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Text Message Boxes (most recent first)

Message on Tuesday 23rd May 2017 from Nigel Hewston, Chairman of The Avicultural Society:

The Raymond Sawyer Scholarship 2017, offered by the Avicultural Society, is now open for applications until June 30th.

A SECOND CHANCE to win a place on an intensive five-day bird husbandry training course at Jersey’s Durrell Conservation Academy (DCA) has been made possible, thanks to the Avicultural Society (AS).

This year's scholarship will fund tuition and accommodation for one successful applicant to attend the five-day Conservation and Breeding Husbandry of Birds course on 6th -10th November at the Durrell Conservation Academy on Jersey.   Applications are open to all amateur, professional and student aviculturists under 25 years of age.

Representatives of the AS, DCA and Cage & Aviary Birds will choose the winner, and this year Simon Bruslund, curator of birds at Heidelberg Zoo, Germany, takes over from Laura Gardner.   Mr Bruslund has worked professionally in aviculture his whole life, and in recent years his focus has been towards conservation and internationally managed breeding programmes and cooperation.  He said: “Avicultural skill and knowledge is essential for us to achieve our goals in conservation breeding, yet we often fail to appreciate the importance of it. Institutionalised teaching like Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s bird husbandry or incubation courses are unfortunately much too rare, but are a great opportunity for anyone who is truly interested in breeding birds.”


Simon Bruslund, curator of birds at Heidelberg Zoo, Germany

More information here.
Apply here
.

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Message on Friday 24th February 2017:

A non ITS member (UK) has informed me that he has a surplus adult male Livingstone's Turaco that he would like to find a good home for at a fair, sensible price.  If you would be interested, please contact the webmaster for details.

Contact: Webmaster

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Message from Buks Grobbelaar in South Africa on Wednesday 6th March 2013:

I recently joined the International Turaco Society. I have been breading turacos for the last three years and probably kept them for four to five years. Mosie Weber from South Africa introduced me to the turacos at a show. He invited me to his place and I was blown away by these beautiful birds.

I started with single birds due to availability but got more species with time. I currently have eleven species at my place but have a vision of keeping and breeding all the turacos of the world.

I hand reared most of the birds and managed to rear more than fifty babies last season.

I have cameras in the passages and hatching room so that people can view my set up through the Internet.

Birds I don't have in my collection, and would like to keep, are as follows: Great Blue, Black-billed, Ruspoli's, Yellow-billed, White-crested, Red-crested and Ruwenzori. Please if anyone can assist with my collection, it will be appreciated!

Contact: globaltrucktyres@gmail.com

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On 30th April 2012 Nigel Hewston, from Gloucestershire, UK sent the following update and request:
Amount updated 15/07/12

I.T.S. Secretary ran the marathon for an endangered bird.

Nigel on the day

Nigel Hewston on the day.

I would like to say a huge thank you to the many ITS members who supported my London Marathon run for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper conservation breeding programme. Running my first marathon was an amazing (if painful) experience. The crowd was fantastic, giving me and the other 37,000 runners terrific support along the whole route, not to mention jelly babies when we were flagging! I completed the course in 4:19:35, and so far I have collected over £3750 including gift aid. There is still time for members to help me increase this total and help save the sandpiper; please visit www.justgiving.com/sandpiper , text NIGE57£5 or NIGE57£10 to 70070, or send a cheque (payable to WWT) to Sandpiper Marathon, Fundraising Department, WWT, Slimbridge, Glos, GL2 7BT. There is a video on the project at www.wwt.org.uk.

Spoon-billed Sandpiper chick - photo by Elena Lappo, Birds Russia

Spoon-billed Sandpiper chick - photo by Elena Lappo, Birds Russia

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On Sunday 22nd April 2012 Richard Venn, from Radstock near Bath UK, sent the following message:
We have had a visitor lately - a White-cheeked Turaco. It has been flying around our area for a couple of weeks but this was the first time I've seen it. I have contacted Longleat Safari as it is only a few miles away, but they have no reports of it missing and also the Cotswold Wildlife Park, just waiting to hear back from them. After finding the ITS site and realising they are kept as pets it could have originated from anywhere I guess. Just wanted to let you know in case anyone is looking for it.

