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 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 Society, Waxbill Society etc) have a role to play in signposting enquiries – for example, someone looking for Normal Bourkes Parakeets would contact the Parrot Society for a referral to someone holding such birds. Likewise, this

magazine could have a potential role in listing the societies and making people aware of how to go about locating specific birds.

In fact, both the Parrot Society through their office and the AFS through their RADS + scheme already perform this function.

Of course, this system is far from

perfect but it has the advantage of no formalities – I simply “talk birds” to people a couple of times a year or when I have a specific enquiry. In my experience most bird keepers are happy to do that! If the end result works for even a few species it will be well worth the effort. For the record, the species I am currently working with are:

Endangered in Captivity Cape Dove / Spectacled Parrotlet / Green-rumped Parrotlet / Yellow-faced Parrotlet

Ring-fenced Normals Diamond Dove / Bourke’s Parakeet

The birds I deal with are not always species I hold – mine is simply a post- box function.

If this “system” is to work, it needs people prepared to dedicate a little time and effort to a species they care about. For a modest input you could make a real contribution to your hobby.


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