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 Eclectus Parrots: An Experience

 by Graham Taylor

 2003,  222pp,   ISBN: 9780974780603

There is also a Revised Edition (2014) of this excellent book (Digital Only). You can buy it directly from author's website here :


  Read review of Pigeons and Doves in Australia here.

What a sad place this world would be without birds, their charming sounds and melodious songs.

Keeping birds as pets dates back to thousands of years.

   .   Birds were kept by the people in Neolithic Era as far back as 10,000 years ago.                         Domesticated pigeons were first depicted in pictographical writing on clay tablets in                   the Mesopotamian period dating back to 5,000 years ago. 

   .   Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese kept pigeons, parrots and pheasants                             respectively. The first document of parrot as a pet was found in Rig Veda, an ancient                 Indian literature written more than 3000 years ago.

   .   The Egyptians and the Persians first used carrier pigeons some 3,000 years ago.                       Similarly, Romans used pigeon messengers to aid their military over 2000 years ago.                 Romans also used mockingbirds in the entryways of their homes to announce visitors               and Ravens were a prized possession for them for their ability to talk.

   .      In 327 B.C. Alexander the Great first took ring-necked parrots into Mediterranean and               European countries from the Punjab region of Indian Subcontinent. (Alexandrine                       parakeet is named after him).

   .   In medieval Europe, bird keeping was mostly for the wealthy royals. Charles V of                       France had decorative bird cages made out of gold and silver filled with birds of                         enamel and precious metals, set with the finest gems.

   .   Talking parrots were so highly regarded that in 1418, Pope Martin V appointed two                     persons as parrot keepers. In 1493, Christopher Columbus on his return from South                   America brought Queen Isabella I of Spain a pair of Cuban Amazon parrots. King                       Henry VIII (1509 - 1547) of England also kept a talking African grey parrot.

   .   Java Sparrows were very popular as cage birds in Ming Dynasty of China. Likewise,
              Canaries were considered status symbol and luxury pets about 500 years ago.

   .   During the 1800s, budgerigars were introduced to England and middle-class English                 families, being captivated by these friendly colorful new pets started to keep them.                     With the turn of the nineteenth century, more easily affordable birds became available.

In the past couple of decades, Aviculture has changed from just a hobby to a whole new science. Today, there are avicultural societies present throughout the world. These societies are great source for exotic bird keepers, breeders, researchers, vets, enthusiasts, and anyone interested in avian care to exchange knowledge, experience, information and best practices.

Now scientific methods are widely used in breeding, feeding, housing and health of the birds. There are hundreds of color mutations of various species of birds. 

Aviculture literally means "the culture of birds", or the proper care, housing, and feeding of birds. According to American ornithologist Dr. Jean Théodore Delacour:

"Aviculture is a worldwide hobby of keeping and breeding numerous species of wild birds in captivity to maintain their numerical status in nature with a view of forestalling their extinction by supplying aviary raised stock."

Purpose of this website is to show the books and literature on all aspects of aviculture and birds. Avicultural Library displays hundreds of books related to bird keeping, breeding, natural history, research and conservation. Book covers are shown to help you find many unique titles that are available to add to your booklist.

This website also shows the various editions of the same book published over the years. It helps you to identify the same book that is published under different title or author. Some
authors have decades of experience in keeping particular species or family of birds and their knowledge on that particular species is enormous. Foreign language book editions are also shown and many titles are just classic, containing outstanding research and information.

Titles are arranged into different family groups and species of birds. Usually the best book(s) on each family and species of bird is displayed on top of page related to that family or species, but alot of interesting and unique titles are also present way down on each page.

One of the best book i have ever read and also one of my favorites is Kolibris - Fliegende Edelsteine (Hummingbirds - Flying Gemstones) by Walter Scheithauer. It was first published in German language in 1966. English edition was published a year later in 1967.

Mr. Walter, who was from Germany, managed to keep some of the most beautiful species of hummingbirds from South America. Reading about his adventures with these little flying jewels is just fascinating. His pictures of hummingbirds published in this book are also among the finest i have ever seen.

Some of pictures from Mr. Walter's book:


Violet-Bellied Hummingbird                        Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird

                     White-necked Jacobin

Back in 1960s, there were no digital cameras and no wonder it was very expensive for the author to take colorful photos of highest quality of these tiny fast birds who can beat their wings up to 80 times per second !

My favourite bird families are nectar-feeding sunbirds of the Old World and hummingbirds of the New World which both feed on the nectar of flowering plants along with small insects. As compared to parrots or finches, they are not common in aviculture. There are very few people in Europe who are keeping and breeding hummingbirds.

Most notably, Mr. Jacques Ducros from France is breeding many species of hummingbirds. Since 1994, Mr. Jacques has been licensed by the French government to possess and breed hummingbirds. Fascinated by them since childhood, he currently has about 100 hummers of different species in a very large aviary built onto their home in Pont de l'Etoile, near Marseilles in the south of France. 

Sunbirds are also kept by very few people, mostly in Europe and Asia. In Southeast Asian countries, they are quite popular as songbirds. Currently, there is a Special Interest Group in The Avicultural Society (UK) led by Mr. Joe Wood who specializes in keeping sunbirds.

In the future, my goal is to establish research and conservation organization for endangered species of Nectarivores birds that are on brink of extinction due to habitat loss (deforestation, logging), climate change and other factors. It will also include captive breeding projects of the species that are declining rapidly in their native habitats.  


(Note: This site may not display well on mobile devices. Currently Google is developing New Google Sites that will add more features and options and hopefully New Sites will contain migration option from old to new so that i don't have to start existing Avicultural Library from scratch).

                                                                                          Site Last Updated:  November 2018