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Chester Zoo Timor Sparrows

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by bongorob, 25 Jun 2007.

  1. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Someone wondered where Chester Zoo obtained their Timor Sparrows from, so I did some research and unfortunately came up with nothing.

    There are private breeders in the UK who are breeding this species, the Java Sparrow Society's members hold a total of 59 birds between them, though this population is fast approaching the upper age limit for breeding.

    I have been in touch with the society and it is thought the Timor Sparrows may have come from Belgium, which may be case since Antwerp Zoo sent several birds to Chester last Autumn.

    The Java Sparrow Society were unaware of Chester's birds. If the group at Chester are un-related to the birds kept privately it would make a wonderful opportunity to increase the gene-pool. We can only hope the birds at Chester will soon breed.
     
  2. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, posted in the wrong forum. The administrators have been informed.
     
  3. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    Easy to move - no problem :D
     
  4. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    It was me... I also researched them a bit- it seems they are very closely related to the Java Sparrow, having the same pattern of markings etc but in different colouration, and with a grey/blue(like a manakinn or nun) bill rather than the Java's bright red. The call is like a java Sparrow's too, but 'higher pitched'.

    Interesting the Java Sparrow society are keeping them but find them quite difficult to breed, probably because they are imported birds, especially if kept in small numbers, or in cages or small flights.. Chester's, in a larger space, could well do so in the future.
     
  5. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    The person I contacted was trying to breed them in cages, but now that summer (?) has arrived he has just put them into an outside aviary. I hope they survived the storms. I would think that Chester has some on exhibit and some offshow to maximize the chances of breeding. My only worry is if they will thrive. The Timor Zebra Finches are not doing very well at the moment.

    The person from the Java Sparrow Society is planning a trip to the zoo and he has promised to let me know what he finds out.

    I could of course just ask the zoo directly, but when I have asked for information from Chester I either get a full and useful reply, or nothing at all.
     
  6. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I'm hoping to go in a couple of weeks, now I'm interested in seeing these for myself... My guess is they're like Java Sparrows(and other finches)- the newly imported ones are far more difficult to breed than those which have been here a while, as they need to overcome the shock of acclimatisation first...

    Contacting zoos- I have similar experiences- a full answer or nothing. I've also learnt not to contact a zoo too soon after a first successful response- as often a 2nd reply doesn't result!
     
  7. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    I'll try to ask the bird keepers, if I get on the keeper for a day trip. Or I could just ask Penny!!!
     
  8. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    Timor zebra finches are kept in the tropical realm aren't they. I've seen their exhibit, but I've never actually seen them.......
     
  9. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Timor Zebra Finches are kept in the end aviary on the upper level. I've seen them several times but they are small birds in a large aviary. They are quite difficult to spot. In the past another passerine species shared the aviary but I can't remember what it was. Perhaps white-rumped shamas.
     
  10. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    Chester will not be breeding timor sparrows for a while as there are no nest boxes in the enclosures yet. The scissor billed starlings are now back in with the Timor sparrows, but there is no sign up for them. I have also seen both the male chestnut backed thrush in that exhibit, but I know that they are hard to see, having spent about half an hour looking for them in that aviary.
     
  11. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    The Timor Sparrows came from a private keeper in Mallorca
     
  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    There are nest boxes in the Aviary now. The sparrows tend to stay in one of the bushes in the aviary, but all you need to do to see them is quietly rustle a frond of bamboo through the netting, and they'll fly up out of cover. It wasn't serious harassment, I can promise you....
     
  13. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    I've never had any problem seeing them. I promise not to tell the botanical department you've been vandalising the plants. I hope the zoo can be as successful with these birds as they are with the Java Sparrows, of which there were 166 at the last count.
     
  14. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    All I did was pull on a bamboo leaf to make it rustle so that the sparrows showed themselves... I didn't break it off (honest..;))
     
  15. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I really like seeing a big flock of Java Sparrows too- one lot in the Tropic Realm and another flock in the Komodo Dragon exhibited(probably recently put there?) Javas are among my favourite finches.
     
  16. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    The Javas have been in the Komodo enclosure over 12 months i even saw the male trying to catch them.
     
  17. ZooMania

    ZooMania Well-Known Member

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    really??. At first i was wary of the fact they were putting small birds in here but the idea seems o have worked so far.
     
  18. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I imagine the Komodo tried to catch them when they were first added- probably he's discovered he can't so now it works okay?
     
  19. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Its not the current male Norman from Rotterdam it was the previous one who was a little smaller at least it got him to move about a bit.
     
  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    All I saw was this new male's tail, but the Javas make for something to look at.