS IN THE CELESTIAL PARROTLET BY HAYLEY BAKER

BY JERRY FISHER

FOREIGN BIRD KEEPING THE

THE 2021 NATIONAL EXHIBITION REPORT

FREE MAGAZINE FOR HOBBYIST BREEDERS AND CONSERVATIONISTS | SPRING EDITION OUT 1ST MARCH 2022


AS THINGS ARE KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH OTHER BIRD KEEPERS, SEEING OTHERS’ BREEDING RESULTS AND GENERALLY HAVING A CATCH-UP IS JUST ABOUT IMPOSSIBLE.

WHY NOT TRY THE PSUK FACEBOOK PAGE’S ‘COMMUNITY’ AREA? POST SOME PICTURES, ASK FOR ADVICE, SHOW OFF YOUR SUCCESSES (AND FAILURES), LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT YOU’RE KEEPING AND HOW THEY ARE GETTING ON.

GIVE IT A TRY!’


CONTENTS 08

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08 18 30 38 48

FOREIGN BIRD KEEPING The late Jerry Fisher

Cape Doves Les Rance

The National Exhibition Colour Mutations in the Celestial Parrotlet Hayley Baker

Exhibiting Parrotlets Hayley Baker

DONATE TO OUR CONSERVATION FUND… GO TO: WWW.THEPARROTSOCIETYUK.ORG

BIRD SCENE: Issue 53: Autumn 2021 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


INTRODUCTION 04

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BY THE EDITOR

LES RANCE

WWW.THEPARROTSOCIETYUK.ORG LES.RANCE@THEPARROTSOCIETYUK.ORG

I

n the introduction to the autumn edition of Bird Scene, I wrote that we had moved on three months and were rapidly approaching The National Exhibition at Stafford County Showground on 3rd October and that it will be interesting to see how many birds will be offered for sale at this prestige event. My personal experience is that there is still quite a shortage of both parrots and parakeets and there have been some quite staggering increases in prices. Well I think I was about right with that analysis of

the current ‘state of the market’. Even looking through our members monthly magazine there are not many advertisements of birds for sale, the position of birds available after the winter will be even fewer birds available. We now have a new Covid-19 variant known as Omicron. The new variant’s genetic profile has raised concerns, but at the time of writing (Monday 29th November 2021), there is a shortage of real-world data. The Parrot Society is recommending that visitors to The Help Bird Keeper’s Show on Sunday 5th December at Stafford wear a face covering. The great thing is that we have our second show on, after missing these enjoyable events throughout 2020. I am delighted with the numbers of people booking tables and the early entry wrist bands are also attracting plenty of orders from the eligible Parrot Society members, there is no doubt that being able to enter the Show halls at 7.30am and get the opportunity to purchase the best birds is a very real member benefit.


As we enter the winter period, we must turn our attention to ensuring that our birds that will be battling against the cold temperatures of winter are provided with the best food we can provide for them whilst they grow experience these trying conditions. A very cold winter is possibly the most demanding time of year for our birds and we should do everything we can to ensure they have good volumes of nutritious food so that they withstand the cold. For my parakeet collection, I do not feed much dry sunflower seed for the vast majority of the year. This then allows me to use the oil rich sunflower seed when it is cold and the birds are in need of an oily boost. If you have not wormed your parakeets yet now is the time to worm all your stock. There is no point in spending out on good food only to be feeding those parasitic worms living in the intestines of our birds – worming is a very important task. Also at this time of year, make sure that any Asiatic parakeets being kept in outdoor aviaries have access to a dry windproof nest box where they can roost out of harm’s way.

