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FEATURE Gouldian Finches


at risk since self-sustaining captive populations have not been established. Secondly, at the opposite end of the spectrum, established species are subject to domestication. This happens when mutations begin to appear, followed by “show standards” at variance with the wild bird. These start with colour mutations but progress to encompass size, shape and feathering. The species is “lost” as a foreign bird when one can no longer acquire visually normal birds with confidence that they will breed true.


This path of “development” is typified by three stages. Firstly, colour. Think Splendid Parakeet and Gouldian Finch. Secondly size, shape and feather structure. Think Budgerigar and Australian Zebra Finch. Finally, a domestic species – think various bantams (Jungle Fowl) and Aylesbury Ducks (Mallard).


This path of “development” is typified by three stages. Firstly, colour. Think Splendid Parakeet and Gouldian Finch. Secondly size, shape and feather structure. Think Budgerigar and Australian Zebra Finch. Finally, a domestic species – think various bantams (Jungle Fowl) and Aylesbury Ducks (Mallard).


Developing, breeding and showing these birds is a different and perfectly legitimate branch of the hobby. What foreign bird breeders object to is the visually normal birds are seldom pure i.e. can be relied upon to produce wild-type young. Our ability to obtain a visually normal Budgerigar or Australian Zebra Finch in terms of size, shape and feather is long gone. There are of course many species which fall somewhere between these extremes. With some established species mutations exist but with care genuine normals are still available. >>>


BIRD SCENE 29


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