Joining together individuals who share a common interest in breeding Carduelan species in captivity
apologise for being a little late with bringing
you the news of this important Brazilian event at Porto Alegre.
Just a few lines to congratulate staff for
hosting a fabulous conference last month. Although I wasn’t there I was
particularly impressed by the feedback from people who attended the
convention saying that the program and the list of impressive
array of local and international speakers
really exceeded their expectations, also the
beauty of the city and the hospitality of the vibrant community of Porto Alegre. As you can see below the major
topics of discussion was the environment and the ecological impact caused
by the eolic energy fields located in the birds migratory corridor. The
news on the latest achievements with Lear’s and Spinks Macaws as always
was an interesting topic. As for finches, Chestnut Seedeater - (Sporophila
cinnamomea), as well as the house Sparrows were discussed, and yes, those
who hoped to catch lectures on finches and small Softbills were
disappointed again. Brazil has many threatened/near threatened or
endangered Finch and Softbill species: Forbes's Blackbird (Curaeus
forbesi), Buffy-fronted Seedeater (Sporophila frontalis), Temminck's
Seedeater (Sporophila falcirostris),
Coal-crested Finch (Charitospiza eucosma) often
referred to as Pigmy Cardinal, Pale-throated
Sierra-Finch (Embernagra longicauda) and how could I not
mention the Yarrell's Siskins, Cone-billed Tanagers and the Cherry-throated
Tanager, these are just a few names to keep us on toes!
Small number of lectures were cancelled
due to the late cancellation by speakers that could not make it there for
whatever reason. Sorry I do not have many photos to show you but what I've
received here they are!
1. TO RECOGNIZE AND TO REPRESENT THE DIVERSITY: MOLECULAR SYSTEMATICS:
AND STANDARDS OF DIVERSIFICATION IN NEOTROPICAL BIRDS. Coordinator: Dra.
Camila Cherem Ribas (AMNH and USP)
nature: species, speciation, and classification.Dr. Joel Cracraft (AMNH) -
Discovering new táxons using molecular evidences in Scytalopus and
Thalasseus. Dr. Sandro Bonatto (PUCRS) - Systematic molecular and
standards of diversification of the Pyriglena Sort (Thamnophilidae). Msc.
Maldonado-Coelho Landmarks (University of Missouri, St. Louis) -
Systematic molecular, sampling and the perception of the standards of
diversification in some groups of Neotropical birds. Dra. Camila Cherem
Ribas (AMNH and USP) - the Advances in the studies of systematics and its
Influence in the conservation of the neotropical birds. Dr. Peter Develey
(BirdLife International/SAVE Brazil)
2. NEOTROPICAL CENSUSES OF AQUATIC BIRDS: EVALUATION OF ITS IMPORTANCE
FOR THE IDENTIFICATION AND PROTECTION OF HUMID AREAS AS HÁBITATS OF
AQUATIC BIRDS. Coordinator: Msc. João Oldair Menegheti (UFRGS) -
Neotropical Censuses of Aquatic-Brazil Birds: 2004 evaluation the 2006.
Msc. João Oldair Menegheti (UFRGS) - Evaluation of the results gotten
with the CNAAs effected in the region center-west of Brazil. Gislaine
Disconzi - the experience of ten years of CNAAs (1990-1999): instrument
for the conservation and the handling of the wild life. Bernabé López-Lanús
- Wetlands International - Ten years of CNAAs (1990-1999) in Chile:
expressive results. Dr. Robert Schlatter - Austral University of Chile
3. CONSERVATION OF THE BIRDS Of PAMPAS I – WHAT WE KNOW (AND WHAT WE
DO NOT KNOW) ABOUT BUSHLAND BIRDS IN THE SOUTH EXTREMITY Of BRAZIL.
Coordinator: MSc. Rafael Antunes Days (UCPel) – Bushland Landscapes
of the south extremity of Brazil and its birds. MSc. Glayson the Bencke (Zoobotanic
Foundation of Rio Grande do
Sul) – Dirty as the fight of pigs:It is the
situation of the threatened birds of Pampas. MSc. Rafael the Days
(Catholic University of Pelotas) - the birds in the Brazil-Uruguay border:
threatened and/or unknown? Dra. Carla S. Fontana (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio
Grande do Sul) - Between the cross and the sword: challenges for the
conservation of birds in the southwest of the RS. MSc. Iury the Accordi
(Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul)
(Emberizidae)Chestnut Seedeater - Sporophila cinnamomea in the
native fields of Rio Grande
do Sul: ecology and identification of priority areas for conservation. Dra.
