Wild v Captive-bred Princess and Scarlet-chested Parrots

To: "Fiona Anderson" <>, "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Wild v Captive-bred Princess and Scarlet-chested Parrots
From: "John Harris" <>
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2010 17:34:08 +1000
it is about time someone else pointed out a few facts to the "field
bird observer" about aviculturists. Many years ago when Ron H was still
alive, he had more Princess Parrots in his collection than had been seen
in the wild in the previous 10 years. They were a mixture of
"wild-type", blues and splits (heterozygous - for those that don't know
the lingo). When at the ASA bird sale 2 years ago, the mutations were
selling for at least twice the price of the "wild-type" of birds like
Princess Parrots, Bourke's (Rose mutation) Parrots and the many
mutations of the Eastern and Crimson Rosellas.
I wonder, with all of the mutations floating around of many species,
whether there are, in fact, many homozygous wild-type parrots left in
captivity in Australia (of those that have popular mutations).
Having been involved heavily in aviculture for 25 years before moving
interstate and selling my birds, and my parents involvement as well
(mum, Ethel, was renown for hand-rearing parrots and cockatoos), I agree
with you notes that wild birds brought into captivity didnt do
particularly well for all the reasons that you have mentioned. Similarly
many, would say most, aviary-bred birds don't survive long in the "wild"
if they manage to escape from their aviaries, either.
Yours in all things "green"


John Harris
Manager, Environment and Sustainability
Donvale Christian College
155 Tindals Rd Donvale 3111
03 9844 2471  Ext 217
0409 090 955

President, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria (FNCV)
Past President, Victorian Association for Environmental Education

>>> Fiona Anderson <> 19/06/2010 10:30 AM >>>

It seems that what most of the accounts on this topic are not taking
into account is there are a lot more people in aviculture that are
interested in mutations rather than “wild type” birds.
The market for “wild type” birds would be very small indeed. And
considering the cost and trouble in getting these two species from the
wild – no way would anyone bother.
And truly wild caught adult parrots are basically useless as they
rarely settle enough not to kill themselves against the wire, let alone
that the chances of breeding from them are almost non-existent. The
poachers would have to find nests and take eggs/nestlings and hand raise
Just my thoughts,
Susie Wisniewski      
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