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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 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. 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


36 BIRD SCENE


article (“Where are all the Parrotlets?” Sept 2010) 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. 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


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