Report on the visit to Lubos Pavlech, parrot breeder from Slovakia

December 4th, 2016 | by Jan Potucek
Report on the visit to Lubos Pavlech, parrot breeder from Slovakia

How long would you stand waiting for successful breeding of some species? Two years, five years? In case of Lubos Pavlech it took eight years until he bred the Horned Parakeet (Eunymphicus cornutus), species which is not very common in our aviaries. Lubos bought his first pair in 2008. However, the birds have produced only infertile clutches and therefore a new female was purchased in 2014. „The original owner told me that the bird is moulting. But with time she was losing more and more feathers. Then it became almost naked..,“ the breeder described how was his first experience with PBFD.

The first parrot was an escaped cockatiel

There was not any other option than to sleep the female and unfortunately, meanwhile the original female became infected as well. „I was lucky that the disease has not been spread to other birds. Now, they raise chicks with negative results on circovirus tests,“ he added. Lubos Pavlech is well known among the Czech and Slovakian aviculturists as organizer of the convention Kalnice. This event is in close cooperation with Czech Aviculture Society.



outside aviaries for middle sized Australian parrots (c) Jan Potucek


But let’s get back to Lubos’s birds. His avicultural career started at age of 12 when his father brought him an escaped cockatiel from the crop. „At that time my father worked as a farmer. When he saw a cockatiel flying around he just extended his hand and the bird came. He did not have any better idea than to put it to a paper bag with a few holes so air can go through. He simply put the package to pocket of his jacket and went home. Just after his arrival, the bird jumped out of his pocket and started flying around. What a crazy story, right?“ said Lubos while recalling his memories.

„My dad had no idea which bird is that. Maybe he knew that it was a parrot but that’s all,“ he added. Lubos has not heard about anybody who is looking for the lost bird and therefore he bought another one. Fortunately, it was a pair. „After some time I started breeding them. This success encouraged me to get more parrots. I bought Red-rumped Parrots and Eastern Rosellas. At that time I had no idea that this is just a beginning of my lifetime hobby,“ said Lubos whith smile on his face.



Lubos Pavlech (c) Jan Potucek


The first rarity? Green-winged King Parrots

No matter what, Lubos has been always keeping the common Australian parrots like Western Rosellas (Platycercus icterotis) or Scarlet-chested Parrots (Neophema splendida). Besides that, he has tried also non-parrot birds like house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) which raised chicks at his place. He was so successful with parrots that there was not any other choice than to expand his aviaries. Because of that, Lubos bought a new land from his neighbour and despite considerable construction difficulties (ten trucks full of landfill were necessary to align the altitude difference), he built many news aviaries for Australian parrots but also for other species.

Since 2003, the Green-winged King Parrot had been a big dream for Lubos. „At that time, I saw this species at Burger’s ZOO and a year later at Loro Parque. It became an urgency to have them,“ he said. Soon after Lubos came home, he found a pair and bought it.



Horned Parakeet in the collection of Lubos Pavlech (c) Jan Potucek


Six babies of Green-winged King Parrots in one year

For Lubos, breeding of this species was not so difficult as in case of the Horned Parakeet. „The pair came to breeding condition very quickly. However, the female was still very scared about the nestbox. With time, she started going inside and at the end she did not have any problem with that anymore,“ he described his first experience with this species. „The first clutch was not incubated and the female also did not make a hole in wood shavings. This species comes from tropical forests so maybe higher humidity would be a solution? I was thinking…Therefore I added pieces of rotten wood to the nestbox. At the next clutch, the female made a hole and also started incubating the eggs.“ Parents repeated this success later in the same year so Lubos Pavlech bred six babies of this rare parrot, eventually.

„My green-winged parrots nest two to three times each year. This pair have bred more than 35 chicks,“ he said. Just at the time of our visit, three young birds were flying in an aviary together with their pairents. As Lubos says, this species usually raises 2-3 chicks from one clutch. However, once he bred also four babies. In the same type of aviaries, Lubos keeps also Hooded Parrots (Psephotus dissimilis).



Green-winged King Parrot (c) Jan Potucek


Difficulties with the Hooded Parrots

„I bought my first pair at a Czech birdmarket. However, as I later found out, they were two males. Both birds started fighting and one of the males tried to approach a female of Mulga Parrot in adjacent aviary. After the second bird moulted, it was obvious that I have two males,“ he said. However, it was not easy to get a female at all.

„Finally, I found a breeder who had two females. We both were happy to make the exchange and it was a good step. The pair received a nestbox and started nesting immediately after that.“

As Lubos says, Hooded Parrots are most sensitive species to low temperature from all parrots he has. It is necessary to heat the facility during the winter but it is possible to let them go to outside flights also within the cold days. At his place, this species nest in the spring and then in autumn. „If temperature is low and they have eggs or chicks, I do not open windows to outside aviaries.“



The Hooded Parrot breeding pair (c) Jan Potucek


Plans for the future? Jonquil Parrots

The breeder heats aviaries to 5-10°C. „The Hooded Parrot female incubates well, they do not need higher temperature. Besides that, I provide them also wood chips or pelleted straw on the aviary bottom. It absorbs humidity well and it also insulates the cold cement floor,“ he says.

Lubos spends with his hobby lot of time. He tries to provide high quality diet and studies natural needs of his animals from various magazines and books. What is more – there are still new plans ahead. „My big dream is to have the Jonquil Parrots. Not sure if it can become reality but I wish that from my heart. We will see.“ I think that we all can be sure that Lubos Pavlech will find a way how to acquire this species eventually and we wish him good luck with that.


Title photo: (c) Jan Potucek


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