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Joining together individuals who share a common interest in breeding Carduelan species in captivity


Updated Tuesday, 25 March 2014

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Bird Seeds

Siskins, Goldfinches and most other Carduelan species require lots of Oily seeds like the Sunflower and Niger seeds which are always available to my birds in separate containers. Finch mix which consists mainly of Linseed, Rape, Japanese, White and Red Hungarian millets, large White French millet and the Canary seeds are also available in a separate container. Only recently I was allowed to import two out of three types of very nutritious South American seeds, which are only used for human consumption. Scientific names were provided to the Customs for Kiwicha (Amaranthus caudatus), Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) and Canihua (Chenopodium pallidicaule). For Kiwicha or as known in English Love-Lies-Bleeding (mighty name for a such  small seed) and Quinoa were given green lights, Canihua not being on their Computer list wasn't allowed.
Checkout this site first on harvesting the Amaranth seeds http://www.vidaverde.co.uk/amaranthprocessing.html

Amar1.jpg (51245 bytes) Amar2.jpg (53862 bytes) Amar3.jpg (41922 bytes) Amar4.jpg (39107 bytes) Amar5.jpg (45166 bytes)
Amar6.jpg (45430 bytes) Amar7.jpg (40380 bytes) Amar8.jpg (38082 bytes) Amar9.jpg (29737 bytes) Amar10.jpg (33496 bytes)
Amar11.jpg (41473 bytes) Amar12.jpg (33010 bytes) Amar13.jpg (33862 bytes) Amar14.jpg (35230 bytes)
Photos by: John Quatro

Seeds4.JPG (70016 bytes)

1Amaranth-(Kiwicha), 2-Quinoa, 3-Red spray (Hungarian) millet, 4-large White millet
Most of the South American seeds are already available in Europe and the USA, often referred to as the Inca seeds
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/1492/grains.html

SeedsKandRM.JPG (70341 bytes)
1-Amaranth, 2-Red spray-millet
Kiwicha (Amaranthus) is according to nutritionists more nourishing than meat and vegetable together.

SeedsQand_WM.JPG (71894 bytes)
1-large White millet, 2- Quinoa

Sunflower seeds are about 30% Fat, 20% Carbohydrite and 20% protein, Niger seeds are from 30 to 40% Fat, 14% Carbohydrate and about 18% Protein. 

SproutedNiger.JPG (111366 bytes)
Sprouted Niger seeds should only be given in small amounts and should not
be left in the Aviary for more than four hours.

TSeedsSandN.JPG (55118 bytes)
1-Sunflower seeds as given to my birds (unhulled), 2-Niger seeds
Note: According to the Oxford Dictionary Vol. XI. unhulled means unshelled: Having the hull or husk removed to the contrary of what most people believe

SeedsLandR.JPG (57489 bytes)
1-Linseeds, 2-Rape seeds

Linseeds (Flux) are about 40% Fat, 20% Carbohydrate, 22% Protein and the Rape seeds  are about 42% Fat, 15% Carbohydrate, 20% Protein
PoppyFennel.JPG (73645 bytes)
Poppy and Fennel seeds
Poppy seeds are about 45% Fat,10% Carbohydrate, 16% Protein and Fennel (?)
GrassLettuceSeeds.JPG (70214 bytes)
Grass and Dark Lettuce seeds

TJapSeedMix.JPG (76865 bytes)
Japanese Millet and Canary seed-mix
Dandelion3-20Mar13.jpg (68115 bytes) Dandelion5-14Mar13.jpg (66534 bytes) Dandelion.jpg (39990 bytes)  
   Photo1.- Dandelion  
  
MilkThistle25Sep05.jpg (79283 bytes) MilkThistleSeed1 6Jan08.jpg (45677 bytes) MilkThistleSeed8 6Jan08.jpg (60918 bytes) 
       Photo 2.- Milk Thistle      

       M.Thistle & Dandelion.jpg (43994 bytes)  
        Photo 2. the difference in size of Dandelion and Milk Thistle seeds

SawThistle.JPG (55942 bytes) Thistle6-6Nov12.jpg (73682 bytes) Thistle4-6Nov12.jpg (70788 bytes) Thistle10-6Nov12.jpg (58430 bytes)
Sow-Thistle

N&TSeed1f.jpg (39208 bytes) Niger1c.jpg (51865 bytes) N&TSeed1b.jpg (34070 bytes) Thisle1d.jpg (52461 bytes)
Niger and Milk Thistle seed are about the same size

In addition to the dry seeds above the same should be offered in different stages of ripening when available.

