The day was typically hot and humid. It was 1979 and I had been invited to visit Ramon Noegel and Greg Moss, the former the doyen of Amazon parrot breeding in the US. Noegel achieved what at the time was seen as the impossible—producing young from multiple pairs of Amazon parrots year after year.
… The birds were Black-headed Caiques Pionites melanocephalus. The coloration suggested it was a pair and their three young. As is typical of many small parrots in the neo-tropics, the bird slept in the cavity. ..
I can recall that day in the 1970s as if it were today. I had walked into a quarantine station to see several pairs of a new species… a species that was commanding a hefty price– $800.00 per pair.
Over many months and two separate trips, I watched as a pair of Bue and Gold Macaws Ara ararauna nested in a dead standing Buriti Palm Mauritia flexuosa.
I watched the bird in amazement. It would walk across a clothes line in an enclosed porch, chattering, lunging and moving, its tail open. I was probably 7 years old.
Today hundreds of young amazons, caiques, macaws and conures, to mention just a few groups, are captive bred each year and they ultimately become pets.
As I grasped the bird to place it in the shipping crate, my little finger felt a bulge. I looked closer and my heart sank.
The conures range from being very easily bred to very difficult to breed.
Thinking out of the box about nesting boxes
I was a young and inexperienced aviculturist when I first met Ramon Noegel. For decades Noegel the doyen of Amazon parrot breeders worldwide.
More pairs of tame Eclectus produce clear eggs than any other group.
During 2015 we hand-reared several third generation Blue-throated Macaws Ara glaucogularis, a species which in the wild has a population at the time of writing that numbers less than 400 individuals, giving it a Critically Endangered status under IUCN Red List criteria.