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FEATURE


Pure strains of any of these birds - Lovebirds, Parakeets, Parrots, Lories, Cockatoos, Macaws and all - must be regarded as becoming increasingly rarer, desirable and valuable in the future…


one of the most important qualities to look for by discerning breeders when obtaining new breeding stock. One of the biggest dangers to our aviary bred stocks of psittacine birds is uncontrolled hybridisation, whether it’s cross-bred Grass Parakeets, Lovebirds and Rosellas or hybrids between species of Macaws, Cockatoos, and species and sub-species of Amazons, Lories and Eclectus Parrots; all represent the same danger, which is the loss to aviculture of pure bred species and sub-species that may never again be obtainable. ‘Hybrid vigour’ is well known and made use of within horticulture, and it exists in mammals and birds; the resulting hybrids are often larger, stronger and more aggressive than their contributing parents, and can be fertile even with crosses between quite distantly related psittacine species, meaning that hybrids could eventually swamp and outnumber the pure species. This would be much faster with smaller types like Lovebirds and Grass Parakeets and slower with the


larger species of parrots like Macaws and Cockatoos, which take much longer to reach maturity - but it could happen. Therefore: pure strains of any of these birds - Lovebirds, Parakeets, Parrots, Lories, Cockatoos, Macaws and all - must be regarded as becoming increasingly rarer, desirable and valuable in the future, and certainly worth much more from a monetary perspective, than hybrids.


Colour Varieties There is often a mistaken confusion between hybrids and colour mutants (colour varieties) but (provided they are not the result of hybridisation) colour varieties present no danger whatever of loss of pure forms because - however different their appearances may be - they have no adulteration of added genes and are still a continuation of their pure species or sub-species. Attractive new colour varieties - genuinely new forms and not just combinations and compounds of common existing varieties - have


Attractive new colour varieties - genuinely new forms and not just combinations and compounds of common existing varieties - have always been regarded as being of great value…


BIRD SCENE 53


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