SpearThistle.JPG (92738 bytes) MilkThistle1 15Jan07.jpg (64591 bytes) MilkThistle5 15Jan07.jpg (68104 bytes) MilkThistle7 15Jan07.jpg (76733 bytes) MilkThistle9 15Jan07.jpg (70499 bytes)
Milk Thistle seeds are excellent food for young Siskins and Goldfinches

Goldfinch4-1Feb05.JPG (46048 bytes)  Goldfinch 2005.jpg (53598 bytes) Thistle7.jpg (40263 bytes) 
Milk Thistle, they know how to extract the seeds!

 MilkThistle3 5Nov08.jpg (63115 bytes) MilkThistle10 5Nov08.jpg (65142 bytes) MilkThistle8 5Nov08.jpg (71292 bytes)
An alternative is to cut off the needles and trim around the bottom of the pod so 
that it doesn't close up while the birds are extracting the seeds. It is best to trim the
top of the pod as well to help keep the aviary clean.

Greens1_6-Dec-04.jpg (101435 bytes) Dandelion2.JPG (61304 bytes) Dandelion1-14March13.jpg (83453 bytes) Dandelion1.JPG (28212 bytes)
Dandelion

Niger2-3April13.jpg (76085 bytes) NigerFlower1.JPG (49231 bytes) Niger1-5March13.jpg (101984 bytes) Niger2-5March13.jpg (96645 bytes)  
Niger3-5March13.jpg (127510 bytes) Niger4-5March13.jpg (132357 bytes) Niger5-5March13.jpg (67376 bytes) NigerGrown1.JPG (41134 bytes)
                Niger Seeds 

Linseed Pods1.JPG (40139 bytes)
   Lin Seeds

Corn1.jpg (28648 bytes)  Corn3.jpg (30769 bytes)
Sweet soft Corn  is also favored with all kind of Finches that I can 
remember ever keeping, and that's: Siskins, Weavers, Singers, Waxbills etc.

Euro Greenfinch1 3Dec07.jpg (46310 bytes) ZebraHen1 30Oct07.jpg (31007 bytes) Goldfinch4 27May07.jpg (33987 bytes) HoodedSiskinH2 27May07.jpg (34673 bytes) Madaga1 27My07.jpg (28893 bytes)
Green seeds keeps birds healthy, I can't complain about my birds health!


HoodedSiskinH3 27May07.jpg (48745 bytes) Goldfinch1 2June07.jpg (69391 bytes) PaintedFinch6 15May07.jpg (50877 bytes)
Peruvian Amaranth is something special in an Aviary

  Millet1.JPG (49181 bytes) Millets1 21Jan08.jpg (46317 bytes) JapMillet1.JPG (41121 bytes) RapeSeedPods1.JPG (32673 bytes)  
Milk Thistle, Small Hungarian Millet, Japanese Millet, Cos Lettuce, Lin seed pods
JapMillet1 15Jan07.jpg (31630 bytes) Chickweeds1.JPG (37527 bytes) SawThistle.JPG (55942 bytes) Shepherd's Purse.JPG (34512 bytes) SummerGrass1.JPG (78158 bytes)
Jap Millet, Chickweeds, Sow-Thistle, Shepherds purse, Green Panic Grass 

MilletSm4.jpg (46570 bytes) MilletSm7.jpg (42799 bytes) MilletSm3.jpg (45086 bytes) JapMillet1 17Jan08.jpg (45418 bytes)
Small Hungarian Millet and Japanese Millet

PerillaSeedMix3.jpg (38151 bytes) RedPerilla1.jpg (54291 bytes) PerillaSeedMix.jpg (38232 bytes) RedPerilla2.jpg (51106 bytes)
Red Perilla (Perilla frutescens)
Read about Perilla http://altnature.com/gallery/perilla.htm

HempSeed2-16Jan13.jpg (55802 bytes) HempSeed1-16Jan13.jpg (42834 bytes) HempSeed4-16Jan13.jpg (58619 bytes)
Locally grown Hemp seed are also available now