Contact: richard.venn@talktalk.net

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On 18th February 2012 Steve, from Buckingham, UK sent the following report:

I was out walking with my son near Princes Risborough yesterday when we came across what I believe to be a Buffon's Turaco, seemingly quite 'wild'. While we could get relatively close, it was quite nervous and soon disappeared into dense bushes.

I'm curious as to whether they are establishing themselves in the wild in the UK, or is this more likely to be an escapee from a Zoo or local owner?

If the latter, I could try to give you or the owner a rough indication of where it was, should they contact you whilst looking for a lost bird.

Please contact me: Steve

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On 6th July 2010 Richard Callcut, from West Sussex, UK sent the following request:

Hi,

Having always loved turacos, I purchased my first pair (White-cheeked) last October. I was provided sexing certificates showing them as a true pair and was advised that they were June 2009 babies.

I housed them in a 12ft square aviary and they feed well on T16 pellets and fresh apple, pear, carrot, and whatever else was available. Although the aviary is half covered and well sheltered, they insist on sleeping outdoors in all weather, including the heavy snow that we had over the winter. However this seems to have had no ill effects and they are thriving.

They share the aviary with my partner’s four chickens and from March, a pair of Rosellas that she couldn’t resist from a show. They seem to get along quite amicably with all of their housemates.

One of the reasons I chose turacos is that I was advised that they are relatively quiet, but for about the last month, one of them (I assume the male, but haven’t checked) has started getting very vocal. I suppose I can most accurately describe this as a low “grunting” noise. With the early mornings and most of the windows open due to the current temperatures, this is turning into quite a wakeup call at around 5am! Whilst it doesn’t bother me especially, I am starting to get a bit concerned about what the neighbours think. They love watching our birds and have made no objections, but I’m worried it might get too much.

What I really want to know is, is this noise normal for turacos? Is it a seasonal thing, or have they just come of age? Are they objecting to their aviary mates, or are they wanting something else? Currently the aviary doesn’t have the facility to shut the birds inside overnight, but I have considered making this alteration.

Some advice from someone with more experience in these birds would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Please contact me: Richard Callcut

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On 3rd January 2010 Jonathan Beilby from Lancashire, U.K. sent the following request:

I have recently looked through my turaco pictures and noticed that I am missing pictures of some key species. I just wondered if any of these species were kept in the U.K and if so, would there be the possibility of me being able to take a picture of them.

Green-crested Turaco (persa, zenkeri and I have a horrendous set of shots of buffoni from Antwerp and Harewood House)
Knysna Turaco
Yellow-billed Turaco
Purple-crested Turaco (chloroclamys)
Black-billed Turaco (schuetti)
Bare-faced Go-away Bird (personata)
Grey Go-away Bird
Eastern Grey Plantain-eater

Thank you very much in advance.

Western Grey

Red-crested

White-crested

Here are four photographs which I have taken of turacos at public collections.

Please contact: Jonathan Beilby

E-mail: jonathan@beilby.gotadsl.co.uk

Fischer's

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On 12th January 2009 Stijn Meyere from Belgium sent the following query:

Our young White-cheeked turacos gets red on their chest. Would be that from the food or is there another reason? Hopefully you can help us. They eat T16 pellets supplemented with fruit. Greetings Stijn.

E-mail: Stijn.De.Meyere1@pandora.be

White-cheeked with red chest feathers.

Possible answer (provided by Nigel Hewston):

When I bred White-cheeked Turacos many years ago my young birds would sometimes have red on the chest. I have a vague recollection that it was often on birds which had been fed a lot of leaves by their parents, but I may be wrong. In any case, as far as I can remember the birds were always healthy and normally coloured as adults.

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On 22nd March 2007 at 16.56 Sue Tugwell from Dibden, Southampton sent the following:

I thought you'd be interested to know that we have two White-cheeked Turacos living quite happily in the wild in the grounds of my Company in Southampton. They escaped from a nearby aviary at least two years ago and are thriving. We regularly feed them fruit and they come right up to the windowsill for this.

