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In issue 315 -
Security – with crime on the increase we must keep our wits about us. By Tony Edwards
In issue 315 -
Paradise Park – fifty-one years after it was founded. By Rosemary Low
In issue 315 -
Avoid Feeding All Types of Cabbage to Parrots. The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran
In issue 315 -
Utilise Your Parrot’s Aptitude. Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens
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Utilise Your Parrot’s Aptitude

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens

I often wonder about the mental capacity changes we are producing in our domesticated psittacines as we breed and keep them one generation after another in human pet homes. After all, these birds are representatives of species that were formerly living in jungles and savannas around the world, but now are housed and reproduced nearly everywhere in captivity.

All ethical questions set aside about whether or not any kinds of birds should continually be kept in cages, the deeper issues surrounding this ‘domestication’ experiment touch on whether some 70 years more or less of concentrated captive breeding efforts have in fact significantly succeeded in taming our wild hookbill companions. Personally I think not, and I even have a number of lingering mandible–induced scars on my hands and shoulders to illustrate my point. I guess breeder psittacine pair nest-tending and casual human handling do not always mix very well!

Oh, there are loads of tame and trained cockatiels and budgerigars, not so many lovebirds I deem, that exhibit all the indications of being truly domesticated. But much of this relates directly to the way they are housed, fed and handled (extruded pellets, ‘step up,’ and wing clipping anyone?) and not always to the innate instinctive natures of the parrots themselves. And for every calm, well-tamed pet psittacine, one can usually go to the other end of the spectrum and find an example of a Chattering Lory, Mitred Conure, Port Lincoln or Hawk-headed Parrot that daily displays all the characteristics of incorrigibility, self-importance, and acute resistance to most fashions of human domestication. ’Nuff said.

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