Pet Gazette eEdition
The Pet Gazette
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- Tuesday, 20 March 2012 20:15
- By George Sommers
Giant yellow parrots are the big news in the companion bird world; specifically golden macaws. These “rarest macaws in the world” do not occur naturally but rather are specially bred lutino versions of the blue and gold macaw. It wasn’t just the birds chattering at January’s Parrot Festival in Houston, Texas - the humans were all abuzz about the announcement that the golden macaws’ “coming out party” will be part of the American Federation for Aviculture’s 38th annual convention, to be held in San Antonio, TX. 8/15-18.
There are no prior records of all golden blue and gold macaws. The first public viewing of these exotics could be “a once in a lifetime experience,” as AFA member Concetta Ferragamo describes.
News of the golden macaws follows on the heels of an all red African grey parrot mutation developed in South Africa by breeder Hennie Diedericks. Coincidentally or not, “National Geographic” recently pitched the intriguing idea of selling ONLY color morphed varieties of certain parrots as a means of reducing pressure on wild parrot populations from the pet trade.
Unlike the Catalina macaw, the new macaws are not hybrids, i.e. offspring of two interbred species. Hybridization dilutes the gene pool and because macaw numbers are declining in the wild, hybridization is widely frowned on by most aviculturists
Naturally all-yellow parrots are rare; one exception being the beautiful golden conure. In addition to the macaws there are lutino; or all yellow varieties of cockatiels, lovebirds, ringneck parakeets and others. Like canaries these have been selectively bred.
The man with the Midas touch is a bird breeder identified simply as Gary on his website. Gary explains, “These goldens originated from a normal colored pair of blue and gold macaws that I raised from chicks. As I have raised both male and female goldens, it appears that this is a recessive gene that just happened to get the right match. And there you have it, these beautiful goldens.”
He continues, “…the goldens are just as hardy as the normal colored macaws. We raise them together with their normal siblings. This winter has been quite cold, and the macaws don’t seem to mind the cold temperatures or snow. We do provide heat lamps in extreme temperature, and they can always come in to shelter out of the wind or rain. They hatch in the same amount of time, grow at the same rate, and appear identical in every way, except color. They don’t seem to notice that there are differences in color, either way.”
If the birds were to go on sale, prospective buyers might have to dig for 100,000 gold dollar coins, some sources are reporting.
Yellow Bird” by way of trivia; was Julie Newmar’s guest character name on an episode of “F-Troop” and, btw; the name of one of this writer’s budgies.
Gary’s Web site: goldenmacaw.net/ For more info: American Federation of Aviculture afabirds.org/index.shtml. Get the latest parrot poop, errr news; online at examiner.com boston. Click Home and Life- Pets-General Pets-From the Parrot’s Beak.