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Happy Bird Place

Happy Bird Place
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

The power of selective breeding and mutations...

Was taking a few pictures of my birds today and caught my normal male turquoisine sitting next to my full red fronted opaline dilute (yellow) male turquoisine - same species, but looks completely different due to mutation and selective breeding to increase the amount of red.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gouldian chicks

After a period of somewhat austere diet during late summer, most of my gouldians have gone into breeding mode together this fall.  My attempt to colony breeding several pairs in a large flight cage did not go so well.  The adults were too busy fighting to do their parental duties well.  Multiple hens laid in the same nest and chicks were tossed or killed.  So now, they are separated into individual pairs in their own breeding cages again.  I did end up putting some remaining fertile eggs from the colony breeding nestboxes under societies and 5 chicks have fledged - parentage unclear.

before fledging - 4 normals and 1 yellow

one chick with odd head color - reddish feathers already showing

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Some new babies and a few bird portraits...

cinnamon hen & white front blue male scarlet chested parakeets

white front blue male scarlet

white front blue male scarlet

aqua scarlet chest male

turquoise blue male scarlet

normal split to silver and fawn java babies
Several of my flock of bourkes are finally breeding after a few years of keeping them.  Now if only the turquoisines will get in on the act as well :).  Breeding season has started for the fall and a few babies are already growing well.  Hoping to get more scarlet babies as well.
opaline split to fallow and ino young male bourke

normal split to fallow and opaline and ino male and opaline split to fallow hen young bourkes

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Baby updates

creamino shaft tails - fledged but not weaned yet - "FEED ME!"

normal split fallow, opaline, and lutino male baby

opaline (rosey) split fallow hen baby

lutino mom

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A few more babies...

A few more babies growing up...
creamino shafttail babies - being handfed since sometimes the parents will reject the more unusual looking mutation babies especially white mutations

normal split to lutino bourke baby - should be a male based on parent genetics

oops, got some gunk on his face

rosey (opaline) sister to the normal

second rosey (opaline) sister

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Profile of Bourkes

Some time ago at the invitation of The Splendid Bourke Bird Blog, I did a profile with genetic information on bourke grasskeets.  The article can be found here at:

More pictures of the various mutations and combinations of mutations are available at:'p/bourkpmut.htm.

A Profile of Scarlet Chested Grasskeets aka Scarlet Chested Parakeet - Neophema splendida

Scarlet chested grasskeet aka splendid grasskeet is a popular species of parakeet from Australia. They are quiet birds in general but males will sing a quiet song to entice his mate.  They are peaceful and mixes well with non-aggressive finches and other grasskeets in general, but would avoid mixing with aggressive species or larger hookbills.  They enjoy larger flights - minimum 30"x30" per pair, and do well with a standard parakeet diet of seed mix, greens, and eggfood.  Given the right conditions, they readily breed.  Health wise, they are considered a bit more delicate than other grasskeets like turquoisines and bourkes - warmer and dryer conditions are appreciated.  I started keeping scarlets in 2008 after seeing pictures of them online.  After doing some intense research, I just knew I had to start keeping them.  Although the normal scarlet is probably one of the most beautiful birds in aviculture, another reason for their popularity is the availability of many mutations.  Now, I will try to give a brief description of the more commonly available mutations although a lot of the mutations and better examples of the mutations are much more readily available in Europe than the USA.


mature adult normal male
young normal hen

LUTINO: like most lutino mutations, it is sex-linked recessive

splmalut 001n copie.jpg
lutino male
lutino hen

CINNAMON: sex-linked recessive
gmcin 023.jpg
cinnamon male - photo A.C. / J .Gruson
cinnamon hen (with red belly)

PALLID: sex-linked recessive

Copie de A normal et pallid.jpg
normal male on left, pallid male on right

BLUE: autosomal recessive.  This is probably the most complicated and confusing since there are several blue mutations that are incompletely dominant to each other.  Overall, there is seagreen aka aqua, turquoise, and white front blue.  Sometimes aqua and turquoise are referred to as par-blue.  I've read that white front blue is a combination of seagreen and turquoise.  With a lot of interbreeding of the different blue mutations, sometimes it can be a challenge to know exactly what a bird is.

seagreen/aqua male
seagreen/aqua hen
turquoise male
young tuquoise hen

white front blue male

ajgfbl 052.jpg
white front blue hen - photo A.C. / J. Gruson

GREY: autosomal dominant.  The grey can be combined with any normal or mutation scarlets.
grey white front blue male
grey green male - photo A.C / D. Moyer

VIOLET: autosomal dominant.  Can be combined with any normal or mutation scarlet, but since it affects the blue color, will show up best in the blue series.  Double factor will be a more intense effect than single factor.
Copie de Violet cock.jpg
double factor violet white front blue male - bred by H. Köster

PIED: autosomal dominant.  Can apply to any normal or mutation scarlet.
pied normal male - photo Colin O'Hara

RED FRONT: modification that can be improved with selective breeding
red front normal male - photo J.Suikerbuik
 There can also be more lovely colors made by combining the various mutations and modifications.  Some of the results can be found at:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Feathering out...

The little handfed parakeet is almost fully feathered out.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Growing fast...

The little handfed grasskeet is growing fast.  Looking a bit like a hedgehog with all its pin feathers.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Handfed baby update

The handfed baby keet is doing very well.  It's increased from 1 ml of formula per feeding to 2ml every 3-4 hours, though sometimes it gets a bit in between if it gets particularly noisy.  A stuffed crop is a sure way to make babies sleepy :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012


While I do not normally hand feed any of my birds, sometimes if the parents do not feed for some reason and no fosters can be found, I will take over care.  For grasskeets, occasionally a very late hatching egg can lead to a baby being much smaller than the rest of its siblings.  It may not be able to get enough food at feeding time.  I found such a baby and had to take over.  While it was getting some feeding from its parents for a few days, it became dehydrated and weaker since its siblings are now 5 times its size.  So far it's looking a lot less dehydrated, so hopefully it will make it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Downsizing some

Some of my birds have been very prolific - especially the societies, and due to space reasons, I must downsize some.  For anyone interesting in purchasing some, please see my ads (click on the links) on societies and gouldians.  I will also be sorting through my  shaft tails as well as scarlet chested parakeets, and ads for them should be up soon as well. 
Hoobly ad for societies
Hoobly ad for gouldians
Hoobly ad for star finches
normal shaft tail male

various gouldians

variety of societies