White-cheeked Turacos flying free at Dibden, Southampton.

Some further information and more photographs can be seen in the Members 'News' section of this website.

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On 10th November 2004 at 22.36 Lesley Shield from West of Scotland entered the following problem:

Hello, we have recently handreared a second White-cheeked Turaco on the understanding it was for a local wildlife park. When he/she (sex unknown) was around 3/4 months, just as his beak started to turn red, we tried to introduce him to a fairly large aviary housing one 3 year old White-cheeked Turaco. We started by keeping him in a separate cage in full view of the other bird and gradually moved him closer to the main enclosure but after finally releasing him into the aviary the older bird has continued to attack him. We have gone back to the separate cage and tried again but this is still proving difficult. I would be grateful of any advice or suggestions regarding introduction of young birds to older more established birds.

Suggestion: It will depend on whether you have any other aviaries available. If so then you could move the older bird out for a month or so while the younger bird gets used to the aviary. Then move the older bird back into the flight.
Do you know the sex of either bird? You may find you have got two males.
If you don't have any spare flights, then you could put in a temporary partition to add the younger bird into a section of the flight, until it is used to it.
Some people advocate clipping one wing a little on aggressive birds to slow them down, but that may not be a good idea with winter approaching.
Try adding extra cover within the flight, with a food bowl in the cover too, so the bird being chased can feed where it is hiding.

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On 21st September 2004 at 19.51 Herman W. Milke from Germany entered the following question:

Hello, I am contacting you looking for some advice. During very necessary restoration work at the tropical greenhouse nearby a turaco hartlaubi took his (or her) chance to escape. Now its hanging around at my garden, probably enjoying some of the berries and fruit there. I am offering it a similar mixed diet like it received in captivity before and it has helped itself several times. Its favourite perch seems to be the fairly dense hazelnut bush.
Any ideas what I can do to catch it to be returned to the greenhouse?
Much obliged.

I have only once had a turaco out around my garden - a White-cheeked. It was while I had a mass of ripe plums on my fruit trees, but the turaco ignored them and came eagerly for a bowl of its usual diet which I placed in a Larsen (Magpie) trap. The bird was caught at its first visit. If you are unfamiliar with a Larsen, it has doors in the top of a wire cage which hinge down and are held open by a stick across. The stick is actually in two pieces, broken in the middle. When a bird lands on the stick it falls apart and the door springs up, trapping the occupant. (See attached) I placed the Larsen trap up on a frame in the tree that the turaco had been perching in.
Alternatively, if you have an empty flight you could leave the door open with food just inside. By placing the food a little further in each time, the bird could be encouraged to enter far enough in. String on the door would allow you to close it from a distance.
Hope you manage to catch her/him. David Jones.

Larsen trap

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On 20th May 2004 at 14:34 Sylvie Couneson entered the following comment and question:

Hello from Belgium!

Congratulations for your nice web site.
Here are two pictures of Western Grey Plantain-Easter, Crinifer piscator I have see in a zoo in Belgium.

Question: Can you explain how to take good care of this type of bird. What size of aviary is necessary?

Thank you.

Dr. Couneson

Western Grey Plantain-eater
Western Grey Plantain-eater

Answer (provided by Nigel Hewston):

Hello Sylvie,

Thanks for the photos and your comments on the website. Plantain-eaters eat fruit with a little universal or pellets as do other touracos, but also need more leafy food like spinach, lettuce, cabbage or wild plants. I have not kept them myself but aviary size would be as for other touracos, about 2 x 5m, or more if available. There have been two articles on Plantain-eaters in our magazines:

  • Issue 9 - Eastern & Western Grey Plantain-eaters by Don Turner, which talks about the species in the wild and their evolution.
  • Issue 12 - Western's Go Green by Nathan Crockford, which talks about captive breeding of the Western species at the Cotswold Wildlife Park.

Members can see more about Western Greys on the 'News' page of this website.

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