Foreign softbills

  • 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)  …

  • Progress with Asian softbills

    Progress with Asian softbills

    12th October 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Anusal Thuwangkawat. Red-flanked bluetail, also known as the orange-flanked bush-robin, kept by Geoff in the 1980s. Once placed in the thrush family, it is grouped with the Old World flycatchers   Geoff Gradwell has spoken about the numerous…

  • When paradise arrived in the North-East

    When paradise arrived in the North-East

    21st September 2018

    Photo: Tony Tilford. King bird-of-paradise: Geoff was lucky enough to get hold of a juvenile bird for his collection   In the 1970s, Geoff Gradwell’s collection of tropical hummingbirds, honeycreepers and tanagers was getting larger by the minute, but there…

  • A home for the heart

    A home for the heart

    17th September 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Peter Wey. In the wild, the Mindanao bleeding-heart is found in the Philippines, notably the islands of Bohol and Mindanao   As Cotswold Wildlife Park looks for a suitable mate for its male Mindanao bleeding-heart dove, Chris Green explains…

  • Superb skulkers

    Superb skulkers

    10th September 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/sbw18. Wild hooded pittas enjoy a diet of invertebrates, their larvae and small lizards. Captive birds can be offered locusts, crickets, mealworms and waxmoths   In a beauty contest among bird families in the Old World Tropics, the…

  • Picathartes and other surprises

    Picathartes and other surprises

    28th August 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/YapAhock. Calculated risk: Geoff bought 10 unidentified juvenile flowerpeckers, two of which moulted out to be scarlet-breasted   Geoff Gradwell has been lucky to have kept some unusual and rare species during his time in aviculture. He recalls some…

  • Tropical conditions

    Tropical conditions

    18th August 2018

    Photo:© Shutterstock.com/RachelKolokoffHopper. Southern black flycatcher: a lovely glossy songbird found widely south of the Sahara   Our almost African summer must have looked familiar to many of Gary Bralsford’s hot-country species! Here he brings us up to date with his…

  • My rarest memories

    My rarest memories

    9th August 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Christopher Becerra. Green honeycreeper: the only member of the genus Chlorophanes. This species was a regular addition to Geoff’s collection   Geoff Gradwell has worked with some of the most beautiful species in the Neotropics during his career…

  • Happy times with my tanagers

    Happy times with my tanagers

    4th August 2018

    Photo: © Shutterstock.com/Renata PedrozoBrassy-breasted tanager (Tangara desmaresti): a species Geoff has kept and had success with at bird shows   When Geoff Gradwell took a liking to the charismatic members of the tanager family, it was the start of a…

  • Feather by Feather

    Feather by Feather

    18th July 2018

    Photo: male golden oriole   Widespread in Europe, but painfully rare nowadays in Britain, the golden oriole is worth a close look wherever it’s seen. Jarrod Cotter examines a male bird   THE golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus) is a blackbird-sized…