To post a new message,
ask a question, or answer an existing one, send an e-mail to:
Please read the disclaimer first. When the webmaster receives your
e-mail, it will be posted on this page as soon as possible.
The webmaster will delete or edit
any generally objectionable material before it is posted. However it is possible
that something may not be recognised as being offensive. Therefore it must be
made clear that any message posted on this page expresses the views and opinions
of the person who wrote the message and not the webmaster (except for posts
by the webmaster) and hence he will not be held liable.
You agree not to post any abusive,
obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated or any
other material that may violate any applicable laws. You agree that the webmaster,
has the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should he
see fit. As a user you agree to any information you have entered above being
stored in a database. While this information will not be disclosed to any third
party without your consent the webmaster cannot be held responsible for any
hacking attempt that may lead to the data being compromised.
By sending the e-mail you agree to be bound
by these conditions.
Text Message Boxes (most recent
|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.
|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.
|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!
|On 30th April
2012 Nigel Hewston, from Gloucestershire, UK sent the following update and
Amount updated 15/07/12
Secretary ran the marathon for an endangered bird.
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.
Sandpiper chick - photo by Elena Lappo, Birds Russia
22nd April 2012 Richard Venn, from Radstock near Bath UK, sent the following
|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.
|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
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.
|On 6th July
2010 Richard Callcut, from West Sussex, UK sent the following request:
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 partners four chickens and from March, a pair of Rosellas that
she couldnt 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 havent
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 doesnt
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 Im 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 doesnt have the
facility to shut the birds inside overnight, but I have considered making
Some advice from someone with
more experience in these birds would be much appreciated. Thanks.
me: Richard Callcut
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.
Turaco (persa, zenkeri and I have a horrendous set of shots of buffoni from Antwerp and Harewood House)
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.
Here are four photographs
which I have taken of turacos at public collections.
Please contact: Jonathan Beilby
January 2009 Stijn Meyere from Belgium sent the following query:
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.
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.
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
Some further information
and more photographs can be seen in the Members 'News' section of this website.
|On 10th November
2004 at 22.36 Lesley Shield from West of Scotland entered the following problem:
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.
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.
extra cover within the flight, with a food bowl in the cover too, so the bird
being chased can feed where it is hiding.
|On 21st September
2004 at 19.51 Herman W. Milke from Germany entered the following question:
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?
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.
20th May 2004 at 14:34 Sylvie Couneson entered the following comment and question:
Congratulations for your nice web site.
Here are two
pictures of Western Grey Plantain-Easter, Crinifer piscator I have see in a zoo
Question: Can you explain how to take good care of
this type of bird. What size of aviary is necessary?
Answer (provided by Nigel Hewston):
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:
9 - Eastern & Western Grey Plantain-eaters by Don Turner, which talks
about the species in the wild and their evolution.
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.