Thursday, November 3, 2011

Splendid Comments on Bourkes and Scarlet-Chested Parakeets

I’ve been asked if Splendids, also known as Scarlet-Chested Parakeets, are difficult to keep.
I didn't want to part with this little guy, but his new
owner sent me this photo of him. He's a sweetheart.
I suppose that every breeder’s experience is diverse. I’ve raised a few Splendids over the years, but have never had the success with them that I’ve had with Bourkes. However, I know a breeder in California who has trouble raising Bourkes, but no difficulty with Splendids.

There is a difference in how we raise our birds though. Mine are indoors, hers are not.

Face color isn't accurate. Face is a dark cobalt blue.
It's difficult to photograph, the flash reflects off it.
Perhaps that might explain the variation of success between the two species.

All my birds live in individual cages inside my house and the temperature fluctuates little all year long. Some come out to fly around, but others don’t.  Her birds all live in roomy outdoor aviaries. California is mostly a desert climate, warm during the day although winter nights can become chilly. Frost is rare there, whereas, where I live in Southern Oregon it goes into the low 40’s in the winter.  Although unusual, it can even go below freezing. Australian birds might not fare well in outdoor aviaries through winters here.

Splendids (Scarlet-Chested Parakeets) are curious
and friendly.
I’ve found that Splendids seem to be more prone to egg binding than Bourkes are. All my Splendid hens have laid larger eggs than the Bourkes. This seems strange since the Splendids are slightly smaller than Bourkes. However, it might account for their propensity toward egg binding.  Exercise flights in aviaries could be an advantage for Splendids by helping to keep them fit.

A Male Rosy Bourke
As an indoor pet, Splendids seem to fare very well. They are active little clowns and fun to own. They will chew up paper and like to put anything and everything into their water. Drinking water should be freshened often … preferably more than just once a day. They enjoy bathes, so cups may get emptied. It’s wise to also have another source of water, like a water tube dispenser.

Bourkes are quieter by nature than Splendids, and easier to keep in that regard. They have lovely lyrical songs that aren’t loud like Budgerigars or other birds. I’ve never identified any mimicking by Splendids or Bourkes like Budgies do. However, both will “talk” to you in their own lingo. They like attention from their owners, even if they aren’t finger tamed.

A Normal Bourke Male

Male Bourkes are especially good at beautifully singing, and they naturally weave in wolf whistles.  What is a wolf whistle? Here’s a sample:

Peace & Blessings.

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