Foniopaddy - a miracle seed 
http://www.lavoliere.com/elevage/alimentation/foniopaddy_01_english.htm

 

Teazel1-1Feb13-.jpg (80338 bytes) Teazel2-1Feb13-.jpg (61403 bytes)
Teazel pods and seeds

Chia6.jpg (68016 bytes)
Chia (Salvia Hispanica L) 
Another one of the world's most nutritious seeds
Chia-SeedMix12.jpg (32267 bytes) Chia-SeedMix8.jpg (38893 bytes) Chia-SeedMix4.jpg (32437 bytes)
In comparison to other bird seeds Chia is small but well worth trying to grow

I believe in some European countries and the USA Chia is well known for it's nutritious value but cannot say if it's sold as bird seed.
Here in Australia Chia and Perilla seeds are available from:
Victoria - http://www.diggers.com.au/contactus.shtm

Queensland - http://www.allrareherbs.com.au/contact/

Read about Chia: - http://www.911healthshop.com/salba.html

1 ounce = 28.3495231 grams
3.5 ounces = 99 grams
28 ounces = 794 grams


Greens6_6-Dec-04.jpg (39555 bytes) Evening Primrose 3 - 3Nov06.jpg (29709 bytes) Aviary4-7-Nov05.JPG (73732 bytes) Aviary18-23-Oct05.JPG (167280 bytes) Aviary3-15Oct05.jpg (81939 bytes)
Jap Millet, Evening Primrose, Green Rape seed pods, Milk Thistle in the middle and plenty 
of ornamental plants that will attract insects.

Greens8_6-Dec-04.jpg (35534 bytes) BirdBath7.jpg (56755 bytes) Greens9_6-Dec-04.jpg (43368 bytes) 
HSisH1-27Mar07.jpg (44273 bytes)
Summer Grass (or that's what I think it is), Dutch Iris growing near the birdbath, and a Sow Thistle 

Goldfinch5 18Oct08.jpg (65569 bytes) EuroGoldfinches2 23Oct08.jpg (99644 bytes) EuroGoldfinch2 23Oct08.jpg (81493 bytes)
There's nothing better than a dish with clean water. Birds eating seeding Summer grass.



NectarineTree4.jpg (49852 bytes) NectarineTree1.JPG (41984 bytes) NectarineTree7.JPG (41992 bytes) NectarineTree2.jpg (43339 bytes)
Some of the birds will eat tree buds, especially those native to northern hemisphere. In this case they almost destroyed the Nectarine tree that is growing in one of my Aviaries.  In the wild they eat tree buds in late winter and early spring if there's no other food available. Some breeders recommend tree buds as supplement especially if one breeds larger finches like Crossbills and Grosbeaks. European and American Goldfinches and many other finches will take fresh buds if offered. In July  I remove all birds from this green holding aviary to let the trees and other ground seeding plants to regenerate. (Australia & South America only, elsewhere in February).

CanolaPlant1.jpg (54462 bytes) AVI4-23SEP05.jpg (105266 bytes)  AVI9-23SEP05.jpg (92680 bytes) AVI6-23SEP05.jpg (102392 bytes)
Holding Aviary with seed producing plants and lots of small insects, like Aphids etc. All of the young are released in here, they quickly learn how to catch an insect or open up Milk Thistle seed pods.

Avi12-25Sep05.jpg (49537 bytes) AVI19-23SEP05.jpg (58026 bytes) Avi3-25Sep05.jpg (58892 bytes) Avi4-25Sep05.jpg (53881 bytes) Avi9-25Sep05.jpg (43975 bytes)
Flower2-9Oct05.JPG (45926 bytes) Flower3-9Oct05.JPG (35190 bytes) Flower.jpg (37179 bytes) Poppy1.jpg (37837 bytes) Poppy3.jpg (43064 bytes)

Some are just for ecstatics like these Nasturtium variety of colors, both the flowers and the leafs are edible. The flowers are often used in salads and leafs in stews, but I was surprised to see my European Greenfinches eating the flowers. 

RedSunflower.jpg (22063 bytes)
Red Sunflower 

WSunflower2 22Feb14.jpg (61150 bytes) WSunflower12 22Feb14.jpg (139216 bytes) WSunflower4 22Feb14.jpg (48947 bytes) WSunflower8 22Feb14.jpg (59083 bytes)
One of the best variety of Sunflower to grow for bird is this, it produces
continuously throughout the year it looks good in the garden and you only need couple of plants.

