• Memories of Mica

    Memories of Mica

    15th November 2018

    Photo: Graham Wellstead. Mica, Graham’s red-tailed hawk, out of the aviary and on the perch, ready to start training   Just like her namesake, Mica the red-tailed hawk was always going to be special to Graham Wellstead. In the first of two…

  • Rules are made to be broken

    Rules are made to be broken

    13th November 2018

    Photo: Geoff Gale pictured with two of his winning lovebirds at the Lovebird (1990) Society’s 2018 members’ show   Sometimes an unconventional approach can pay off, as Geoff Gale found when he tried breeding the rare pale-headed peach-face mutation, with some interesting…

  • The year of the flying Scots

    The year of the flying Scots

    8th November 2018

    Photo: Also bred in Scotland… Donald with his best Giboso at Stafford, an unflighted cock   What a positive season it has been for breeders of old and rare variety canaries – none more so than the Scots fancy, which…

  • A feathered ‘tree mouse’

    A feathered ‘tree mouse’

    6th November 2018

    Photo: Keeping in touch: a treecreeper shrills out its contact call. They do this often, but it’s an easy sound to overlook   Few British birds can match the charm of the agile treecreeper, though you’ve got to spot this…

  • Gail Harland’s Waterbirds: October column

    Gail Harland’s Waterbirds: October column

    3rd November 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Utopia_88. African openbills foraging in Kruger National Park, South Africa   THERE are 19 different species of stork in the family Ciconiidae, with the centre of distribution being the tropical regions of the world. The African openbill, like…

  • The AS aim: to build on first breeding success

    The AS aim: to build on first breeding success

    29th October 2018

    Photo: From left: Henry Ellis, John McKenna, Laura Gardner, Daniel Shearing, Philip Schofield, Gary Bralsford and Lisa Clingan with their Ezra Awards   To breed an exotic species successfully is always a satisfying achievement. How much does it matter if…

  • A Scottish all-rounder

    A Scottish all-rounder

    24th October 2018

    Photo: Sandy in his impressive birdroom   Scots fancies, Lizards, north Dutch: those breeds are keeping Sandy Innes occupied now, but his career in the fancy has embraced much more. Words and photos: Donald Skinner-Reid   SANDY Innes of Grangemouth…

  • Strutting down the ‘cranewalk’

    Strutting down the ‘cranewalk’

    22nd October 2018

    Photo: Weltvogelpark Walsrode. Raising the tone: Stanley cranes (Grus paradisea) bring a touch of class to many bird gardens and zoos, such as Weltvogelpark Walsrode   Meet the leading South African supermodel: the Stanley (or blue) crane is arguably the…

  • Strategy and tactics

    Strategy and tactics

    17th October 2018

    Photo: For beginner fanciers, becoming a member of a club and participating in meetings, activities and club shows can help you to find sources of support and advice, says David   Having established last week that breeding to win isn’t…

  • The redstarts: an overview

    The redstarts: an overview

    15th October 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Super Prin. Male plumbeous water redstart. This delightful perky species favours streamsides, and in the wild is often found on the same stretches of river as the white-capped (see below), as well as dippers and forktails (Enicurus)  …