Sharing experiences to improve the care and breeding of parrots in captivity

A good aviculturist is very observant. I caught this Peacock Bass by watching the water. When the small fish scattered, I knew that a large predator was lurking nearby, even though I had never gone fishing before. The result was this stunning fish, which I released after the photograph.  I was in this part of the Amazon in Brazil to look at Red-bellied Macaws in the wild.


I have always been fortunate to have met the best aviculturists in the world. This was at the home of the late Neville Connors, a prominent black cockatoos breeder from Australia; he co-authored with his wife a great book on the group. Depicted with us is Zoe Doyle.


In Cuernavaca, Mexico, in the home of Ramon Trespalacios, a local aviculturist and a fantastic host. Depicted in the photo are (top, left to right): Jason Shane, me, Ramon Trespalacios. Sitting are (left to right) Dr Javier Lopez-King, Javier Braun whose collection of Mexican parrot mutations is the best in the world and Eric Antheunisse, a US breeder with a very large collection of conures.


I first visited Australia in the early 1980s. I made friendships that have transcended decades. Ian Grant and Gordon Aitken opened their hearts and home to me and to them I will always be grateful.


When I first said I was going to lecture in India, I was criticized by aviculturists who felt that I was wasting my time, claiming that I would find only Cockatiels, Lovebirds and Budgies. Those naysayers were proven wrong. Aviculture in India is vibrant and the collections rival the best in the rest of the world. The breeders in India display a passion that is envious. In the future India will shape the way the rest of aviculture thinks. The Indians have proven to be fantastic hosts and friends. I call many “bhai”, a word reflective of a brotherhood. In the photograph are depicted (left to right): Rajesh Murugeshan,  Anil Garg,  me, Rafael Zamora Padron of Loro Parque and Mufaddal Taher Tambawala.