Features

  • Cuckoos: Masters of mimicry and disguise

    Cuckoos: Masters of mimicry and disguise

    29th November 2017

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Wildlife World. Dove-sized and ash grey with grey barred underparts, the European cuckoo can be frequently seen across the UK, although numbers are higher across southern and central England. Note how it perches low on a branch with wings drooped,…

  • Beautiful parrots

    Beautiful parrots

    29th November 2017

    Photo: Tony Tilford. Fiery-shouldered parakeet: the two-toned wing coverts are shown well here  Even among the Pyrrhura parakeets, the fiery-shouldered parakeet is little seen in captivity, yet ROSEMARY LOW has happy memories of two youngsters that fledged under her care. PYRRHURAS…

  • Our mountain thrush: a challenge to find or breed

    Our mountain thrush: a challenge to find or breed

    29th November 2017

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Andrew M. Allport. Ring ouzel: also known as ‘mountain thrush’, ‘moor blackbird’ and ‘rock starling’, as it is rarely seen away from such areas To get into ring ouzel nesting country, you need to hike into some of Britain’s bleakest…

  • Two assessments of the Budgerigar Society Club Show

    Two assessments of the Budgerigar Society Club Show

    29th November 2017

    Above: Could the Club Show be moved so that the show hall and hotel are under one roof, asks Brian Reese?  The Budgerigar Society’s Club Show always generates discussion, and this year’s was no different. BRIAN REESE and ALAN PEARSON give…

  • Song thrushes: Why I bought 10 rings to use one

    Song thrushes: Why I bought 10 rings to use one

    29th November 2017

    Photo: Austin Middlemiss. The satinette song thrush hen in question: unringed, just after fledging  Official paperwork can be such a minefield that it puts British bird fanciers off. Yet this year AUSTIN MIDDLEMISS went through a long rigmarole to obtain a licence…

  • A trim and elegant Asiatic flycatcher

    A trim and elegant Asiatic flycatcher

    29th November 2017

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/nitat/cowboy54. Male (left) rufous-bellied niltava. Note that the cock’s underparts are variably coloured between individuals, ranging from rich yellow to orange.  The flycatchers of the Orient comprise some of the planet’s most desirable softbills. Once, the most familiar in aviculture…

  • Java sparrows: From bantams to budgies and beyond

    Java sparrows: From bantams to budgies and beyond

    29th November 2017

    Photo: Dave Brown. Savvy novice: it was a successful first outing to the Northern Ireland Gloster Club show for Adrian – he won best novice cinnamon as well as best novice buff. Dave Brown meets ADRIAN SHIELS, an exceptionally versatile and…

  • Let’s bring back the pets

    Let’s bring back the pets

    28th November 2017

    Photo: Dave Brown. Cleverest bird competitions could draw in a big audience as parrots and mynas offer up their party pieces  Pet classes are a great way to increase our appeal and provide lots of fun, says DAVE BROWN. So what…

  • Breeding the butterfly bird

    Breeding the butterfly bird

    28th November 2017

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Kasikun_Kamol. Nothing like it: two hoopoes show off their unique plumage pattern  Perhaps the ultimate in crested birds, the exotic hoopoe is perfectly possible to breed in straightforward aviary conditions, reports German softbill expert THOMAS WENDT. UNTIL about 15 years ago,…

  • Comment: Keep juniors out of the firing line

    Comment: Keep juniors out of the firing line

    27th November 2017

    Photo: Dave Brown. Bowing out at the top: now retired from bantam showing, Poppy Brown has moved on to zebra finches  If other fanciers’ children show an interest in birdkeeping, we should do all we can to encourage them, not accuse…