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In this issue we have a very interesting article about The Cape Dove and also one on Foreign Bird Keeping that I hope you enjoy reading. In addition, in this issue we have a pictorial review of The 2021 National Exhibition held at Stafford County Showground on Sunday 3rd October 2021, our first show since Coronavirus struck the UK. The images taken by our Designer Neil Randle are excellent and allow readers of this publication, who may not have been able to attend this event, a real insight into the day. So really quite a lot for you to read and hopefully pick up some pointers that may well assist you with whatever species of birds you currently maintain. This is now the fifty-third edition of Bird Scene, how quickly ten 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 monthly magazine, I cringe at the cost. Postal costs appear to have increased far faster than inflation and if The Royal Mail BIRD SCENE

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are not careful they will find that their income will reduce even further as people and businesses send less and less by conventional means. A price increase to 85p for a First Class letter became effective on 1st January 2021. With CPI inflation now running around 3.5%, 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 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. Because of increases to the costs of both postage and printing, I am pleased that we decided to produce Bird Scene as a FREE e-magazine. We have learnt a great deal over the past ten years about this way of communicating with bird 06

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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 (Covid-19 restrictions excepted) at our October Sale Day/Show at Stafford County Showground. This publication is also used to promote our Conservation efforts for threatened parrots in the wild. An archive of earlier editions of Bird Scene can be found on the Home Page of our website www. theparrotsocietyuk.org so if you would like to see earlier versions please do look at the Bird Scene archive.

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.


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BY THE LATE JERRY FISHER

FOREIGN BIRD KEEPING M

y interest in the hobby is as a foreign bird breeder. Success is defined by breeding a species in captivity and, ultimately, by establishing a self-sustaining population.

This branch of the hobby is subject to the two major threats. Firstly, since 2006, the ban on importation to the EU means that no new species are available and many others are at risk since selfsustaining captive populations have not been established.

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FEATURE

Developing, breeding and showing these birds is a different and perfectly legitimate branch of the hobby. What foreign bird breeders object to is the visually normal birds are seldom pure

Diamond Dove

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Gouldian Finch

Secondly, at the opposite end of the spectrum, established species are subject to domestication. This happens when mutations begin to appear, followed by “show standards” at variance with the wild bird. These start with colour mutations but progress to encompass size, shape and feathering. The species is “lost” as a foreign bird when one can no longer acquire visually normal birds with confidence that they will breed true. This path of “development” is typified by three stages. Firstly, colour. Think Splendid Parakeet and Gouldian Finch. Secondly size, shape and

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What foreign bird breeders object to is the visually normal birds are seldom pure i.e. can be relied upon to produce wild-type young.

feather structure. Think Budgerigar and Australian Zebra Finch. Finally, a domestic species – think various bantams (Jungle Fowl) and Aylesbury Ducks (Mallard).


FEATURE Developing, breeding and showing these birds is a different and perfectly legitimate branch of the hobby. What foreign bird breeders object to is the visually normal birds are seldom pure i.e. can be relied upon to produce wild-type young. Our ability to obtain a visually normal Budgerigar or Australian Zebra Finch in terms of size, shape and feather is long gone. There are of course many species which fall somewhere between these extremes. With some established species mutations exist but with care genuine normals are still available. With still more species it could be entirely practical to “breed back” over a few generations. Regarding species not yet established, the rocketing prices of the remaining birds are concentrating minds wonderfully – and often there are more surviving birds countrywide than you might expect.

advertise for people holding the species you get responses from successful breeders worried about inbreeding but either not able to find other breeders or concerned about introducing mutations via visual normals. With Parrotlets there is also concern about hybrids due to the similarity of the hens of some species.

With Parrotlets there is also concern about hybrids due to the similarity of the hens of some species.

Which brings me neatly to the purpose of this article! Practically every species of foreign bird (in either of the above categories) has its devotees who would be anxious to acquire pure normals if the birds were available. It is also my experience (with Diamond Doves and Spectacled Parrotlets among others) that if you

Blue-winged Parrotlet

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The formation of groups like this could well make the difference in maintaining some species in captivity and in other species the existence of “ring-fenced” groups of normals.