Marilise M. Krügel (Center of Superior Education North of Rio Grande do
Sul - UFSM)
SYMPOSIUM 4. ECOLOGY OF NEOTROPICAL JAYS AND MIGRATORY BIRDS FROM THE ARTIC: A PRELIMINARY COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS. Coordinator: Dr. Luiz dos Anjos - State University of Native of London - Introduction on the Corvidae family. Dr. Luiz of the Angels - State University of Native of London - Ecology of Cyanocorax caeruleus, C. cyanomelas and C. cristatellus. Dr. Luiz dos Anjos - State University of Native of London - Ecology of Cyanocorax chrysops. Dra. Angélica Kazue Uejima - Federal University of Pernambuco - Ecology of Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus. Dr. John Marzluf - University of Washington
5. CONSERVATION OF THE BIRDS OF PAMPAS II - ACTION STRATEGIES.
Coordinator: Dr. Peter Develey Blacksmith (BirdLife International/SAVE
Brazil) - the challenge to integrate the productive sector with the
conservation of biodiversity in Pampas. Dr. Peter Develey Blacksmith (BirdLife
International/SAVE Brazil) - the representation of the Units of
Conservation for the protection of the birds of Pampas. MSc. Jan Karel F.
Mähler Jr (PPG Ecology UFRGS/ ONG Curicaca) - the strategy of the IBAMA
for the conservation of the Passeriformes of Pampas. MSc. Leonardo Mohr (IBAMA)
- Conservation of Pampas of Mercosul - a challenge for four countries. Dr. Anibal Parera
- BirdLife International (General Coordinator of Pasture Project) - the
sustainable production and the preservation of Pampas. Mr. Fernando Adauto
- (Farsul/Apropampa). (Pampas is the typical
vegetation of Rio Grande do Sul – that is a plain bushland where weeds
grow in abundance).
SYMPOSIUM 6. PRIVATE ARCHIVES: WHAT DO PARASITES TEACH US ON THE ECOLOGY AND ON THE BEHAVIOR OF BIRDS? Coordinator: Dra Cláudia Calegaro-Marques (UFRGS) - the importance of worm fauna in the studies of biodiversity. Dra. Suzana Bencke Amato (UFRGS) – Do Cormorants feed only on fish? MSc. Cassandra Moraes Hunter (UFRGS) –Worms as indicators of preys consumed by Turdus rufiventris and Passer domesticus in an urban-agricultural gradient. Dra. Cláudia Calegaro-Marques (UFRGS) - Parasites: friends or enemies? Dr. Jose Philip Ribeiro Amato (UFRGS)
7. AEOLIAN BIRDS AND
PARKS IN BRAZIL - CHANCES AND RISKS. Coordinator: MSc.Jan Karel Felix Mähler
Junior - PPG in Ecology, UFRGS/ ONG Curicaca - Aeolian Energy - current
situation and perspectives for Rio
Grande do Sul, Brazil. MSc. Eberson Jose Thimming Silveira - Secretariat
of Science and Technology of RS/ PUCRS. - Evaluation of the risk of
aeolian enterprises to avifauna as instrument for the ambient licensing.
MSc. João Carlos P. Dotto - FEPAM - Importance of
monitoring of birds in distinct stages of the Integral Aeolian
Exploitation of Osório, Rio Grande do Sul , MSc. Jan Karel Felix Mähler
Junior - PPG in Ecology, UFRGS/ ONG Curicaca – Monitoring of birds in
aeolian park in the coastal zone of Rio Grande do Sul, MSc.
Iury Almeida Accordi - UFRGS - Survey and monitoring of birds in aeolian
parks of Santa Catarina. MSc. Marcos Antonio
Guimarães de Azevedo
BELLAVISTA CLOUD FOREST RESERVE
Bellavista Reserve is located at 0
00'46" latitude in the cloud forest of northwest Ecuador,on the edge of Choco
bio-region, among the most divers places in the world. The expending 600 hectare (1,500
acres) reserve is formed by sharp and deeply forested mountains descending to gorges with
rushing waterfalls and crystalline streams, and the views stretch far away to distant
volcanos. Only two hours from Quito, Bellavista is the perfect place for relaxation, and
for discovery of the cloud forest,its birds and its diversity of plant life. Bellavista
Reserve is directly associated with the Fundacion Siempre Bosque, a conservation of cloud
forests in, but not limited to, the Western Andes of Ecuador, for educational
scientific,and recreational purposes. The goal of Bellavista Reserve is to educate the
public on the significance of biodiversity in tropical cloud forests and the ever
increasing importance of the forest's protection. Bellavista represents pre-montane cloud
forest, with en elevation range between about 1400 to 2600 meters above sea level, and has
an average mean temperature of 14-22 degrees C. These forests have the highest diversity
anywhere of epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) so the trees are festooned with
hanging gardens a profusion of bromeliads, orchids, mosses and more. Because of the steep
slopes, light penetrating the forest floor allows a veritable jungle to develop. You'll
find yourself in an enchanted forest, with a profusion of life awaiting discovery.
