Sunday, 30 November 2014

Gems of the Territory - A look at the Hooded Parrot

hooded parrot jadewelchbirds jade welch cock
Cock Hooded Parrot
The Hooded Parrot of Australia comes from the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory is a place of great extremes, which is known for its wildlife, heat and wet seasons. Confined to the North of the Territory these birds range from common to uncommon. Pine Creek is a good place for sighting these birds in the wild and as a matter of fact the species is so common in Pine Creek that it can be considered somewhat of a garden bird.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Stimulus for Parrots - Made Easy

caique jadewelchbirds jade welch blog chew bottlebrush parrot
Young Black-headed Caique chewing Bottlebrush
Parrots require a great amount of stimulus. Within captivity we the keepers supply our parrots with food, water and shelter which are the essentials to survive and if required breed. All of this is often supplied without them having to do much work. It is often a case of the bird just having to fly down from the perch to access their food and water.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Scrap Wire - A useful commodity

aviary scrap wire useful jade welch birds
Most aviary builds see an amount of scrap wire left over
Many of us build our aviaries only to have scraps of wire left over at the end of the project. The wire has already cost a small fortune and unfortunately now a lot of it has to be thrown away. But why? Often it is because much of these off cuts are so small or oddly shaped and just don't fit in with our plans. As such they are discarded or left to rust when they maybe of more use to us then we first thought. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Remnants of Paradise

paradise parrot termite mound jade welch birds
Termite Mounds were used for nesting by the Paradise Parrot

Recently I was driving through habitat that was once part of the Paradise Parrots former range. The Paradise Parrot (Psephotus pulcherriumus) has been extinct for quite some time now (having last been seen around 1927) and although there is a view by some that it still exists, this is rather unlikely. Take a look in the collection of many museums around the world and you will find a cabinet holding the skins of this little Aussie parrot. Aside from some great photos and notes on the birds, skins and some eggs are about all we have left of the bird.

Friday, 24 October 2014

An interesting observation - Seed eating Rainbows

rainbow lorikeet seed casuarina jadewelchbirds jade welch nectar
A Common site - A Rainbow lorikeet in search of nectar
The Eastern Australian Sub-species of Rainbow Lorikeet is traditionally known as a bird that eats pollen and nectar and rightfully so. Like other species of Lorikeet these birds have specialised papillae on the tongue to assist with the extraction of such foods. They get their supply of both nectar and pollen by visiting flowering trees and plants in parks, gardens, forests etc. As a common species they are often overlooked by people and once accustomed to these birds it is not hard to walk under a tree filled with Rainbow Lorikeets without noticing they are there.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Blue or Par Blue Black-headed Caique

Black-headed Caiques are curious birds jadewelchbirds blue par blue caique wild type
Black-headed Caiques are curious birds
The Black-headed Caique is an attractive species and readily kept. They get about the aviary acting like clowns and love to explore their surrounds. They are by nature extremely curious and quite a rewarding species to keep. 

caique black-headed jadewelchbirds curious parrot jade welch birds wild type
Wild Type Black-headed Caique

This however is not a blog post about the Black-headed Caique and its housing etc. For a full article on Caiques refer to my article in Australian Birdkeeper Magazine Volume 27 Issue 4 available at

Monday, 6 October 2014

Smart Phone Egg Candling

smart phone egg candler scarlet macaw samsung torch light
Using a Samsung Smart Phone to Candle a Healthy Scarlet Macaw Egg

I recently posted a photo of mine on Facebook (see above) that has seen a lot of positive feedback. The photo is that showing a Scarlet Macaw egg being candled using a smart phone. As can be seen the torch application that was downloaded onto the phone works brilliantly for candling parrot eggs.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Outstanding Aussies - The Glorious Gang Gang Cockatoo

cock gang gang cockatoo jadewelchbirds jade welch birds
Mature Cock Gang Gang displaying the red head