African southern masked weaver

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FEATURE To take one example, last summer I realised that (with the exception of Celestials) parrotlets generally seemed to be offered for sale less frequently. An article (“Where are all the Parrotlets?”) in the Parrot Society magazine generated a response for Spectacled Parrotlets alone that resulted in birds being exchanged for new blood, pairs being made up and surplus birds being placed. As a result I now have contact with a small group of people who between them hold a potentially viable group of Spectacled with reasonable genetic diversity.

Star Finch

There are no formalities to the group – the only commitment sought is that they offer surplus birds within the group before disposing of them elsewhere. The formation of groups like this could well make the difference in maintaining some species in captivity and in other species the existence of “ring-fenced” groups of normals. The various specialist societies (Parrot Society, Australian Finch Society, Waxbill Society etc) have a role to play in signposting enquiries – for example, someone looking for Normal Bourkes Parakeets would contact the Parrot Society for a referral to someone holding such birds. Likewise, this

magazine could have a potential role in listing the societies and making people aware of how to go about locating specific birds.

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Zebra Finch

In fact, both the Parrot Society through their office and the AFS through their RADS + scheme already perform this function. Of course, this system is far from perfect but it has the advantage of no formalities – I simply “talk birds” to people a couple of times a year or when I have a specific enquiry. In my experience most bird keepers are happy to do that! If the end result works for even a few species it will be well worth the effort.

If the end result works for even a few species it will be well worth the effort.

Ring-fenced Normals • Diamond Dove • Bourke’s Parakeet

For the record, the species I am currently working with are:

The birds I deal with are not always species I hold – mine is simply a postbox function.

Endangered in Captivity • Cape Dove • Spectacled Parrotlet • Green-rumped Parrotlet • Yellow-faced Parrotlet

If this “system” is to work, it needs people prepared to dedicate a little time and effort to a species they care about. For a modest input you could make a real contribution to your hobby.

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Owl Finches

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CAPE DOVES BY LES RANCE

The Cape Dove (Oena Capensis) was a bird regularly imported from its native Africa and very few breeders considered the need to set up a captive bred aviary strains whilst imports were available to meet the demand, prices were low and there seemed no real reason to breed these delightful, colourful doves as imports were quite readily available. All that has now changed, unless aviculturalists really work hard to establish birds that were previously imported in large numbers there will be none of them left in aviculture in a few

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Jerry continued to persevere with his Cape Doves but came to the conclusion that they really needed to be in outdoor flights rather than being bred in cages…

years time. It is now imperative that all those breeders with experience with domesticated or near domesticated birds work hard to establish breeding stocks of birds that previously were readily imported. We all need to select

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one species and try really hard to establish them. About ten years ago I kept Diamond Doves and bred a few of them so to a small degree I did have some knowledge of this family. I have chosen the Cape Dove because my good friend Jerry Fisher on the south coast introduced them to me and encouraged me to work on this species. In the spring of 2007 Jerry supplied me with 3 beautiful young unrelated pairs that I kept in a brand new indoor aviary 8’L x 3’W x 6’H. Cape Doves are easily stressed when transported to new homes and within a few weeks I had lost all three hens (why is it that it is always the hens that die?) After this disaster there was obviously


FEATURE no point in keeping the three cocks so I returned them to Jerry, to say the least this was not a good start!! Jerry continued to persevere with his Cape Doves but came to the conclusion that they really needed to be in outdoor flights rather than being bred in cages and in June when the weather was much warmer contacted me and asked if I would like to have ‘another go’, I thought that this was very brave and I decided that I must try again and use one of my parakeet aviaries to see what results could be achieved outside. The day came when the two pairs were due, as we live some 150 miles apart I collected them mid-way in the early evening, all four were in one box and generally they were quiet but when I hit a pothole in the road they would crash about and become thoroughly disturbed. Once home I let them out into their outside aviary as it was light until at least 9.30 p.m. in June. Although built in a block there is a large amount of privacy as most of the walls are constructed with 3/4” plywood but to provide them additional seclusion I placed a 3’ container grown Conifer, a Vibernum and six pots of runner beans to climb up the former. To provide nesting sites I screwed four wooden platforms 6” x 6” with a half inch lip around the edge, to the plywood wall.