Bellavista has an astounding number of botanical treasures: bromeliads, orchids, and
fascinating families such as Gesneraceae, and Melastomataceae; there are always flowers in
bloom in this subtropical environment. A world of fascination - the adaptation to this
special environment are too many to list.
E: Green Cardinals
F: Cardinal vert
The Green Cardinal was discovered in 1815 by J.Vieilot who has named it Gubernatrix cristata. These beautiful birds are very easy to care for in captivity. During the non-breeding period they can be kept with other birds and will even tolerate birds of their own kind (and other species of Cardinals), but unfortunately this is not the case during their breeding season. Two pairs of Cardinals in one aviary is a recipe for disaster. They are fierce fighters and they will fight until one bird dies but often both birds will die from injury. Other related species like the Saltators, Blue Bishops, or finches like the Buntings and Grosbeaks, should also be avoided.
In captivity, Cardinals can be kept in an outdoor aviary even in winter, providing a draft free indoor shelter is available. Of all of the Cardinal species Red Cardinals are the best songsters but when it comes to breeding in captivity Green Cardinals are the best. Other Cardinals which are more difficult to breed in captivity can be fostered out to them. I breed my birds in aviaries 1m wide x 2m deep x2m high. The female builds a large cup-shaped nest, lays 3 - 5 greenish-blue eggs with brown or black stripes and incubates the eggs for approximately 13 - 14 days. Once the eggs are hatched one should never be too inquisitive as they could desert the nest. The best time to ring the young is in their fifth day. I use G1 = 3.5mm closed band and I always do this in the late afternoon when the parents are less active. The young leave the nest after 14 - 16 days and are fed by their parents for another 3 - 4 weeks. I separate the young after 6 weeks. A variety of live food, fruit, green and soft food should be made available. Clean water is a must and it should be changed frequently as these birds like to bathe often.
Green Cardinals will eat anything; fruits, insects, dry seed mix, half-ripe grass and millet seeds, green and cooked vegetables, cat or dog food, egg & biscuits but do not feed earth worms!!! I also have my own recipe: I get some egg-food, (bought or home made) and mix it with some skimmed milk curd cheese, to which I add a spoon of vinegar. This is very healthy. I feed this to my birds while they care for young in the nest. I prepare enough to last me for a few days and I keep it in a freezer. If you wish you could add some insects before feeding.
No one really knows how many pairs of Red Siskins still exist in the wild. Some reports say 600 pairs others say 300, and some suggest there could be less than 50 individuals. But there is one thing for certain they are very, very rare in the wild. Continuous trapping for sale as Songbirds, habitat loss due to deforestation and the continuous expansion of human habitation has taken its toll. I am not going to continue with this as most of you Siskin breeders have read reports like this over and over again. The reason I am writing this is that I have received several inquiries asking about Red Siskins mutation. Most of the Red Siskins mutation which I have seen, were white, yellow or fawn, but I cannot understand how anyone could engage in developing of mutations, knowing that the pure Red Siskins as found in the wild are so rare in Aviculture as well as in the wild. Furthermore, none of these mutations could match the beauty of the pure Red Siskins. The second most frequently asked question is; How to breed Red Siskins? For those hobbyists who are planning to obtain a pair for breeding, they need a small aviary of their own. I have never bred Siskins in cabinets, so I cannot comment on this. If you can, build yourself a small garden aviary in which you can grow seeding plants and flowers as a hobby, and introduce only one pair of Siskins. Remember birds such as Zebras or other Grass Finches will dominate in any aviary, so it is best to exclude them. Red Siskins will not tolerate any disturbances of their nest by other birds and are easily discouraged from breeding. The nest cup should be hung as high as possible and camouflaged with some shade cloth and/or artificial vine.
Make sure that all the plants in the aviary are non-toxic. For nesting material I provide coconut and hessian fibers and some cotton wool.
