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FEATURE Fern


must have chewed off the plastic holders on the food dish. Greenman had pushed the food bowl aside and squeezed through the gap. I expected to find him in the cloakroom where, the previous night, I’d left the crate. No Greenman, the window was open a crack. I spotted him later on the aviary roof,


chatting to his wife through the wire. She had poked her head out of the nest box. If I approached within metres he was off. Les Rance, Ariadne’s breeder offered a solution: ‘Shut Ariadne in a cage in your end flight and leave the outer doors open.’ Each of my six flights can be closed off from the main aviary. For two days, no results, Ariadne wasn’t eating and Greenman, although he visited her, flew out at the merest sound of footsteps.


However, I outwitted him on day two, when I approached holding a scary padded coat in front of me. Greenman spotted the approaching monster and flew to the back of the flight instead of outside. Les Rance’s trick of using a caged bird as


a lure has served several times. Not always quite how I expected.


Alexandrines at liberty Flights of semi feral ring necks and Alexandrines have colonised counties in Southern England; I don’t wish to add to their number. Fern a wild caught elderly rescue Alexandrine was top parakeet in our mixed aviary of around 25 birds so when I was offered Alex, a proven cock of 21 years, whose mate had recently died, I eagerly agreed. I was told that


BIRD SCENE 37


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