My efforts were very quickly rewarded as within two weeks one of the pairs started to show interest in each other and there was a fair amount of mutual preening and sitting close together,

I had read that they seem to like to use fine roots as nesting material and fortunately I had a pile of forest bark next to a large hazel bush the roots of which had permeated the bark pile, it was therefore an easy exercise to pull up a few roots and make nice nests for the Doves. Evidently placing two pairs in one aviary is generally not successful as fighting frequently occurs but only one of my pairs seemed interested in breeding and possibly that was why I had no difficulties in that regard. My efforts were very quickly rewarded as within two weeks one of the pairs started to show interest in each other and there was a fair amount of mutual preening and sitting close together, then I saw the hen on one of the nests, progress appeared promising! The first egg was laid on 21st July and the second the following day, they were a

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On 12th August I was delighted to see that my two precious babies were still doing well and growing quickly, the first left the nest on 20th August and the second the next day.

rich cream colour and I candled them after the hen had sat for 5 days, they both showed that the vein formation was developing so I speedily returned them to the nest. The first egg hatched on 4th August and the second on 5th. I was aware from the excellent book by I.S. Dyer “Breeding the Cape Dove: My Experience” that around eight days of age can be a critical time as the parents can stop feeding the youngsters. On 12th August I was delighted to see that my two precious babies were still doing well and growing quickly, the first left the nest on 20th August and the second the next day. My aviary has a wire floor ‘overhang’ for the last 3’ of its length and the two babies sat on this and the mother joined them sitting very close to keep them warm, the temperature that morning was only 13C which for an August day is rather cold. Jerry Fisher

warned me that it is sensible to try to check that the babies are drinking for themselves two breeders have had this problem once the young leave the nest. I took a shallow bowl of water into the aviary and simply picked up one of the babies, there was no attempt from them to fly away, it drank avidly once its beak was placed in the water, once it had consumed all it wanted, I then put it down and picked up the second baby and let that drink. On 28th August I again caught my two birds and checked them but they appeared not to be thirsty. Although I mentioned above that there was a 3’ overhang the total flight size is 10’ long, 7’6” sloping to 5’6” high and 3’ wide and 7’ of the roof is covered in glass-fibre roof sheeting giving a very sheltered and protected aviary.

I took a shallow bowl of water into the aviary and simply picked up one of the babies, there was no attempt from them to fly away, it drank avidly once its beak was placed in the water,

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Cape Doves seem a little unadventurous as far as feeding is concerned; their main staple is White millet. Doves do not shell their seed like Budgerigars; they swallow it whole and grind it up in the gizzard.

Both young developed well and as the days shortened and temperatures dropped I carefully considered if I should move all six birds into heated indoor quarters for the winter. I would have liked to leave them where they were because they seemed very settled and I know that they are easily stressed when moved. I knew that what to do would be a tough call but decided to monitor them twice a day and if the cold started to worry them I would indeed move them into a heated environment.

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The signs to look for are that they will sit fluffed up, be inactive and look generally miserable. In late September these signs were all too evident and I decided to move them into a warmer and dryer environment. Cape Doves seem a little unadventurous as far as feeding is concerned; their main staple is White millet. Doves do not shell their seed like Budgerigars; they swallow it whole and grind it up in the gizzard. This means