Shultz3 - 13Mar07.jpg (76132 bytes)
This 3 month old BS is definitely bad gardener!


Live Food

FlyPupae4 5Nov08.jpg (47980 bytes) FlyPupae2 5Nov08.jpg (48881 bytes) FlyPupae6 5Nov08.jpg (69753 bytes) FlyPupae9 5Nov08.jpg (52469 bytes) 
Live Fly Pupae sells for $5 for 25 grams

Crickets1.jpg (43484 bytes) Breeding Crickets2.jpg (40176 bytes)  BreedingBox5.jpg (39049 bytes)  Breeding Crickets5.jpg (52480 bytes)
Some Finches will eat live food, the easiest to breed are the Mealworms but bird like the 
Blue-winged Wrens and Madagascar Weavers or for that matter many other species need a little bit of variety, Crickets and Gentles are another option, and this is a breeding setup for Crickets. Their life span is only 6 weeks, if they are kept in suitable container with a little bit of humidity and some food (lettuce, spinach, any peels ) they will lay eggs in the moist soil (blue container) and thousands of young will hatch within a week or two. Commercially, they are available in containers as in photo one in three sizes: small, medium and large.


Male & Female.jpg (31014 bytes)  Crickets4.jpg (31482 bytes) Cr2.jpg (30150 bytes) BreedingBox7.jpg (38963 bytes)
All you have to do is select couple of pairs, the Cricket on the left is a male and the one on the right with a long tube protruding from her behind is a female (photo 1). The tube is used to dig into the ground and lay eggs. A small blue container as in the photo 3 is ideal for egg laying. The small jar on the left is full of fresh Lettuce, Carrot peels and a piece of soft sponge cake. It is best to keep and breed Crickets in an Aviary. It is virtually impossible to open up the lid without them jumping out. Don't ever try this inside a house!

Baby Crickets1.jpg (39033 bytes) Baby Crickets3.jpg (23926 bytes) Baby Crickets4.jpg (23523 bytes)
These are very small, approximately 2 to 3 mm long!

 Container 3.jpg (25595 bytes) Container 5.jpg (34470 bytes) Container 6.jpg (32580 bytes)
This is how I breed Gentles, they will eventually try to crawl out and the birds will be there 
waiting for them. I just don't know any cleaner way to do this!

Gentles11.jpg (32714 bytes) Gentles6.jpg (45478 bytes) Gentles8.jpg (33047 bytes)  
Feeding Mealworms and Gentles
   

 MiniMealworms3.jpg (49573 bytes) MiniMealworms1.jpg (52011 bytes) MiniMealworms4.jpg (69973 bytes)
Mealworms can be bought and are always available from 
most good bird shops.

Aph2-25Sep05.jpg (44688 bytes) Aph11-25Sep05.jpg (46421 bytes)  BlackAphids.JPG (52228 bytes)
Black or Green Aphids are good source of food for finches

LargeMoth4.jpg (71333 bytes)
Large Moth about 60mm, I have never seen a specie this size, most finches love moths
 but I wasn't going to harm this one. Probably a rare native Australian!

Peels2.jpg (38289 bytes) Peels8.jpg (31622 bytes) FruitFlys1.jpg (22724 bytes) FruitFlys5.jpg (28297 bytes)
Little bit of fruit peel placed in a dish in an Aviary will attract various flies and insects

MWeaversF1 13Aril07.jpg (45674 bytes) WWWren1 13Aril07.jpg (56513 bytes)
Madagascar Weavers love flies and wrens mealworms
WWWrenInNest2 5April07.jpg (40084 bytes)
With young in the nest, Wrens can consume 100 mealworms in one day

WWWrenPair2 - 8Mar07.jpg (40833 bytes) WWWrenM1_17Mar07.jpg (54459 bytes) WWWrenM2_17Mar07.jpg (53763 bytes) WWWrenM1 - 11Mar07.jpg (32021 bytes)
White-winged Blue Wrens, probably the smallest and the most beautiful softbills native to Australia, 
are very rare in Aviculture! They will survive on egg and biscuit mix but feeding them on a variety of live insects is highly recommended.


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