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Dear Parrots magazine,

Aviculture or conservation?

In the February issue, you ask for suggestions regarding the identity of the Macaw pictured on page 41. I would suggest that this is a hybrid between a Hyacinthine and a Blue and Yellow Macaw. (Its underparts are not yellow, but plucked naked.) In 1996 in the USA I photographed this hybrid between a Hyacinthine and a Military Macaw.

It is poor avicultural practice, indeed, irresponsible, to produce such hybrids. Perhaps our culture of 'anything rare or unusual is valuable' is to blame. It is not the case where producing parrot hybrids, which should always be prevented.

In the same issue Eb Cravens states “From the standpoint of world parrot conservation, this is one of the most significant statements a pet owner can make – to purchase and give a caring home to a captive-bred Red-fronted Macaw”.

Come on, Eb! What possible contribution to conservation is made by such a purchase? Can you explain?

Might I suggest that owners of Red-fronted Macaws and everyone else concerned about the survival of this rare species, makes a donation towards its conservation?

You can do this (as I have done) via the donation page on the American Bird Conservancy website and put Red-fronted Macaw conservation in the information box.

Rosemary Low, by email




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