Society News

The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the February meeting of the Society at 8:05 pm welcoming the 66 members and visitors in attendance.

                                                             Main Feature:

Stephan Maric welcomed Steve Marven, our guest speaker for February. His presentation “Keeping and Breeding Bourke’s, Turks and Scarlets”, covered a large range of information on these popular birds and the mutations that they have.

Steve started, like many of us, in his parent’s backyard with a single aviary. He first had a pair of canaries and followed these with a pair of Turquoise parrots. Their small backyard was soon home to 25 aviaries. As he moved to Bendigo he increased this to 40 aviaries and then went to Canberra where, having to deal with snow and ice, shifted to indoor cabinets for the birds he kept.

Now his collection consists of suspended aviaries (1500 x 900 x 750mm for a pair of birds), conventional (1500 x 750 x 2150 a pair) and cabinets (1000 x 500 x 300). He also has some larger flights for holding 2 pair of birds, generally a pair each of 2 species. There are also holding cages.

Steve is particular about quarantining new arrivals for a 6-8 week period. He treats the birds during this period for worms and other ailments.

Feeding includes a good quality budgie mix with at least 50% canary, feed in hoppers. His birds also receive endive every day, dried figs (broken open) when breeding. Egg and Biscuit mix, seeding grasses, frozen peas, corn and carrot, chopped beetroot, celery, milk thistle and cuttlefish are all available also. There is also soaked grey sunflower and soaked small parrot mix. Pallets are also provided, but as an extra, not with the intention of making it a staple.

Fresh water is, of course, vital but Steve also talked about how Neophemas love to bathe and that this should be taken into consideration when selecting water vessels.

At the beginning of August Steve pairs up his birds but does not supply nest boxes until the end of August. Some birds may not be ready at the same time and this can help to stop infertile eggs being laid and other problems arising. Breeding continues until the end of January depending on the pairs, but not through the hotter months that follow.

The nest boxes that Steve prefers are approx. 200 x 200 x 300mm high. He has a 60mm diameter hole which is placed to one side. They also have a 50mm platform at the front.

These birds generally lay between 3 to 6 eggs and start to incubate once the third egg is laid. Incubation is 21 days and the young start to fledge at 4 weeks of age. Steve candles all eggs to check for fertility and uses personalised leg rings which he fits just after the chicks eyes open.

Steve then presented a good number of images of the various mutations these birds have, both here and overseas.

Tom Hobbs thanked Steve and there were a number of questions from the members about Steve’s experience with these lovely birds.

     1.   Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize was won by John Bramman, and the Lucky Name Badge Prize was won by Randall Woods, Both received products from Naturally for Birds, supplied by the A.S.A. The Raffle winners for the evening were: Mark Hill won the seed supplied by Dandenong Stock Feeders, Charlie Mizzi won a nest box supplied by Joe Bolyos. Taz Graham won a painting of a Macaw. Emanuele Maric won a Nicer Dicer, Mark Cameron won a book and Mick Harrison won a Jar of Honey.

2.   New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending. He commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA and not to hesitate to ask questions.

3.   Next Month’s Program: (CF)     Michael Lee, “Macaw Conservation”

4.   Lost and Found: (TH) None

5.   Service Items:  (JP) at side of hall with John.

                                                                  Other Business:

  1. The VAC have approved the use of All Wire cages from 2021 Bird Expos.
  2. Lou Dall’Est presented Mark Reynolds with a gift on behalf of the A.S.A. in recognition of his time on the committee.

Meeting closed at 9:10pm and members enjoyed a chat over supper.