For most parrot breeders it is essential to have a number of different pairs in their collection. From the point of view of visual interest, it is more important to have different species of varying colours. So in most collections of 10 pairs there may be as many as 8 different species.

In the longer run, it is providing a greater service to aviculture and satisfaction to the individual breeder to specialise in one or two different species. When a collection has a large variety of species, it can be difficult to replace a suitable mate if one of a breeding pair should die. Even when a replacement is found, that bird may not necessarily be compatible with the bird already in your possession. The search then goes on to find a compatible partner. All this effort is time wasted and in the long run to the detriment of the species.

Occasionally, the opportunity arises to purchase maybe 4 or 5 pairs of one type of parrot. Importers do occasionally bring in a species of parrot that is relatively infrequently imported, that is when the opportunity will arise to specialise to greatest effect. From the introduction of say 10 individuals, it is possible to make up compatible unrelated pairs of breeding age and within a short period of time maybe 2 of the 5 pairs are raising chicks. From then on it is possible to retain a number of youngsters and pair these back to unrelated imported birds or unrelated babies that have been bred from another pair. The eventual outcome is that productivity is high, the contribution to the species as a whole is beneficial and the opportunity to sell unrelated youngsters at reasonable prices is a distinct possibility.

Whatever the depth of your pocket, it is possible to find a species that needs the help of a dedicated aviculturists. Indiscriminate collecting of several different species is a common mistake by the modern aviculturist. Most parrot breeders see it purely as a hobby and not as a way of advancing the species. On every continent there are parrots either inexpensive or hugely priced that require man's assistance to increase their numbers. To name but a few there are the Black Cheeked Lovebird from Africa, the Yellow Backed Lory and Palm Cockatoo from Indonesia, the Yellow Faced Parrolet and the Blue Throated Conure from South America, New Zealand has the Kea and Kakapoe and in Australia the Blue Eyed Cockatoo.

Not all of the birds mentioned are obtainable and there are many more not mentioned here that require the expert attention of a dedicated aviculturist. The story of the Echo Parakeet from Mauritius is heartening and shows what can be done with the assistance of modern veterinary science and the experience gained over the past 30 years in avicultural techniques.


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