Sun Conures
Posted: 22 March 2009 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Posted: 25 March 2009 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Arara,
We have been carefully breeding select sun conures and free flying them for twenty years. There is no need to buy top quality sun conures as we would be willing to donate any offspring already trained in foraging. Many other sun conure keepers would also donate I am sure.

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Posted: 26 March 2009 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Posted: 26 March 2009 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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[“Actually the propagation of the Parrots is very costly and the production of the Suns for restocking in the wild can only br financied, if at the same time a certain percentage of propagated Parrots is sold on the market….......”]

I would tend to disagree with this supposition. Many of the facilities I have know keep their birds in very limited housing, feed basic cheap farm grain diets, put up indestructible or ramshackle nestboxes, and provide only bare bones care for chicks to see that they survive up to selling them. Once the initial outlay for cages and some breeder stock is made, the breeding business sometimes is run on a shoestring, certainly with prolific, small pet species such as cockatiels, lovebirds, conures. And many facilities have gotten free birds or very cheap unwanted birds to pair up and thus avoided top quality breeding stock and the money it costs to buy them.

In the U.S. a main reason breeders are failing is because they produced far too many parrots of inferior long term pet quality and the birds ended up unwanted and were begun to be given away free of charge by the thousands after two decades or more of this overproduction. Now the bottom has dropped out of the market and many persons who want a pet parrot can go and adopt one for a pittance charge of what the breeders were used to getting during the best days. Then the breeders found they had messed up because they only began to mass produce and sell the birds that were easy to market, ignoring the future for such species as brown-throated, gold-capped, and nanday conures, cobalt winged and tui parakeets, white fronted amazons, Edward’s lorikeets, normal grey cockatiels, pure normal Fischer’s lovebirds, plum-headed parakeets, Noble Macaws, kakariki s and others. Where are those birds now when someone wants to buy one—-or to obtain four pairs to start a species line??? 

No, export restrictions are not the reasons aviculture is on the wane in many areas. It is much more complicated and commercial oriented than that. And I shudder to think what the UK and after a while Australia are going to end up being as many of the breeders there sure seem to be going the same money-first route the U.S. took. Little cooperation and long-term planning amongst breeders who compete to produce as many thousand dollar chicks as they can as fast as they can.


As for sun conures, I know of adoption agencies that have cages full of them. Loud, friendly, pets, former breeders, old young, hens and cocks. There have been facilities that closed down and gave up 50 pairs of suns at a time—-no we do not need to pay commercial breeders for their mass produced birds. What we need are special, savvy, bonded and flock savvy birds of middle age with mental capacities, physiques, foraging skills and some tree flying experience. For free: donated, yes. This is not a money making proposition, it is a CONSERVATION issue. Start a website and just see how many suns are out there for the having!!!  Then set them up in an on site aviary and do soft releases with certain qualified fledglings. Or as we used to do, put the breeding cage up in a tree and fly the parents every day, let them sleep in the cage in the box at night,  and then when chicks are born, fledge them into the habitat from the suspended aviary with their parents teaching on the wing.
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Posted: 31 March 2009 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Posted: 31 March 2009 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Arara,

I think you got the wrong impression. I never said anyone breeding parrots was fake, and I never said all breeders just want to make money and do not treat their birds well. This is a misunderstanding.

What I did emphasize in reference to sun conures bred in captivity, is that few facilities breeding to sell for the pet trade are actually taking extra time and effort to raise birds that would be worth buying for an eventual release program.  Sun conures raised by the dozens and taken out of the parents’ nestbox when their eyes are still not fully open and their feathers are not grown are basically handicapped when it comes to showing real survival skills and passing on the traits of their species. It takes savvy parent birds to teach proper skills to offspring and that is simply not going on enough in captive avicultural facilities. Unfortunately, the bottom line of profit and sales is more important than the quality of the birds produced. That is why so many breeders rely on handfeeding and incubators. They have not the breeding pairs nor the patience to let parent birds raise their own young. This is disastrous for so many species because the innate knowledge of the parrots becomes lost each succeeding generation. The breeder makes up for this by taking away fertile eggs or very young chicks and handfeeding them to weaning. It works for the sales total but not for the conservation essentials.

You are also right about the expertise of breeding programs in local areas where the birds are indigenous. These programs have much more at stake and are usually not run with only a profit and pet trade focus. Also, to be in the country where the birds are disappearing gives added advantage for conservation and aviculture to work hand in hand and succeed. This would obviously be the best way to help sun conures recover. I was only talking about the ways that one could go about acquiring sun conures for an initial start, without going out and telling breeders that we want them to sell us birds which are being heretofore raised for the pet trade.


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Posted: 01 April 2009 05:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Unfortunately I do not think anyone in general aviculture has been breeding parrots of any species with a view to re-introduce them into the wild.
The Sun Conure has obviously brought the plight of parrots to the forefront once again and this is a species that is kept in captivity in many collections. This means there is a chance that they (because of their numbers in captivity), as well as other species (that I am in no doubt will be shown to be struggling in the wild), may be saved by aviculturists in cooperation with zoos and other such establishments (subject to the relevant habitat being available).
Apart from some less kept species I do not know of any re-introductions (I am sure I will be corrected on this issue) that the more widely kept species have been or have ever been considered for release. I am sure there are many Aviculturists that would be only too willing to try to help the plight of this species as well as others but maybe there needs to be trials with some different species first. A project that could be considered by the World Parrot Trust taking in the successes of the Echo Parakeet and learning from the disasters like the Spix Macaw release.

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Posted: 01 April 2009 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Steve, when you refer to:  “....learning from the disasters like the Spix Macaw release.”  ...what are you referring to?  I’m sure there’s an article in Psittascene somewhere talking about this but I haven’t seen it. Can you tell me what issue and year?  Or give me a brief synopsis of it?          Cindi

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Posted: 02 April 2009 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Posted: 02 April 2009 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Posted: 03 April 2009 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Cyndi;

As I heard the reports back years ago, the single spix female (I would never fly a lone female parrot in dangerous terrain, so many of them depend upon their male partner to make quick decisions!) was released in the area of the last remaining spix male in the wild—but the male spix had already taken up a relationship with an illiger’s macaw hen—this obviously made it even less likely that the male spix would just drop its present bonding partner and,  take up with a strange single female spix, even though she was of the same species, and be able to protect and teach her quickly enough for her to survive. It was a supposition that was dangerous to make by the release people, but then hindsight is always better for all of us and what’s bygone is bygone. The important thing is to learn and move onwards for the good of the species.

You can read a very good book on the subject by parrot expert Tony Juniper:

“Spix’s Macaw: The Race to Save the World’s Rarest Bird”

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Posted: 03 April 2009 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Thank you so much for the information.  It looks like Juniper’s book is going to be a sad read, since the project failed.  I’ll have to keep reminding myself of the successes we’ve seen instead of the failures, i.e., the Echo Parakeet, the Blue-Throated Macaws, etc.

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Posted: 13 May 2009 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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yellowfronts - 25 March 2009 11:50 AM

Arara,
We have been carefully breeding select sun conures and free flying them for twenty years. There is no need to buy top quality sun conures as we would be willing to donate any offspring already trained in foraging. Many other sun conure keepers would also donate I am sure.

Your birds would be perfect to supplement the fledgling population in Boa Vista. Would take some arranging to actually get it done in Brazil though.

Let me know if that would interest you.

All best,

Roelant

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