SEEDEATERS WERE BRED in the highest numbers by Norfolk Foreign Bird Association (NFBA) members since full breeding records were instigated 16 years ago.
A total of 770 seedeaters were recorded in members’ 2016 breeding returns. Java sparrows topped the list with 293 bred and African silverbills were second with 217. Then followed 70 Indian silverbills, 29 cutthroats and 27 gold-breasted waxbills.
First members’ breedings in the seedeater section included one black-crowned waxbill and seven black-cheeked waxbills.
Other first breedings included the moustached parakeet, spectacled parrotlet (Forpus conspicillatus) and dusky turtle dove (Streptopelia lugens). A new softbill breeding recorded was for the common mynah, with two being bred.
“Significant increases from the returns were red-eared waxbill and magpie mannikin,” said NFBA breeding returns officer Nick Elliston. “But blue-capped waxbills were much lower and no Cuban finches were reported for the first time.
“Since 2000, 24 different species of Australian birds have been bred, and this year there were 17 species with a total of 726 bred, which is almost the same as the year before.
“In the Australian section, Heck’s grassfinch topped the list for the first time in many years with 170 bred. A total of 216 parrotlike breedings were reported from 12 species, and a notable breeding of red-bellied parrots came from John Cogman, from Norwich, Norfolk, who in the past three years has bred a chick each year.”
Species that were down in numbers from recent years include Chinese painted quail, and both Bengalese and zebra finches.
Section breeding winners were Graham Lee for both seedeaters and Australian; John Cogman for parrotlike; and Ray Holland for softbills.
Meritorious medals were awarded for breeding success with a specific species, and went to David Lugo for Australian (67 Parson’s finches), Mr Elliston for seedeater (seven blackcheeked waxbills) and Steven Fisher for parrotlike (28 celestial parrotlets).