Ondrej Stafek: My passion are green parrots, especially amazons. PART I

March 20th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
Ondrej Stafek: My passion are green parrots, especially amazons. PART I

Read also the second part of this interview:

Ondrej Stafek talks about his collection of South American parrots. PART II


He used to be a breeder of exotic spiders and leaf insects. However, 4 years ago the young breeder from the Czech Republic started with breeding of southamerican parrots: macaws, amazons and Patagon Conures. He has also other exotic birds like weavers and some finches.

How did you start with breeding of parrots?

I visited a breeder who had budgies and finches. That was the place where I decided about breeding of birds. My dad helped me with building of the aviaries. The first were for the Patagon Conure and the Green-cheeked Conure. The place where are the Military macaws now, Kakarikis, budgies and some australian parakeets used to be. Then we built a new part of the facility which includes five aviaries and wanted to have more southamerican species. I remember visiting of one friend who had for sale a pair of the Yellow-crowned Amazon and the Blue-fronted Amazon. So we bought them and since that time we have been breeding only with southamerican parrots. I don’t want anything else now.


Celkový pohled na venkovní voliéry pro ary a amazoňany u Ondřeje Štafka (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

Facility of a young aviculturist Ondrej Stafek (c) Jan Potucek


Ondřej Štafek ukazuje vnitřní voliéru pro snovače, kterou obývají i křepelky (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

(c) Jan Potucek


Ondřej Štafek ukazuje krmivo pro drobné exoty, momentálně používá směsi od italské společnosti Manitoba (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

(c) Jan Potucek


So in total, how long have you been breeding with parrots?

Since 2006.

So you don’t have australian parakeets anymore?

Exactly. It was more passion of my brother and my dad.

Today, you breed amazons, Patagon Conures and macaws. What is the most favourite species?

I guess the Patagon Conure. I started with them and I don’t want to sell them. Even if they won’t breed, I will keep them.

How do you choose which species you are going to breed? According to its color, rarity, price…?

Firstly, the price of course. You can’t buy the parrot if you don’t have money for that. Then you have to consider availability of the species but I like green parrots very much. That’s why amazon parrots are the most favourite for me. Of course, there are green macaws as well but amazons are amazons. These birds are still active, I enjoy watching them when it’s raining for example.


Skupina snovačů ve společném zimovišti (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

Weavers (c) Jan Potucek


When you finished with the breeding of australian parakeets. Did you rebuilt your aviaries?

The aviaries which are for amazon parrots now are new ones, exclusively for them. No australian parakeets have been there before.

Macaws can be diffcult to keep as their beaks are strong and will easily destroy the wooden construction. How did you choose the material and how have you built the aviares?

My brother and father helped me a lot. Especially my brother who is very skillful. I chose aluminium because as you said macaws are too destructive. The wire of mesh is 3mm wide with mesh size 2,5cm. Inside part is wooden but covered by metal sheets so birds can’t reach the wood.

You breed Red-shouldered Macaws and Military Macaws as well. Why these species? Beside the fact that they are both green…

I just like their coloration. I could have Blue-winged Macaws as well but finally I decided for former species. And Military Macaws? That was fast decision. I just had the opportunity to buy them and I didn’t hesitate much. What is more, this pair was set up spontaneously. That’s the best way how you can set up a pair.


Směs ovoce a zeleniny pro velké papoušky (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

The feeding mixture for large parrots (c) Jan Potucek


The aviary for Military Macaws has the inside and outside part as well. The one for Red-shouldered Macaws don’t, why?

The space was the only reason. But I think they don’t mind. This pair had a clutch of 6 eggs in the last year. They were infertile but it is a good sign for the future. I don’t want to replace them to another aviary and disturbe them.

There are two large nest boxes in the aviary for Military Macaws. The first is horizontal, the second is a vertical tree log. It had to be difficult to get them to the aviary.

The log is from ash, we had to cut it on two halfs, excavate it and both parts get to the aviary.

What is the diameter of this log?

I think about 70cm. This nestbox woud be big enough for Hyacinth Macaws as well so we will see. When they start nesting in one nestbox then I will remove the other.


Tentýž chovný pár arů vojenských v zimovišti společně se dvěma velkými boudami na hnízdění (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

Military Macaws (c) Jan Potucek


Ondřej Štafek ukazuje jeden z kontrolních otvorů do boudy arů vojenských, který vede skrz zeď do vedlejší místnosti (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

Nestbox inspection is possible through the wall without disturbation of nesting parents. (c) Jan Potucek


You will keep the log for Hyacinth Macaws? 🙂

They are beautiful but it’s just a matter of far future. The good thing is that nest boxes can be inspected through the wall so birds are not disturbed. If I will be successful with breeding of Military Macaws? I’m a optimist but it entirely depends on birds, of course.

It’s still cold outside. How do you heat your aviaries?

The whole facility is heated by wood heater with a radiator in every section.

I guess it’s a big advantage for you that you are as your father and brother a chimney sweeper. So there is many things about the heating you can arrange by yourself.

You are right. We just hired a workman who connected the radiators. We have good source for wood so it’s quite cheap for us. Amazon parrots are kept in 7-8°C, Macaws 12-15°C and Weavers in 15-20°C.


Celkový pohled na zázemí chovného zařízení pro amazoňany a papoušky patagonské (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

(c) Jan Potucek


Amazoňany zelenolící získal Ondřej Štafek od Zdeňka Vandělíka, svého chovatelského vzoru. A stihl je už vystavit na loňské Exotě Olomouc. (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

Green-cheeked Amazon (c) Jan Potucek


Mezi prvními amazoňany si Ondřej Štafek pořídil tyto amazoňany žlutolící (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

Red-lored Amazons (c) Jan Potucek


Nejdéle chová Ondřej Šafek tyto papoušky patagonské. Loni je vystavoval na výroční výstavě Klubu přátel exotického ptactva v pražské Botanické zahradě na Albertově. (Foto: Jan Potůček, Ararauna.cz)

Patagon Conure (c) Jan Potucek


How do you ventilate the facility in the winter?

Easily, I just open the door for a few minutes every day.

Do you let your birds go outside during the winter?

Mostly about the noon but when the frost is heavy then they stay inside.

Macaws are going outside as well?

Yes, they mostly stay there for 1-1,5 hour.


Read also the second part of this interview:

Ondrej Stafek talks about his collection of South American parrots. PART II


Title photo: (c) Jan Potucek


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  1. Pingback: Ondrej Stafek talks about his collection of South American parrots. PART II | Parrots Daily News

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