Exotic Bird

Exotic Bird

Exotic birds are popular as pets, but many of them are today endangered in the wild and purchasing an exotic bird may be illegal, especially if the specimen is wild-caught. Before you buy an exotic bird, it is always recommended to check national and international regulations. You can for instance visit the homepage of CITES; the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. CITES is an international agreement between Governments. Another good source of information regarding endangered species is the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN stands for International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and this organisation also has its own webpage.

One example of a very popular exotic bird is the Canary, Serinus canaria. The wild Canary is native to the Canary Islands and Madeira. In its original range, this exotic bird lives in semi-open landscapes and appreciates orchards. The wild Canary has a yellow-green colouration and displays a streaking on its back. The domesticated Canary have been selectively bred for centuries and come in a much broader variety of colours. Domestic Canaries can be divided into three main groups: Colorbred Canaries, Song Canaries and Type Canaries.

Colorbred Canaries have been bred to promote certain colour mutations, and you can for instance get Bronze, Onyx, Ivory and Mosaic canaries. The Song Canary group contains canaries bred for their song patterns, such as the Russian singer, the American singer and the Persian singer. The exotic bird variants found in the third group are the canaries bred for their shape and conformation, and in this group you will for instance find the Yorkshire canary, the Berner canary an the Border canary.

Another fascinating exotic bird is the African Grey (Psittacus erithacus). African Greys’ are famous for their ability to speak and can learn over 200 different words. An African Grey named Prudle is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for its ability to speak over 1000 words. African Greys’ are very picky when it comes to choosing a mate and will stay faithful until separated by death. The male African grey will feed his spouse and sing soft monotonous songs to her. During the mating season, the female will sleep in a nest cavity guarded by the male. This exotic bird species will usually produce 3-5 eggs per batch, and the female will lay them several days apart. The female will incubate the eggs for at least 30 days, during which she will rely on her spouse to bring her food. 

The African Greys’ can be divided into three distinct variants, and some researchers have even suggested that they should be considered separate species. The African Grey Congo lives in the western-central part of the African continent, near the equator. The African Grey Timneh lives in Sierre Leone, Liberia and the western part of the Ivory Coast. This exotic bird is smaller than the African Grey Congo, and can be distinguished on its maroon coloured tail. You can also notice that the upper third of the upper mandible is pink. The range for the African Grey Princeps is limited to the islands of Principe and Gernando Po, which a located in the Gulf of Guinea. This exotic bird is somewhat darker than the other two African Grey variants.


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