DEEP DOWN, WE’RE all flattered to be asked questions as though we’re bird experts. For practically everyone, a little humility is fitting. It isn’t always apparent, though, and I’m sure we can all name an “expert” whose vocabulary doesn’t seem to include the phrase “I don’t know.” I’ve been asked at least twice which is the loudest parrot in the world. (Why do people think I’d know that?) “The biggest: hyacinth macaw,” I said. “Stands to reason.”
Which it does, I think. But what about the non-macaws, the medium-to-large species? This week, Colin O’Hara – an actual expert – proposes an interesting candidate for the Screech of the Century award: the hawk-headed (or red-fan) parrot, a superb creature. “I would not consider them suitable as a pet in any way,” asserts Colin on page 7. It was news to me that hawkheads made a serious racket, but a very brief online check amply confirms what Colin says. You probably wouldn’t inflict that on your neighbours or family. But can anyone suggest an alternative challenger for the title?
■ A happy return to our pages this week for that highly respected Yorkshire budgerigar man Ray Steele (see page 13). I’m pleased to say that, after a break of several years, Ray will again be sharing his expertise with us regularly.
■ With spring at hand and young birds on all our minds, there’s a particularly cheery selection of your photos on page 6. If you’d like to share your bird pics (whether pet or exhibition) with fellow readers, don’t be shy, pop them through! See that page for contact info.
■ Ed’s Ad of the Week: “Livingstone touraco, £130. Male, 1994, DNA cert, part exchange for small laughingthrush species, Siberian thrushes or azure-winged magpies.” Now there’s an intriguing deal in prospect! Enjoy your birds this week.
In the March 5, 2014 issue of Cage & Aviary Birds, striking and showy, a pair of red-crested cardinals are an attractive addition to any collection, reckons Bill Lowe
Ray Steele explains why it is essential to be fully prepared before breeding exhibition budgerigars
Are parrotlets as intelligent as their larger parrot relations? Rosemary Low is on a quest to find out
Plus lots more, including weavers, stonechats, fancy pigeons, housing, Readers’ Gallery
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