Threatened Birds of the Americas (the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book)


Editors NJ Collar, LP. Gonzaga, N. , Krabbe, A. Madrano Nieto, L.G. Naranjo, T.A. Parker III and D.C. Wege.

Smithsonian Institution Press 1992.

Price approx. $75.00 U.S.

For anyone with an interest in conservation and/or the field status of the endangered birds of the Americas, this book is a must. Work on the book, which began in 1985, had to be halted in 1988 due to a lack of funding but was resumed after the 500th anniversary of Columbus's voyage of discovery produced some funds from the Spanish government. While seven authors are listed, the "tome" is actually the result of contributions of several hundred individuals. The book replaces the 1978 publication by W.B. King, "Red data book, 2 Aves," and its subsequent 1981 reprint under the title "Endangered birds of the world; the ICBP bird red data book."

While King was able to list the endangered birds of the world, the current revision requires four parts to complete the task. Part one dealt with "Threatened birds of Africa and related islands" (Collar and Stuart 1985) and was followed by the current part two dealing with the Americas. The final parts three and four will deal with birds of Europe and Asia, Australasia and the Pacific.

Throughout its 1,150 pages, species after species is profiled as to its distribution, population, and threats. Finally, each profile is concluded with those conservation measures that have been taken as well as those proposed. There are 38 psittacidae listed as threatened and an additional 17 listed in the appendix titled nearthreatened.

The majority of the birds listed, however, are small insect, nectar or fruit eating birds. While many are colorful, they are genreally poorly represented in captivity. Due to our lack of experience with these "softbilled" birds, the possibility that aviculture will play a major role in their survival seems remote. To compound the misery, there seems to be a veiy small following of individuals and/or organizations dedicated to the survival of these frequently termed "dicky birds." While habitat protection certainly will grasp many from the hands of extinction, some focused species-specific actions are needed. All aviculturists and pet owners with an interest in conservation should have one or more of the volumes of this important text. Augmented with a copy of the National Wildlife Federation's Conservation Directory, individuals and bird clubs should have the resources necessary to join forces in saving the World's birds.e The Diamond Dove

(A beautiful dove for both the novice

and experienced aviculturist)

by Dale R. Thompson Canyon Country, California

The Diamond Dove is found throughout most of Australia except for the southeastern coastal regions. This dove is very popular because of its small size (seven inches), low cost and its readiness to breed under most conditions. It gets its name from the many white spots found on its gray wings. There are several mutations with the silver mutation being the most common. Others include the dark-eyed white mutation and the cinnamon mutation.

Diamond Doves can be sexed by observing their behavior. Both sexes will coo but only the male can be seen bowing before the female with its tail raised and fanned. The red of the male's eye-ring is larger and brighter than the female's. The female generally is more brownish in coloration with larger and more numerous white spots on her wings.

Diamond Doves are considered free breeders. Since these doves can be pugnacious, they are best kept as sing le pairs. If their housing is large enough (4' x 8' x 12' flight), more than one pair can be kept together. But remember that the success rate for rearing young is much poorer in a colony situation than by single pairs. Sometimes they can be quite aggressive to each other. These doves can breed throughout the year, but should be given a rest during the colder winter months. Often eggs or babies are lost due to the cold and the female is more prone to egg binding.