Australia has a rich diversity of Parrots & Cockatoos. Many of these are unique and this includes the distinctive Gang-Gang Cockatoo. A species, which is believed to have been given the name Gang Gang by aboriginals, these cockatoos are seen through out much of their range in flocks and small family parties visiting parks, gardens, open forests, woodlands etc. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Parrot Aviary Construction

jadewelchbirds suspended aviaries perky parrots

Aviaries come in many shapes and sizes. Some are conventional, some are suspended and some are a combination of both. Some have frames made of wood, some have frames made of steel, some have frames made of aluminium and some don’t have a frame and are just made of wire. Whatever the case what do you do if you have never built aviaries before?

It might seem like a big project to get off of the ground and sure it can be but it is also a little exciting as well. Getting plans for aviaries when you first start can be hard but the best thing to do is visit as many breeders as possible and get your ideas from there. You quickly learn from others what has worked and what hasn’t. Why it has worked and why It hasn’t worked etc.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Nest Boxes for Parrots - Essential for breeding

Rainbow Lorikeet Hollow Jadewelchbirds jade welch birds
Rainbow Lorikeet at its hollow nest

Parrots & Cockatoos are for the most part birds that nest in hollows within trees, cliffs or termite mounds with the exception of a few. So for breeding most require a receptacle that allows them to do what is natural and that is nest in a receptacle that imitates what they would find in the wild. Visit a number of parrot breeders and you might just observe that each breeder uses a diverse range of nestboxes. But WHY?

Friday, 8 August 2014

My latest Article (Australian Birdkeeper Volume 27 Issue 4)

The latest issue of Australian Birdkeeper has been released and with it comes a cover photo of one of the clowns of the bird world, the Black-headed Caique. This issue features articles on parrot species such as the Northern Rosella, Malabar and my article on Caiques. Caiques are captivating birds that are on the increase worldwide and it is not hard to see why. It is hoped that this article will shed some light on the basics of keeping and breeding this group of avian clowns. Aside from the parrots there are articles on aviary design, finches and much more.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Lutino Long-bills

lutino eastern long billed corella jade welch birds jadewelchbirds
Close up of the Lutino (?) Eastern Long-billed Corella
Mutations come in a wide range of colour's. Some are striking whilst others are more subdued. Some mutations appear to change a bird so little that if you don't look closely you may not notice it is different from the wild type. One example is the lutino mutation in the White Cockatoo group. Lutino in most parrots is a beautiful yellow however in the white cockatoos the colour changes little. As such it is not hard too overlook a lutino bird.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Many Colours of the Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet jadewelchbirds jade welch wild
Wild Rainbow feeding on a Grevillea
The sub-species of the Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus h. moluccanus) that largely inhabits the East Coast of Australia is a highly variable bird. This common species visits parks, gardens and is regularly fed by homeowners at bird feeders. Unfortunately many continue to feed them a poor diet of seed or milk, bread and honey when products such as formulated lorikeet foods are now available. They are a vocal species and can at times be heard throughout the night in cities of Australia where large numbers roost together. 

suspended aviaries lorikeets jadewelchbirds jade welch
Suspended Aviaries used by Mark Caudwell to house various Lories & Lorikeets

Friday, 18 July 2014

The Pied Bourke - Years in the making

bourke's parrot normal jadewelchbirds jade welch
Normal Cock Bourke's Parrot

The Bourke’s Parrot would have to be one of the best beginner birds available. They are inoffensive, quiet and pretty. They make ideal aviary subjects and are well suited to a life shared with finches and other inoffensive species in planted aviaries.  Although always popular the Bourke has had a boost in popularity of late with the release in Australia of the Pied mutation of the Bourke’s Parrot.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Parrots 2014 - A HUGE SUCCESS

July 4-6 saw the hosting of the 2014 Parrots convention. A convention organized and run by the Parrot Society of Australia Inc. Parrots convention is put on every two years and caters for both the breeder and pet bird enthusiast. The line up of speakers for this year’s convention was world class yet again with vets, breeders, behavourists, educators, trainers and conservationists captivating the audience. Speakers for Parrots come from all corners of the globe and this year they brought various perspectives, experiences and knowledge that the audience found extremely helpful and that fostered thinking.