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there are no husks to blow off the seed bowls. I provide 50/50 Budgie mix but I do not think that they eat much of the canary seed in the mixture, they will take millet sprays but mine are not over keen. Germinated smaller seeds are generally ignored but I do provide them with home made egg food which is prepared for my parakeets, hard boiling 2 eggs each morning and mixing them (shells included) in a food processor with 200 grams (1 large cup) of Badminton Baked Cereal (used

as a conditioner by horse owners). To this I am currently adding a level tablespoon of Pet Chef, to this dry mix I then add 1/2 a large cup of water, this makes a nice crumbly feed (be careful, do not add too much water or you will get a wet horrible mix that no birds will consume!) The 6 Cape Doves received 1/2 a tablespoonful of this mix each morning around 7.30 a.m. For those not familiar with Pet Chef this is a supplement powder designed to provide essential vitamins,

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minerals, trace elements and amino acids to ensure peak condition within your stock; there are two formulas, one for breeding stock which should be provided 6 weeks before the start of the breeding season and as long as the season continues; and a general purpose mix which has been designed for the remainder of the year.

With any bird that is difficult to breed and it appears that Cape Doves fall firmly in this category, fostering with a closely related species needs to be considered.

With any bird that is difficult to breed and it appears that Cape Doves fall firmly in this category, fostering with a closely related species needs to be considered.

During the year I did not lose any birds and bred 3 hens and 5 cocks using the colony system with all my stock in one large flight.

I continued to use the outside parakeet aviaries in 2008 and 2009 but both these years were not particularly good breeding seasons and I was coming to the conclusion that to make any real progress with this species I needed some additional stock as I was very determined to be successful with Cape Doves, they are beautiful birds but obviously need a suitable diet and the correct housing. In 2010 I changed tactics and provided them with a fairly large and dry indoor aviary measuring 12’ long x 4’ wide and 7’ high, this had a double glazed window which I wired over and could open on warm sunny days giving the doves access to fresh air and direct sunlight, a facility that met with their considerable approval.

Jerry Fisher feels that DIET is the key to success; some of the supplements I use are different to his. He uses iodised minerals – a black powder that pigeon breeders use with success. His birds (except the group of cocks) generally refuse his soft food mix - the only birds to do so. Given that the only seed they consume in quantity is white millet he is wondering if we can develop a base mix being mainly white millet with some bonding agent to integrate it with supplements. There is no doubt that we need to broaden the diet as much as we can and as we do not know exactly what they eat in the wild we can not imitate their natural diet. I feed blue maw seed and this they will eat so this gives some change/addition to their diet. So far the

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2011 season seems to be progressing well with 4 hens sitting on 8 eggs (2 is the normal sized clutch) There is no doubt that Cape Doves are very vulnerable and not easy to breed, without concerted efforts they may be lost to UK aviculture forever or perhaps the opposite will happen and we may be able to save them. The Cape Dove is far from the only bird to be in this position

and the next few years will be critical to the existence of a number of birds that were previously freely imported but are now increasingly difficult to obtain due to the lack of viable aviary strains. I will certainly continue to work hard to establish these birds in aviculture and I will use all the relevant skills that I have acquired over a number of years with my parakeet collection, it will not be a simple task but someone has to do it!!

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NAL O I T N NA THE HIBITIO EX BER CTO 3RD

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n the autumn edition of Bird Scene, I used the following words to convey my excitement. ‘I am really pleased to report that The National Exhibition is ON and at present I am busy dealing with the myriad of background tasks to ensure that both our Sale Day and the Exhibition of birds goes as well as it can following our last event in 2019. Let us

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hope that Sunday 3rd October 2021 will be an exciting and enjoyable event for us all.’ Well it was indeed an exciting event. It was the first Show we had been able to stage for 18 months following the Coronavirus epidemic that ravaged the UK. As if Covid-19 was not enough to contend with we were then hit by a shortage of fuel for our cars, both petrol


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ATIONAL TION BY LES RANCE

and diesel. I had enough petrol to get to Stafford but I knew I would have to purchase more for the return trip home. Fortunately Stafford had better supplies than ‘down south’ so the return trip was not a problem. Well that is all over now and we are now able to show you a mass of excellent pictures taken by our designer Neil Randle at The National.