When I walk into my Siskins aviary and see the birds all fluffed up I know what the problem is; there is no Sunflower or Niger seed left in the dish, although there may be plenty of other seed. Siskins and Goldfinches don't do well on seed mix only, they must have Sunflower and Niger seed available at all times. I cannot emphasis the importance of feeding Sunflower and Niger seed to Goldfinches and Siskins.
I provide a small dish of seed mix, one small dish of Niger and a handful of unhulled sunflower seeds, daily (per pair, per aviary). Although many recommend soft food, they are probably right, but I have always been very cautious about this. Due to my work commitments, I can only clean and refill the dishes daily. But during the rainy days this is not good enough. The soft food spoils easily and fungi can often be seen growing on it. The best I could offer was half a biscuit per pair, daily. Recently I met a breeder who had an interesting recipe. He boils a cup of seed mix, adds a cup of Roudybush, a cup of egg and biscuit (which totally absorbs the moisture), to which he also adds vitamins. I have been using his recipe and it works well. My birds simply relish this and always empty the dish by the end of the day. We all have our own secret recipes, but for those of you who are unsure of preparing soft food mix, the basic ingredients are protein, vitamins and energy. Protein is commercially sold in supermarkets as High Protein Baby Cereal or just as Natural Protein Powder, your favourite vitamins and glucose powder for energy, to which you can add your own preferred 'secret' ingredients. I also provide one lettuce leaf everyday of the year. Whenever available, green seeding millets and grasses are also fed. Cuttlefish bone and baked eggshells with some grit is a must, and is always available.
I once had three young Madagascar Weavers in the nest and was proud of my achievement to see all three of them progressing so well (Madagascar Weavers lay three eggs per clutch), only to come home from work one day to find two of them had drowned in the water dish. As a precaution I now only half fill the dish, or place a flat stone in it when the young are about to leave the nest. Keeping the water dishes clean and filled daily will prevent parasites and diseases from being transmitted. Dissolved faeces release bacteria and parasites eggs (which float in water), will easily infect other birds. I have been breeding finches for twenty years and I have never had any problems with parasites or diseases. I de-worm my birds twice a year and treat them for coccidia, often during the cold and wet winter months. I also add vitamins and minerals to the water during the breeding season but discontinue after the young have hatched to prevent any bacteria growth during the hot summer months. My personal opinion is, vitamins and minerals are better given with soft food, and water always given pure.
NEUDROSSENFELD 1998 ICC SHOW
The 1998 Carduelan specie Bird Show in Neudrossenfeld (near Bayrouth, Germany), was another one of the many attributes of the International Carduelan Club of Germany. Close to a thousand people visited the show, with many familiar faces whom I recognized from last time I was there in 1996. There were many local breeders and many interstate breeders who traveled kilometres just for the show. The best and the only Caurdal Show also drew breeders from many countries all over the world. Approximately 120 species and subspecies were shown. Some species were displayed in cages and others in large aviaries. This year the focus was on the larger finches like the species and subspecies of Bullfinches, Grosbeaks, Crossbills, etc. During the two days of exhibition, excellent German food was available and the beer was flowing non-stop. Ideas, experiences and opinions on the Birds were the main point of discussions at the tables. An excellent talk and slide show on Grosbeaks was presented by a well-known Grosbeak breeder in Germany; Mr. Egon Schweers. A video on gathering wild seeding grasses and bird feeding was also shown and was available to purchase. All kinds of soft food, special seed mixes for particular species, aviary equipment, souveniers and publications were also available for purchase. The Show was held at the local Poultry Club, with plenty of parking available.. The hotel where we were staying was only a short distance from the show. The rooms were excellent, ranging from $80 to $200. It was interesting talking to breeders who only specialized with specific species of birds. Some of them were so successful they were the only individuals in Europe who owned some of the rare or difficult to breed birds in captivity - the Lawrences Goldfinch, Yarrells Siskins, Large Yellow-bellied Siskins, etc. Rare, or not often seen birds like the Oriole Finches (Linurgus olivaceous) , and the Syrian Serins (Serinus syriacus), were also shown. The sight of the rare and beautiful Scarlet Finches (Haematospiza sipahi) from the Himalayas, were an occasion to remember. In conclusion, I would like to thank the ICC president, Joerg and wife Ester Nitschky Germann for inviting me, Siskin breeders Marcus Domes, Ruedigar and his family, John Verhiel, Jean Meertens and Jurgen Franz. And how could I forget Claudia Krobb and Roger.
Joerg Nitschky speaking at the opening
Some good information on air sac mites can be
found at the following