The Parrots 2014 speaker line up minus Steve Martin (Photo By Mike Hannant)

Nandays needing attention!

nanday conure jade welch birds
Nanday Conures are far from bland
An exotic of magnificence the Nanday Conure (Nandayus nenday) is a sight to behold. Easily distinguished by that black cap from which they get the alternative name of Black-hooded Parrot these striking predominately green birds fly swiftly. A wild flock numbering in the hundreds is not unusual and not surprisingly for this species they are often heard before being seen. 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Lucky Strike

lutino blue and gold macaw jade welch jadewelchbirds
This stunning mutation is referred to as a NSL Lutino
Imagine opening up the nestbox of one of your breeding pairs and inspecting the young only to notice that one of the chicks was totally different from any you had ever seen before. Perhaps one had red eyes whilst the others had the usual black eyes. For many the excitement would be starting to kick in but you have to tell yourself to wait and see. Imagine though that at the end you had something different. Then you could get excited.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Guest speaking in New Zealand

new zealand parrot conference jade welch
NZ here I come!
2014 has been a GREAT year so far and 2015 looks to be on track to be yet another GREAT year with so much in the pipeline and so much happening with friends and birds. The 2015 highlight though for me so far is that I have been asked to give a talk at the Parrot Society of New Zealand’s 2015 conference in Auckland, New Zealand. A conference that will be attended by many and feature a great line up of speakers.

Unique Palms

palm cockatoo jadewelchbirds ben adelaide jade
Ben - Adelaide Zoo's resident breeding male
The Palm Cockatoo is a unique and very cool bird with a high level of intelligence. Large and greyish black in colour they are equipped with a distinctive bill and bare cheek patch. The cheek patch says a lot about a Palm Cockatoo and will vary in colour from light reddish pink to a bright red depending on the bird’s age, level of excitement and or alarm. The crest too is erected when alarmed or excited and also features in their dramatic mating displays. Unlike members of the Black Cockatoo genus Calyptorhynchus the Palm Cockatoo lacks a coloured tail panel.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Galah's - The Acrobatic Clown's

galah jadewelchbirds jade welch cockatoo

The Galah is an Aussie Icon & Easily recognizable

The acrobat of the sky the Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus) can be seen gallivanting about the country either in pairs, family parties, in noisy flocks of hundreds to thousands or even in mixed flocks with other Cockatoo species. These birds are referred to in some parts of Australia as pink and greys or overseas as Rose-breasted Cockatoos. They are extremely common both in the wild and in captivity. 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

African Gem's - The Jardine's Parrot

poicephalus jadewelchbirds jardine jardines african parrot
Hen Jardine's Parrot
African Parrots are feathered gems. They posses great beauty, are highly sought after and not too mention incredibly intelligent. The most well known species of African Parrot is the African Grey which is largely famed for its ability to mimic and its intelligence. Who remembers the brilliant, Alex the African Grey? If not Google away. You are sure to be impressed.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Loving Lilac's

lilac crowned amazon jade welch birds

Mature Pair of Lilac-crowned Amazons

WOW, SPECTACULAR, BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING are just some of the words that left my mouth recently. What had I seen? Lilac-crowned Amazons (Amazona f. finschi) of course.  Now I've seen these birds plenty of time before but I fail to get past the aviaries housing them every time. I just can't get enough. I just need to have one more look. It's like a fix but a good fix. You know like a chocolate fix but so much better.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


Welcome to my new Blog. A blog I hope others will learn from, laugh at from time to time and enjoy reading. It will be a blog all about the birds especially Parrots. I guess it has taken me a few years to get on over and start a blog and I am not sure why? Can't be much different to what I already do on my facebook can it?