Aviculture in Progress
For the first time in our knowledge, there are three generations of Yellow-crowned Amazons, Amazona o. ocbrocepbala, setting on eggs at one breeding facility. For reference, this is a continuation of the story "A Favorite Amazon" in The Natural Choice, of the May/June 1996 issue of the Watchhird journal.
An Incredible Founder Pair
The grandparents C'Ompah" and "Tutu") are wild-caught birds (founder stock) and have produced every year since 1976. This pair was kept hy Dale Thompson for 20 years. They averaged three to seven viable babies per year. Usually they produce (in California's high desert) one clutch per year with three to four babies. They have never had fewer than three babies in any clutch. They have been moved to a different facility three times over the 20 years and have survived the Northridge, California earthquake in 1994. They still did not miss a breeding season through these moves. They have so far had over 100 young in their captive lifetime. This pair has doubleclutched approximately eight times with three babies in their second clutch. This pair has also fed their own babies from 14 to 21 days before the babies were removed for handfeeding. Only one second clutch 0995) has been infertile and this is the only time they have ever been infertile.
In 1986, this pair had a doubleyolked egg that was fertile hut both embryos died at full term. One baby had its head at the large end and the other had its head at the small end. Drowning within the egg was determined to he the cause of death. This pair has also fostered other related and non-related parrot babies along with her own young. Some of these species include Sun Conures, Yellow-naped Amazons and Hawk-headed Parrots.
Howdy and Tai, the Second Generation
In 1986 one of their babies was given as a pet to a very good friend. This friend was a woman who kept the baby Amazon for four years before the young adult bird (sexed to he a male) began to hate all men and loved women. It was during the fourth year that the owner's adult son stayed in the same house with her and the Amazon did everything to give grief to the son.
The Amazon (now named "Howdy" because he yelled this word at the top of his voice) was given hack to Thompson and was paired with a mature female pet ("Tai") owned by Eh Cravens.
In 1993 this pair had infertile eggs hut produced babies in 1994. Cravens held back one of their 1994 babies which appeared to be a female. This bird was named "Tia" and was raised in a partial free-flying environment.
Tia and Yoga, Third Generation in
a Family Dynasty
In 1996, Tia proved herself to be a female by her begging/mating behavior. In August 1996 she was introduced to a three-year-old handfed male ("Yoga") held back for breeding by Gail Worth. 'Yoga had been handfed from day-one.
Of interest is the way these two
were introduced. Since Tia had been nestbox trained as a baby and given cardooard playhoxes at puberty, she had no fear of the nestbox darkness. She and Yoga were placed in two cages side by side some eight inches apart with perches matching up at both ends. An 18in. long by Sin. diameter box was turned on its side and mounted as a tunnel passage way between the two cages at the front perch end. The top and bottom were cut out and a round hole was cut into them so each bird could enter the tunnel from its own cage. A wire divider of small mesh (for safety) was inserted in the midsection of this box keeping the birds apart.
Within one week, Tia was playing in her side of the box and within two weeks Yoga was entering his side of the tunnel. Talking, whining and playing went on for weeks especially from the hen who was one year older than her mate.
After one month the wire insert was removed from the box and the birds were allowed to pass into and out of each other's cage. They would play together each day hut go back to sleep apart (in their own cage) each night for the next three weeks. Finally the male began sleeping in the same cage with the hen, hut on a far perch.