Private Aviculture Needs Your Support!

Warning! This video is almost an hour long and is in Australian. Avery = Aviary. I’m including it because they point out how lucky they are Down Under to legally keep and breed native species.

There aren’t really any native parrots in the United States. I’ve pointed out before that we killed off the Carolina Parakeet and the Thick-Billed Parrot, the latter through habitat destruction. But so many escaped pet parrots can thrive in our urban and suburban areas that we should be an ideal location for breeding and preserving endangered species of parrots. Actually, all birds would prosper here, in one state or another.


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Wild Quakers in Brooklyn

So why aren’t there more bills before congress to allow Americans the right to breed endangered species? I’d be okay with a licensing process, regular inspections, closed aviaries, it all makes perfect sense. But as we are, breeders in this country are limited to the pet trade.

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And guess who doesn’t want Americans to own pets, Heaven forbid we breed any? HSUS, PETA, any animal rights activists. Parrot rescue organizations refuse to let the beautiful birds they have be used as breeders. My bird club recently had a wonderful presentation by Omar Gonzales of Omar’s Birds that addressed the subject of The Future of Parrots in Aviculture. It’s not a pretty picture.

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I’ve resisted getting a baby Congo African Grey parrot because I know it will outlive me. I hate the idea of the bird having to be rehomed to someone not so loving or concerned about the future. As it is, some of my birds may face that. Throughout the US, bird keeping is something that appeals to the older citizens more than the younger. Which means you may not be able to buy a pet parrot when you want one. You can adopt one, but not to breed.

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Another problem and the reason baby CAGs are so hard to find right now is the age of the breeders we have at this time. Some of these birds can breed throughout their lifetime. Or should. But the food we give them, especially if GMO corn is involved, might be contributing to infertility. And if the breeders were wild caught, we don’t know for certain how old they are. It might just be a lack of fertility that is a natural occurrence of aging.

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Andrea Cabibi has developed a kit to allow artificial insemination of canaries, finches, and small parrots. She’s working on one for the larger parrots. The problem is, the more generations that are created this way, the more they lose the instincts required to find a mate and raise chicks.

Here’s some good news to keep us going: The return of a species thought to be extinct.

And a human saving at least 9 species from extinction.

Conservation worldwide needs to be supported, but we are missing a bet if we don’t find a way to encourage and support breeders of endangered birds in our own backyards. Wouldn’t you think by now that we have had enough extinction? Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.


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