My Life In Parrot Years

I have lived with birds all my life and wouldn’t know what to do without them. Dad enticed me into aviculture and the great life that comes with it. I knew very little to begin with, but over the years I have gained a lot from other breeders and Dad especially.

Starting Out

The first bird I kept was a Rainbow Lorikeet in 2003. I was three and didn’t know how to take care of it. So Dad taught me when and how much to feed it and when I should give it greens.

The lorikeet was alone until, in 2006, a kind man gave me and my brother a pair of Musk Lorikeets each and also gave me a male Rainbow Lorikeet. Dad took us to the Fairfield Bird Sale that year to have a look at all the birds available in aviculture. As a treat, Dad bought us two pairs of Normal African Masked Lovebirds.

Later the same year Dad came home with a surprise. We looked in the carry box and didn’t know what kind of bird it was. Dad said it was a pair of Purple-crowned Lorikeets.

We kept the lorikeets and lovebirds for three seasons and only the Rainbow Lorikeets bred in 2006 and 2007. Then the pair was moved on. The Purple-crowned Lorikeets were so hard to keep. In winter we had to put them in a holding aviary inside the house because we tried the shed/birdroom, but even inside it was too cold, and the birds were lost.

2008—Buying Budgies

In 2008 I went to my first bird sale as a seller. I sold some of the lorikeets and some lovebirds. Then I had a look around at the best birds in my price range at the sale. I rushed back to Dad and asked him if I could buy a pair of Budgies and told him that there was a blue and a white—$30 for the pair. The man was so nice that he dropped the price down to $20 for the pair.

With a few more deals, I got a pair just before the Shoalhaven Bird Sale and bought a Half-sided Yellow and Green Budgie and a Budgie that was really pale yellow with some black marking on its wings at Shoalhaven.

Dad built a lovely aviary to breed my Budgies in. It had a walkway that could have two wire holding cages for the chicks. I bred with them in a colony that season and kept a pair from the first clutch to make four pair in the breeding colony.

 2009—Breeding and Branching Out

The Budgies were going well and I had moved into a two-colony system of eight pairs. Four pairs would breed for two or three clutches and then we would swap them with the other four pairs in a holding aviary so they could breed. The result was brilliant birds.

In the selling season, I bought a pair of Turquoisine Parrots and a pair of Bourke’s Parrots. The male Turquoisine was green with high colouration and the female was yellow and had lots of colour for a female. The male Bourke’s was a double split to Rosa and Cream and the female was a Pink. I bred the Turquoisine but had no luck with the Bourke’s.

2010—Successes and Changes

I added to my collection with a pair of Opaline Turquoisine and swapped the Bourke’s for another pair. The Budgies kept on breeding quality birds laying 6–9 chicks in each nest. The Normal Turquoisine and the new Bourke’s both double-clutched but the Opaline Turquoisine pair didn’t even work the nest. Dad put the pair of Bourke’s in a large cage with his Regent Parrots and the two pairs of Turquoisine in suspended aviaries.


I cut down on my Budgies and kept just five pairs. They kept on breeding but now I needed to take the nest boxes away after 2–3 clutches. I kept the same Turquoisine and Bourke’s.

The Normal Turquoisine pair double-clutched again and this time the Opaline pair double-clutched as well. However, the female left the nest in the first clutch and it was too late to save them by the time we realised. She left the nest with the second clutch as well, but I was on the ball this time and I ended up handraising them. Unfortunately one didn’t make it. The Bourke’s bred four chicks in their first clutch and left the nest in their second, so I had to handraise more birds, ending up with two handraised Bourke’s.

2012—The Collection Grows and a Slice of History

In the selling season I added to my range of birds with three pairs of Indian Ringnecks—two pairs were a Blue split Yellow male and a Yellow female and the other pair was a Pastel Blue Lacewing male and a Blue Lacewing female.

The Lacewing pair was the only one to breed, producing three Pastel Blue Lacewings and a Blue Lacewing. I also added three pairs of Bourke’s—a Rosa male and a Pink female, a Cream male and a Rosa female and a Rosa male and a Cream female. The Rosa and Pink pair did nothing, the Cream male and Rosa female pair have double-clutched with three chicks and the Rosa male and Cream female have double-clutched producing five chicks.

I also won a pair of Red-rumped Parrots that have double-clutched, producing six chicks.

This year I also helped make an inspirational change to the Shoalhaven Avicultural Society, which allowed Junior Members to join for the first time. It took three months to achieve, but it was worth it.

My favourite addition to my collection is a Yellow-sided Green-cheeked Conure called Char, who spends his time roaming the house.


I have found over the years of breeding that each bird has a favourite food or a favourite perch position. I can track each of my birds back to where I bought them and I keep asking questions.


Sean Young is 13 years old and has been keeping birds since he was three. He is the first Junior Member of the Shoalhaven Bird Society. Sean dreams of owning White-bellied Caiques and Timneh African Greys.

In 2008 Sean’s father built the Budgerigar aviary

The Budgerigars enjoy their new home


Turquoisine Parrots

Red-rumped Parrot

Rosa Bourke’s Parrot