A LINCOLNSHIRE WEAVER specialist has received official recognition by the Avicultural Society (AS) for the UK’s first breeding of the chestnut-and-black weaver (Ploceus castaneofuscus).

On March 24, at Cotswold Wildlife Park, Oxfordshire, AS president Christopher Marler presented a first-breeding medal to Lisa Clingan to celebrate her achievement. Other members to be congratulated during the AS AGM included Cage & Aviary Birds contributor Gary Bralsford for his Moussier’s redstart (Phoenicurus moussieri).

AS chairman Nigel Hewston said: “The AS medal has been highly sought-after as a recognition of avicultural achievement since it was instituted in 1896, and today’s medal winners join an exclusive club including great aviculturists such as Herbert Whitley, Alfred Ezra and Raymond Sawyer.”

Ms Clingan, 48, from Sleaford, originally contacted the AS believing the species she had bred in 2017 to be a Vieillot’s black weaver (see “Back-garden bonanza”, October 4 2017). However, the AS has confirmed it is in fact a first breeding of a chestnut-and-black weaver.

Ms Clingan explained: “The male Vieillot’s black weaver has mainly all black plumage. But my cock bird has a chestnut colouring to the black plumage. The AS
confirmed it was a species in its own right. Zoos and bird parks are known for their first breedings, and now I’ve achieved this in my back

The adult pair have resided in Ms Clingan’s aviary for two years, but it wasn’t until the second year when she provided different materials for the birds to weave that they attempted to breed.

In February, the Norfolk Foreign Bird Association (NFBA) had presented Ms Clingan with a members’ breeding certificate and medal, after she submitted her 2017 breeding returns. Ms Clingan’s two chestnut-and-black weaver chicks were one of four new species not recorded as bred before by NFBA members. Others included blue-billed firefinch, swee waxbill and black-headed Chinese munia. NFBA breeding returns officer Nick Elliston said: “The success by Lisa is the first UK breeding by a club member for 40 years. It is tremendous for Lisa and the NFBA!”

Additional results from the returns revealed that the most numerous species bred in the seedeater section was the African silverbill (244) – up 10 per cent compared to 2016.

A full AS AGM report will appear in a forthcoming issue.

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