As the 2020 National Exhibition had to be cancelled due to Coronavirus, I was pleased that we managed to run a National Exhibition this October. The numbers of clubs exhibiting birds this year was down to 12 from the normal 18 but there were some very good birds on Show. Provided this new variant, Omicron, does not give us too

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much trouble, I think we have a very good chance that we will be up to 18 clubs again in 2022. The newly formed UK Gouldian Finch club have asked to join our ranks and exhibit birds in single use cages, I will be very interested to see what they look like, but I guess my Ring-necks would make swift work of escaping from cardboard

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THE N EXH ATIONA IBIT ION L 3RD O CTO

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show cages, so I will have to press on with my conventional type show cages! Now that we can start holding shows again at Stafford, please remember that The National Exhibition for the Exhibition of Show birds isheld in the Sandylands Centre and the Argyle Centre. We use these same Centres for our Help Bird Keepers Show on Sunday 5th December 2021 A large

number of hobbyist-bred stock always finds new homes from the buyers who come in large numbers to our events. The National Exhibition is the leading and most popular bird show held in this country for hobbyist bird breeders, not just because of the sales tables but also the Exhibition that is held in the Argyle and Sandylands Centres. There is something for everyone available from

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the 60+ traders who so generously support this event, especially from our sponsor Johnston & Jeff Ltd the leading UK seed supplier. This year the exhibition in the Argyle and Sandylands Centres was again organised with the assistance of the 12 clubs that support this event and it continues to receive plenty of entries, may this be the case for many years to come. These enthusiasts work so hard to construct the staging from mid-day on the Saturday and take in many entries in the late afternoon and

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Saturday evening. This judged event will be as popular as ever in the future, with many high-class birds on view. At this year’s event a crystal glass, rose bowl has been donated by The Parrot Society for best bird in Show and by Steve Roach of Rosemead Aviaries for the best junior exhibit, their generous donations for these valuable awards is always very much appreciated. Cage and Aviary Birds give the Exhibition a special supplement in their publication so that all their readers are aware of which clubs to contact to enter their exhibition stock into the Show.


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IONAL T A N THE IBITION EXH BER

CTO 3RD O

Again, Neil Randle our magazine designer took over a 1,000 images on the day so that we have plenty of images for the next twelve months. Please do enjoy the pictures on the following pages. In 2022, the Show will be held on Sunday 2nd October and will follow similar lines to the 2021 event but more use will be made of the Prestwood Centre to house the stands

of such supporters as The Australian Finch Society, The Bengalese Fanciers Association, The Waxbill Finch Society and Java Sparrow Society. Within the two exhibition halls, there is always a great buzz of chatter and excitement, it is always a pleasure just to stand there and absorb the environment and listen to people enjoying themselves and promoting their hobby.

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BAD EXAMPLE: WHITE PIED

GOOD EXAMPLE: GREEN PIED AND FALLOW

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BY HAYLEY BAKER

COLOUR MUTATIONS IN THE CELESTIAL PARROTLET PARROTLET INTEREST GROUP

Understanding Parrotlet genetics and mutations is a very important part of breeding these wonderful birds. As with all species when breeding it is always best to research to educate yourself. In this article I will explain proper and improper pairings and the reasons behind why some are correct and others incorrect. Firstly let us start with mutations. The current position with Parrotlets is that there are many new mutations coming

The most vital and important message for me to emphasise is ALWAYS PAIR BACK TO GREEN.

