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Breeder Notes

This section would probably have been better labeled as “history or resume” instead of Breeder Notes... But then, I am a breeder, and these are my notes...

Several of my friends advised that they felt it would be appropriate to give an outline of my "History" in Aviculture to give new acquaintances a better perspective of who, or just what, a BIRDBRAIN I really am!

Cage birds first entered my life in 1945 at age 7... I was given a pair of Canaries who laid eggs and hatched babies mere weeks later, thanks to a bit of guidance from the family friend who gave them to me... I WAS HOOKED FOR LIFE! There is just such an indescribable thrill and joy to be derived from watching the marvel of those new living things hatch and grow from an egg! Society and Zebra Finches soon followed... They lost no time in adding many babies to my flock. Soon there were Budgies, Lovebirds, and Cockatiels.

I talked about my birds so much to my friends at school, that by the 5th grade I had acquired the nickname "Birdseed"... One of my prankster buddies slipped a jar of birdseed into my desk, and circulated the rumor that it was for my lunch!! (It was all in good fun, and that name has stayed with me over the years!)

When the importation of Parrots became legal in the late 1960’s I was quick to acquire a fairly large collection, with funds derived from the sale of an antique furniture collection I had amassed over the years... I decided I would rather feed and care for beautiful birds than I would dust and polish antiques! I have never been sorry for that decision...

Many of the birds I was offered and subsequently acquired, I had never seen before, even in pictures! We didn’t have the access to the wonderful books full of pictures at our fingertips that abound today, much less the Internet!

I was fortunate that some of the rare species that had never been bred in Captivity in the US came into the collection, and as a result I was actually awarded first captive breeding awards for Ruppell’s Parrots and Cape Parrots, both of which belong to the African Poichephalus family, and are seriously endangered in their native habitat.

As mentioned on the home page, the first Quakers came here in 1971, and their numbers have steadily grown since that time... I will always have Quakers! Slowly, over the years, the other species have been replaced by more Quakers of different colors...

Genetics and color mutations have been a passion with me since my early teen years, when I kept a flock of approximately 2,000 Budgies.

I am forever indebted to two great pioneers in color mutations in American Aviculture: The late David West of Montebello, California, and the late Bill Hanning of Silverton, Oregon gave so freely of their time and knowledge to help an enthusiastic kid! They even gave birds to me to work with and had me report the results, and explain how they came about. It is because of these two incredibly generous and unselfish individuals that I’m so immersed in color breeding Quakers today! I actually learned by doing, with their guidance and advice to encourage me.

Of all the beautiful species that have lived and bred in my aviaries over the past 76 years, the Quakers continue to hold my fascination... Not just because of the wonderful mutation colors that are regularly emerging, but more importantly because of their enchanting personalities and antics! QUAKERS ARE FUN!!! Every individual is different, every pair is different, and they are all so special! It is because of these qualities that I look forward to going into the aviaries every morning, and eagerly anticipate breeding season every year!

If you haven't raised Quakers, I would invite you to "TRY 'EM, YOU’ll LIKE 'EM"... I would suggest a pair of normal Green or Blue birds to start with... That way you can get a feel for their actual husbandry requirements in your situation before you spend money on the more expensive colors... Husbandry requirements can vary greatly, depending on each individual situation... Also in all species, not just Quakers, it is important to keep in mind that you are dealing with INDIVIDUALS, and just like people, each one will have unique likes, dislikes, and idiosyncrasies!

I invite you to read the article on our breeding and husbandry practices here... Yes, I have help, in the event of illness the birds need to have their proper care continue to be uninterrupted. I feel we owe that to them!

Should you have questions, please feel free to contact me/us... AND, you do not need to be a customer of ours to do that! I feel an obligation to share the experiences gained over the years, and the information that was given so freely to me.

Bob Nelson

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