Expert on Blue-winged parrots Jan Cvrcek talks about breeding of this species. PART I

March 2nd, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
Expert on Blue-winged parrots Jan Cvrcek talks about breeding of this species. PART I
Breeding
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Read also the second part of this interview:

Expert on Blue-winged parrots Jan Cvrcek talks about breeding of this species. PART II

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How frequently is the Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostoma) bred in european facilities? Do you know if they are bred in other parts of the world as well?

As for available species in Europe, it’s the rarest one. I know there are some birds in France, Germany and Poland but I believe that they are present in other countries as well. Biggest collections are in Belgium and Netherlands. To my mind, in USA there are not so many breeders of Neophema species as in Europe.

Is it possible to recognize a male from a female? How different are young birds from their parents?

It is possible but not until moulting. Breeders from Netherlands say that trying to determine the sex of these birds before they are moulted (they moult in Europe mostly in February) is useless. That’s why many breeders refuse to sell their offsprings before that time. I have the same experience. Recognizing of sex based on white stripe under the wings is nonsense. On the other hand, very good way how to distinguish the sex is the base color of underwing coverts (after moulting of course). In females it is greybrown. In males it is deeply black.

Young birds have in comparison with their parents dull colors. The blue stripe on forehead is only barely visible or is missing.

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Samec 2014

Male 2014 (c) Jan Cvrcek

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I have heard that hybrids of the Blue-winged Parrot and other species are common. What species do they hybridize with often? How can we recognize such hybrid?

Mostly, breeders hybridize them with the Elegant Parrots (Neophema elegans) which is logical because they are very similar in coloration. I had such two hybrids in my facility intentionally. Not for breeding, of course. But for comparison with pure birds. They have already died but I mounted them so they still serve the purpose. You can’t expect that all hybrids of these two species will be always similar. Sometimes they are more like the Elegant Parrot, sometimes like the Blue-winged Parrot. Mostly, they are paler than the wild Blue-winged Parrot and we can also often see the double stripe (light and deep blue) on the forehead just like in case of the wild Elegant Parrot. The former species is also bigger in size.

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Are those hybrids fertile?

I would say that they are more fertile than the wild form. However, I don’t have personal experience with this. I just read it in literature.

There is one conservation project for saving of the Blue-winged Parrot in the Czech Republic. Could you tell us someting more about that?

This group of breeders came into existence in 2009. I’m the founder and coordinator. The aim is clear – join all breeders of this species so it can persist in our facilities. That time its numbers were really low. We also wanted to realize some imports.

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P1150988

Proud breeder Jan Cvrcek with its Blue-winged Parrot

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How many members do you have and how is the breeding going?

In the Czech Republic there are about 180 birds of this species right now. Just to compare – in the beginning there were only 12 individuals in six facilities. In January 2010 the number was 20 and after my first import of 38 birds from Netherlands in October 2010 we had together 60 Blue-winged parrots. There were about 18 breeders of this species in 2013 but many of them gave up breeding as they had no success with them. As for number of bred birds, I believe that we are the third european country after Netherlands and Belgium.

When we compare the situation in 2009 with this year then there is nothing we can complain about. The goal was achieved and now our group only controls the pairing of individuals and register new offsprings.

I would love to see the Rock Parrot (Neophema petrophila) flying in our aviaries one day. They are kept in Australia (of course) but the export is impossible. ZOO Köln got some wild budgies from Australia because of good relations between german and australian government. But I don’t believe that our politicians could achieve something similar.

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Are there any mutations of the Blue-winged Parrot?

I know about two mutations. The first one is blue (recessive) and was firstly bred in 1991 by Max Peek in southern Australia. Now it should be kept in several australian facilities and on New Zealand as well. Blue mutation appeared also in Great Britain in 1970 but it died. There are also some information about pastel mutation in Belgium in 1987 but it died, too.

The second proved mutation ­– misty – was firstly bred by Piet de Rooij in Netherlands in 2000. I had two wild birds from his facility which were possibly split to misty. Alain Campagne write in his book about Neophema parrots about faded or cinnamon mutation. It should be kept in Australia.

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Samice s mláďaty

Female with the chicks (c) Jan Cvrcek

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Now about your private collection. How long have you been keeping this species?

Since 2007, so it’s 8 years now.

Where did you buy your first birds?

I saw the first birds of this species in 2005/2006 on one smaller czech birdmarket. Andreas Kötz from Grimma in Germany brought them at this place. I recognized them immediately as I read about them in books. I didn’t have much money that time but I took the breeder’s card. At home I realized that I really want these birds so I called to the breeder and bought two pairs.

In 2009 I had a chance to buy new bloodline from Loro Parque. So I bought two birds as a pair. However, it wasn’t a pair but two beautiful males. I exchange one of them with a breeder from Netherlands for other Blue-winged Parrot in 2011 but before that I had from both males together 6 youngers. Unfortunately, I lost some birds because of a marten within the same year. I still say that birds from Loro Parque are the best you can have. Blue-winged Parrots comming from this place are so calm, big in size and in perfect condition. Youngers from them carry the same characteristics. On the other hand, birds from Netherlands are very nervous and unpredictable. Females from Loro Parque let me control the nestbox without any problem and never break eggs or kill chicks.

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In 2010 and 2011 I brought 50 birds from Netherlands in total.

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File:Neophema chrysostoma flagstaff.jpg

The Blue-winged Parrot in the wild. (c) JJ Harrison, This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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Have you faced any troubles with acclimatization of the birds from Loro Parque in our colder climate?

Mostly birds comming from there were in perfect condition. After import, I put all birds immediately to outside aviary and no problem arised. What is more, it was rainy season that time so I was worried. I still regret that there wasn’t a possibility to bring more birds from Loro Parque. Hopefully, they will be offered again.

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THE BREEDER HAS FOR SALE AT THIS MOMENT FOLLOWING BIRDS:

Blue-winged Parrot 5,0 (*2014), F2 generation from birds from Loro Parque.

Blue-winged Parrot 3,0 (*2014), F3 generation from birds from Loro Parque.

All birds closed ring, price: 80 euro each. Possible exchange for females or Geopelia humeralis.

Contact: Jan Cvrcek, Jiloviste near to Prague

e-mail: cvrcek.h@seznam.cz

 

Title photo: (c) JJ Harrison, This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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