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BAD EXAMPLES: AMERICAN MAUVE AND WHITE PIED

Personally I enjoy a challenge and the joy of breeding my own line, this is so much fun and very rewarding…

forward. Breeders are working with standard mutations and working them into other mutations and even dark

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factors. If you would like to do this you need to understand the background of each bird and not have a genetically over dosed bird (a bird split for many mutations). Breeders can always buy the triple or more factors but they are not cheap. Personally I enjoy a challenge and the joy of breeding my own line, this is so much fun and very rewarding, especially when checking the feather development of the babies when they are around 14 days old. As a breeder it is always a good idea to work with a small number of mutations. My own choice is American, Marbled, Fallow, Pied and Dark factor. Pied


FEATURE GOOD EXAMPLE: FALLOW


and Dark factor being incomplete and dominate mutations are always nice to work into any collection. Then there are American, Fallow and Marbled which are recessive but really nice to work into one another also. When working the dark factor into any mutation just remember the following. Dark factor mutations affect a different part of the feather structure where as our usual mutations such as American, Fallow, Grey, Marbled, Pied and Ino are created with the variations of transparency of the cortex altering the amount of Psittacin. The dark factors affect the spongy layer between the cortex and area of Melanin and Medullar cells. Then you have Cinnamon which affects the Melanin this is the only sex linked mutation in Parrotlets. So working a dark factor into a mutation such as Ino will not have much of a visual effect.

You can pair a Blue to another mutation but if you do this they need to be genetically matched.

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The problem when breeding mutation x mutation is the size and health of the young

However, working Dark factor into Fallow has a beautiful outcome (Dark factor not so much Double Dark factor. As Fallow is not a strong mutation and DD Green or Blue the feather quality is poor). The most vital and important message for me to emphasise is ALWAYS PAIR BACK TO GREEN. Greens are so important to keep our birds strong and healthy. You can pair a Blue to another mutation but if you do this they need to be genetically matched. For example Blue split American to an American White. The offspring will become Blue split American and American White. There is no point of pairing Blue split Ino to a Blue Fallow. You will only breed Blues split Fallows and a small percentage carry the Ino gene. If you do breed to a Blue be sensible and make sure the offspring are then paired to


FEATURE Green in the next generation. Good Greens are just as important in anyone’s flock as these amazing new mutations we are now breeding. The problem when breeding mutation x mutation is the size and health of the young and if the next generation are again improperly paired you will have

BAD EXAMPLE: MAUVE

a ‘train wreck’ of mutations in a small weak bird which will more than likely have small clutches and not live as long. So do the right thing as a breeder and pair to Green. Another very bad example of poor breeding is breeding red eye to red eye. This includes all Fallow and Ino


mutations. This pairing will produce really unhealthy and possibly blind young. I believe this and so do many reputable Forpus breeders to be true but some breeders still continue to do so just for their financial gain and do not consider the wellbeing and future of these birds. On several occasions I have encountered blind or poor sighted Ino’s. The future of these birds is so important. Dark Factors are also another interesting mutation and as mentioned before are being worked into other mutations. You must first learn about the main rules as they relate to the Dark factor. You Want to breed D factor birds:- this one is simple as it is an incomplete dominant mutation. A good Blue paired to a DGreen split Blue (Or Dblue to Green split blue) you will breed Blue, Green, Dgreen, Dblue (Cobalt).

Pairing D factor to DD factor is not ideal unless the birds are of good quality and size and have a good history.

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If you want to breed DD factored birds:- Pair Dark factor to Dark factor. For example Dgreen to blue or vice versa. If you wish to breed DDblue the D green will need to be split blue. You can not get a bird split for Dgreen or Dblue (Cobalt). Dgreen split to Dgreen split is more ideal of course. Pairing D factor to DD factor is not ideal unless the birds are of good quality and size and have a good history. Also it is very important to keep breeding records to ensure linage of birds. When buying a parrotlet ask for its linage. Most good breeders should inform you of at least one line generation. If a breeder is unsure or doesn’t want to give you that answer it is not worth buying the birds from them. So my summary for today: • Breed a mutation to a Green (or Blue) split of that mutation. • Never breed red eye to red eye (including Ino and Fallow) • Never breed mutation x mutation (eg American yellow x Albino etc) • If you wish to breed DD factor use a DBlue x DGreen split Blue


