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Parrot Like Section

by Colin Pell

Ten years ago very few birds were exhibited in the Parrot Like Section at bird shows. This was unfortunate because the public were denied the opportunity to see the variety and splendid colours of many of the World's birds.

Importers inform us that many birds of these types are imported into the country but most are kept and bred in private collections. From low numbers in the early 1990's we now find over 300 parrot like exhibits at our shows. There are limitations to the breeding and keeping of these birds. Firstly there is cost. Most of the birds we see are imported at a high cost. To obtain a pair of some of the larger species the cost may be many times more than for a pair of canaries or finches (generally speaking that is although these are exceptions).

Secondly there is the question of accommodation. Space to accommodate birds in most properties is at a premium. The space needed by a pair of parakeets may be 10 or 20 times that required by smaller species. Additionally in most cases one flight is required per pair of birds; one cannot simply put several pairs of the same type in the same flight as they will kill or damage each other severally particularly in the breeding season.

Another problem, although there are similar problems in all types of birds, is that same need special foodstuffs and additatives to supplement their normal diet.

Breeding many of these parrot like birds also has some problems. If the breeder buys young birds then he may have to wait for a number of years before they are mature enough to breed successfully. Buying mature pairs is often difficult and more expensive. Sexing of Parrot Like birds presents many problems. As youngsters some are virtually impossible to sex even by experienced fanciers. Often one can buy a pair of youngsters using all your knowledge and than find that when they mature they are both of the same sex - then you have a problem in replacing one of them with a bird of the opposite sex. Maybe alternating a pair was difficult in the first place; to replace one is even more so. When you are able to get the birds to breed then they do not do so in large numbers. Some pairs will only produce one or two young per year, and then care has to be taken to ensure survival of those babies.

Turning to the question of showing, then preparation should be similar in all bird types. You must try to have birds presented in full feather. They must be clean to ensure that their plumage and colour is shown to full advantage. This may require spraying with water for some two to three weeks prior to a show. This preparation if done properly gives us all the chance to appreciate the colour and splendour of the birds. This is particularly so in the Parrot Like Section. Look carefully around them and you will find every colour of the rainbow somewhere.

The presentation of the bird is important to a judge as in most cases the overall appearance of a bird determines the placing. This applies to almost all birds with one notable exception the budgerigar. Whilst still having to be well presented there are numerous specific details which a judge must take into consideration. For example colour carries a great deal of importance in most birds to a budgerigar judge a pretty colour is not important and carries very low points (15%). Other specifics including spot, depth of mask, width of head, clarity of marking and several other matters, which relate any to budgerigars. In the show we have tried to so arrange the Parrot Like Section to enable you the public to see birds from all round the world and see them at their best. You will see Parakeets, Lorikeets, Ringnecks, Cockateels and the larger birds. And then budgerigars and a variety of Grass Parakeets. You will also find quite a large section devoted to Lovebirds, which although fairly small birds in the Parrot Like Section have a beautiful range of colours.

We hope that you are able to enjoy the variety and splendour of the birds which make up the Parrot Like Section.

Donated by the Malta Cage Birds Association Club visit MCBA club website

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