I Know I Am Intelligent Because I Know That I Know Nothing .... Socrates

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Rainbow Lorikeet


I have always been a huge bird enthusiast for as long as I can remember.

I used to breed birds mainly as a hobby but then as a business during my late teens and at it’s peek my father and I had at any given stage 144 pair of Budgerigars in custom made breeding cages and at least as many Budgerigars in the open aviary resting from the last breeding rotation.

We also had numerous breeding larger Native Australian Parrots such as the Eastern Rosella, Crimson Rosella, Cockatiel etc. .. not to mention Pheasants, Finches & Quail. All were kept in custom made aviaries, each measuring 5 meters x 3 meters x 3 meters.

I used to sit for hours in the middle of the aviaries watching the birds and their habits and in return they watched me and learnt mine. Inevitably with time we both got to know each other pretty well which showed in the trust they had for me. I would sit in the middle of the aviary and feed the birds by hand, I would freely remove eggs and chicks from the nests while being watched and trusted by the parents.

There is a lot of scientific methodology in breeding any livestock to achieve a perceived perfect specimen of the breed and while I did have specific bloodlines that I tried to enhance for competitive purposes, most of my breeding plan was based on curiosity, especially with the Budgerigars & Cockatiels, I constantly tried to get combinations of colours that were new or just different. Natures little surprises !

But those days are long gone with time, first of all I found a fulltime job which then severely restricted the time I had available to work the breeding business at home and then finally I moved out of home into my own place. All the birds and the aviaries where continued by my father for a few more years until he too decided that enough was enough and he shut it all down.

Even though we no longer had the birds or aviaries I never lost my love for birds and always secretly held onto the hopes of one day being in a place long enough and stable enough to once again get an aviary and to once again breed birds and to enjoy the innocence, simplicity and freedom they offer ones spirit.

Even though I still rent and as such do not have the opportunity to build aviaries I have found a much more profound way to enjoy the pleasure of my bird watching. I have started to feed the wild birds from my back yard.

About 6 months ago I nailed a simple baking tray to the top of the fence and started to put out some wild bird mix. Within the first week I had endless wild crested pigeons coming down for the free feed. With all this activity happening it wasn’t long before some of the native parrots realised that a free feed was on order and joined in to the dawn and dusk feeding sessions.

Within the first month I had in excess of 50 – 60 birds coming down both morning and night, birds such as the Australian Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Small Corellas, Rainbow lorikeets, Scaly Breasted Lorikeets, Pale Headed Rosellas, Crested Spinifex Pigeons, Diamond Doves, Australian Wood Ducks, Pacific Black Ducks and the Australian Galah just to name a few.

The standard breeding season for most native Australian birds is Oct – March and as such I had the enormous pleasure of watching most of these birds pair up, breed and then come back with their young once they left the nest.

I have built such a repour with these birds that they not only allow me to stand within 1 ft of them at the feed tray but some of the Rainbow Lorikeets even allow me to hand feed them.

And the honour that I feel when they trust my yard enough to bring their young down is unbelievable to a bird lover.

I could go on and on about the habits and individual personalities of these birds but at this stage I think I will just share some photographs I have taken over the last 6 months.



Small Corella ( Short Beaked )

Scaley Breasted Lorikeet
Spinifix Crested Pidgeon

Juvinile Galah

Sulpher Crested Cockatoo

More Photographs at http://www.flickr.com/photos/51977793@N07/


  1. Yeah - words. I love the top photo so much - it looks like a painting. It is an amazing photograph Andrew.

  2. I'm a bit of a bird lover myself Andrew. I so enjoy watching and listening to them. Especially the little blue wrens! And I agree with Wendy. That top pic is just beautiful. :)