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GOOD EXAMPLE: GREEN PIED


BY HAYLEY BAKER

EXHIBITING PARROTLETS A s you may know at the National Exhibition at Stafford County Showground this year the parrotlet section within the show schedule of the Society has been expanded and I am working tirelessly to promote this enhancement and ensure that have plenty of Parrotlets are exhibited. Parrotlets are a wonderful species of bird and with so many people visiting the show I am certain that we will inspire more enthusiasts to I am certain keep, breed and exhibit these avian that we will inspire gems. There is no doubt that a more enthusiasts parrotlet in a nice clean exhibition to keep, breed and cage looks outstanding. I am really hoping to have a good attendance exhibit these avian with entries, personally I would be gems. very happy if we can get 25+ birds on the bench. There have had some great prizes donated, Johnston and Jeff Ltd the sponsor of the Show have donated a number of large 20 kg bags of bird seed which is very kind of them and these will be gratefully appreciated by the winners. In addition Rosemead Aviaries who build so many excellent weldmesh and aluminium box section aviaries have kindly sponsored the

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PARROTLET INTEREST GROUP

© Henk Van Der Meer


Parrotlet Interest Group by kindly donating some toys as prizes. It is a huge honour to have enlisted the skills of Terry Sayers to judge this category for us. Terry is a man with a great deal of judging experience behind

The shape of the birds 1. The forehead, from the beak slightly curved toward the rear. 2. Upper head (crown), slightly arched. 3. The curved beak should be broad at the base. The lower and upper beak should close tightly on each other. The lower mandible is recessed into the mask. 4. The tip of the upper beak is directed toward the chest. 5. Throat and neck well stocked. 6. Chest well stocked, in a slightly curved line running to the abdomen and the anal region. 7. Short sturdy legs, short toes with strong nails well clamped around the perch. Two toes forward and two toes facing backward. 8. Shoulders should not be visible. 9. Back to lay in a straight line with the tail, well stocked and the wings to be rounded.

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him and very respected throughout the bird community. To assist those that are not that familiar with exhibiting Parrotlets the maim areas that Terry will be looking for in your Parrotlets is overall shape.

10. Lower back well stocked. 11. Back, rump and tail should form a straight line. 12. Wings with a length of about 3/5 of the total length of the bird, and should be tight against the body should be worn. 13. Tail forms a triangle, tapering to a point. A comprehensive show schedule is on pages 24 and 25 of this edition, if you do not want to damage your magazine a copy will be entirely acceptable. If you require information on colour standards please email me and I can send you a copy of this as we have Wild type, Blue, Fallow, Ino, Pied, Marbled, American and Dark factor to cover. (Hayleycbaker@hotmail.co.uk or you can find the Dutch version here www.forpussenclub.nl )


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MANAGING SUNFLOWER FOR A HAPPY AND HEALTHY PARROT We all know parrots love sunflower seeds. They’re high in energy, fats and carbohydrates which are essential nutrients for parrots. However, some birds can become addicted to sunflower, too much of which can cause problems such as, a vitamin A deficiency or lymphomas. At Johnston & Jeff, we first developed two specialist blends that are rich and nutritious, right for the particular species but low in sunflower.

Low Sunflower for African Greys

Low Sunflower for Large Parrots

We then devised our Parrot Lean & Fit blend, which contains no sunflower seeds and no nuts and is perfect for parrots that require a lower energy or maintenance diet. It also allows you to feed nuts and sunflower seeds separately as a treat or even a training aid, without adversely affecting the diet. Parrot Lean & Fit

Please note, Johnston & Jeff’s foods are only available through retailers or online. Please contact us to find your nearest stockists or for more information. Johnston & Jeff Ltd. Baltic Buildings, Gateway Business Park, Gilberdyke, East Riding of Yorkshire, HU15 2TD T: 01430 449444 • E: mail@johnstonandjeff.co.uk • www.johnstonandjeff.co.uk Johnston & Jeff Ltd @johnstonandjeff @johnstonandjeff


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