THE 2016 BREEDING returns of Severn Counties Foreign & British Bird Society (SCF&BBS) highlight two first members’ breedings 43 years since club records began.
One pair of common bluebonnets (Northiella haematogaster) – an Australian parrot species also known as the Eastern bluebonnet – parent-reared seven chicks for member Roger Drew from the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. And 11 black-cheeked lovebird chicks (Agapornis nigrigenis) were parent-reared by two pairs for Roy Kiddle from Bristol. Neither species had been bred by club members before.
SCF&BBS breeding officer Mark Hemmings said: “A total of 20 members submitted breeding forms, which resulted in 371 birds parent reared and 12 hand reared or fostered. This gave a total of 383 birds bred from 102 pairs.”
At the society’s AGM in January, president Roger Tippet presented the breeding awards to winners. Best overall breeding went to Chris Bridges for his 10 species, including Cuban grassquit (Tiaris canorus), turquoisine parakeet (Neophema pulchella) and yellow-fronted kakariki (Cyanoramphus auriceps).
The most bred British bird in 2016 was the greenfinch, with 83 chicks parent reared from 26 pairs. Member Eric Darlow contributed to this total by breeding 30 chicks from eight pairs.
The most bred in the parrotlet section came from splendid grass parakeets: 27 chicks parent-reared from 10 pairs. The foreign section scored the most birds bred overall, and this included 36 Gouldian finches and 38 zebra finches.
First breedings of species in more than six years were of turquoisine parakeets; yellowfronted kakariki; a redheaded finch (Amadina erythrocephala) and cut-throat finches (A. fasciata).
Mr Hemmings added: “British softbills are at an alltime low with only one song thrush bred this year. And the club has not recorded a blackbird for the past four years.”