Hybrid Parrots - Wonderful Or Wrong ?

Violet_Diva

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I was on YouTube when a suggested video popped up relating to hybrid parrots.

[ame="https://youtu.be/mQWjWbzhrco"]Hybrid Parrots - YouTube[/ame]

I found the colours of the Camelot Macaw to be sublime and incredibly beautiful. I'm now interested in the controversy surrounding parrot hybrids - So thought I'd ask you fine experienced people! :D

What's your opinion on hybrid parrots?

Do you have a hybrid?

What do you see as the pros and cons?


Im very curious as to what you all think...
 

BirdSquawk

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I'm of two minds in this issue. I think hybrids are really cool just from a hobby perspective, to see what new coloration/patterns can arise, BUT, I think we don't have a large enough population of 'purebred' parrots to start majorly playing around with hybrids. I don't want the gene pools to be contaminated, especially with some of the endangered species of macaws.
Fun to see them crop up every once and a while, but I'd be worried if more people start cross-breeding.
 

plumsmum2005

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I think that as long as they stay captive and there is no health risk to the birds themselves it could be OK. What if a bird escaped and naturalized into the wild population? Would it be received OK? Would there be any long term effects to the flocks breeding line? It certainly can produce some beautiful birds but something nagging keeps asking if it is right?
 

GaleriaGila

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When I was involved in a captive breeding program of finches, aiming for eventual reintroduction into original habitat, genetic diversity AND purity was critical. I know of many conservationists and/or naturalists who rue hybridization, based upon their desire to see species remain species. Then again, parrots who are born into captivity for the purpose of being companions... many see no harm. I would hope records are kept. But of course, DNA could tell us what we might want to know about heritage, I bet.
 

Kiwibird

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Keep in mind, closely related species/subspecies with overlapping ranges occasionally interbreed and create hybrid offspring in nature. It is an important part of evolution and diversification of the species. I don't really know that it is the place of humans to initiate nor capitalize off captive bred hybrids though.
 

Terry57

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This is such an interesting discussion, and at one time would have been considered a Hot topic. It is so wonderful to be able to hear different viewpoints in such a respectful manner:)
 

GaleriaGila

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True, Kiwi, true... I neglected to mention that about genetic 'experimentation' and evolution.

Terry, indeed... I can recall people having some explosive reactions to this topic back in the day. I have mellowed a lot, myself, in fact.
 
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Violet_Diva

Violet_Diva

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Some very thoughtful responses so far. With this being (potentially) a subject of much debate, I had anticipated some people to feel quite passionately about their standpoint - So it's very reassuring to see everyone being both honest and respectful.

To my knowledge, with regards to other animals with dwindling populations, we do see problems from inbreeding where bloodlines of breeds have been kept 'pure' and in turn medical problems do occur.

With wild populations of some parrot species being so small, what are the options for these birds?
 

CDavis

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I have heard that it can cause behavioral problems and I'm not sure I believe that but interestingly enough the only bird at the store that hates everyone is a harlequin macaw. I will be following this thread closely because I am very interested in what people think.
 

chris-md

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Maintaining purebred bloodlines in other domesticated animals such as dogs is intraspecific breeding (same species). Dogs of course being the quintessential example, as every dog breed is still the same species, Canis domesticus.

Parent breeding is different because it is interspecific (two different species). Because there is such success rate with survival and quality of life, and hybrid vigor is in fact a real thing, I tend not to have an issue with it. Matter of fact, I am quite taken with Harleiquin macaws and their orange torso feathering.
 
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Violet_Diva

Violet_Diva

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I didn't realise just how many hybrid parrots there are. I just discovered the Caloshua Macaw! Beautiful - But so weird to see a Hyacinths face with different colouring...
 
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Violet_Diva

Violet_Diva

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There are even conure x macaw hybrids
I always thought that Red Factor Sun Conures looked like little macaws.
I really had no idea just how many parrots are capable of cross-breeding! It is fascinating...
 

chris-md

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The more unusual hybrids like that and the caloshua macaw are cool but you'll never find them. Most are one or two offs and are not actively bred en made

Hybrids amongst the blue and gold/green wing/Scarlett macaws are really where the public money and interest is.
 

SailBoat

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In nearly all cases, the mid to large hook-billed Parrots that are currently found out of their natural habitat represents 'the' available DNA for many. Many of those Parrots are at dangerously low levels and to bring them back in those natural habitat will require that 'our' parrots exist at levels to support healthy DNA. DNA from man created Hybrids cannot be used. But Why:

Although, as stated, cross-breeding can and does occur naturally. The difference is that those Hybrids are tested against the 'Real World.' Weaknesses are quickly eliminate, whereas strengths are built upon. What mankind is creating is untested and therefore we have no way to know whether it strengthen or weakens the species.
 

chris-md

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I'd argue that they are by no means not tested in captivity. They merely face a different set of selective pressures. PROPER hybridization (not saying that is what is currently happens with parrots) aims to increase genetic diversity and decrease the occurrence of deleterious genetic traits. Any individuals that appear to demonstrate negative characteristics are restricted from breeding.

Natural selection and selective breeding Share many characteristics, but take different paths to the same goal: reporoductive fitness through successful desirable traits.

The problem with birds as I perceive it is quite the opposite: those showing very social human behavior - highly desireable trait - are restricted to pet-ship, whereas those who are more aggressive and demonstrate anti human interactions are often thrown on the heap of breederdom.
 
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macawluv

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I think hybrids are wrong to create as the effort had just begun to pump up the wild populations and restore genetic diversity.( think spix, buffon's, scarlet, hyacinth, lears) . HOWEVER they now make SENSE due to the overly restrictive cites rules for macaws. Get a purebred who is classified? Or a hybrid that "doesn't exist" or matter in the CITES restrictions? Sadly, it's becoming a practical to go with a hybrid.
 

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