Aviculture is the practice of keeping and breeding birds, especially of wild birds in captivity.[1] Aviculture is generally focused on not only the raising and breeding of birds, but also on preserving avian habitat, and public awareness campaigns.

Budgerigars and Cockatiel
Budgerigars and a cockatiel in captivity

Types of aviculture

There are various reasons that people get involved in aviculture. Some people breed birds to preserve a species. Some people breed parrots as companion birds, and some people breed birds to make a profit.


Aviculture is the practice of keeping birds (class Aves) in captivity using controlled conditions, normally within the confines of an aviary, for hobby, business, research & conservation purposes. Some reasons for aviculture are: breeding birds to preserve the species because many avian species are at risk due to habitat destruction and natural disaster. Aviculture encourages conservation, provides education about avian species, provides companion birds for the public, and includes research on avian behavior.

Publications and avicultural societies

Publications on aviculture include books on species which include pets, books on breeding and introductory books for parrots and softbills. There are also periodicals, both generalized and specific to types of birds, with articles on breeding, care, companionship, choosing a bird, and health effects. Supply companies publish catalogs of products for bird keepers.

There are avicultural societies throughout the world, but generally in Europe, Australia and the United States, where people tend to be more prosperous, having more leisure time to invest. In the UK, the Avicultural Society was formed in 1894[2] and the Foreign Bird League in 1932.[3]

The oldest avicultural society in the United States is the Avicultural Society of America, founded in 1927.[4] The ASA produces a bi-monthly magazine, ASA Avicultural Bulletin. The ASA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses on breeding, conservation, restoration and education.

The first avicultural society in Australia was The Avicultural Society of South Australia, founded in 1928. It is now promoted with the name Bird Keeping in Australia. The two major national avicultural societies in the United States are the American Federation of Aviculture and the Avicultural Society of America, founded in 1927. The Budgerigar Society was formed in 1925.

The Avicultural Society of South Australia (founded in 1928)[5] produces a monthly full-colour magazine, Bird Keeping in Australia.



From the common name canary (associated with the Serinus canaria), a song bird is native to the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores. This bird has been kept as a cagebird in Europe from the 1470s to the present, now enjoying an international following. The terms canariculture and canaricultura have been used in French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian respectively, to describe the keeping and breeding of canaries for some time. English speaking canary breeders are beginning to use the term more commonly.


The word comes from the psittacinae (Latin psittacinus, for parrot, from Greek psittakos).

Psittaculture is a word that has been used in the aviculture community since the early 1970s, to denote people who specialize in keeping, breeding and conserving psittacines species, also on preserving psittacines habitat and public awareness campaigns to save wild parrots. It is one branch of the science of aviculture.

A "psittaculturist" (parrot breeder) is a person who specializes in keeping, breeding and conserving psittacines species, also on preserving psittacines habitat and public awareness campaigns of the threats to the ongoing existence of parrots worldwide.

As with aviculture in the sub-branch of psittaculture, there are four levels of psittaculture:

  1. The specialist pet owner whom keep only parrots as pets, will have dozens of pet parrots.
  2. The specialist backyard hobbyist who keeps a modest collection of only parrots, breeds them on a very small scale.
  3. The specialist hobby farm breeder whose collection has grown so large, needs to shift out to rural farms. The farm breeder is still considered a hobbyist.
  4. The specialist professional parrot farmer derives his/her main income from the breeding, by selling only parrots.

See also


  1. ^ "Definition of AVICULTURE". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  2. ^ "The Avicultural Society". The Avicultural Society. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  3. ^ "The Foreign Bird League (FBL): History of The League". The Foreign Bird League. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Our History - Avicultural Society of America". www.asabirds.org. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Welcome to The Avicultural Society of South Australia". www.birdkeepinginaustralia.com. Retrieved 16 December 2018.

External links


An aviary is a large enclosure for confining birds. Unlike birdcages, aviaries allow birds a larger living space where they can fly; hence, aviaries are also sometimes known as flight cages. Aviaries often contain plants and shrubbery to simulate a natural environment.

Bird egg

Bird eggs are laid by the females and incubated for a time that varies according to the species; a single young hatches from each egg. Average clutch sizes range from one (as in condors) to about seventeen (the grey partridge). Clutch size may vary latitudinally within a species. Some birds lay eggs even when the eggs have not been fertilized; it is not uncommon for pet owners to find their lone bird nesting on a clutch of infertile eggs, which are sometimes called wind-eggs.

Bird eggs are a special kind of dinosaur egg.


A birdcage (or bird cage) is a cage designed to house birds as pets.

Antique (or antique-style) birdcages are often popular as collectors' items or as household decor but most are not suitable for housing live birds, being too small, improper shape, using unsafe materials or construction. Good quality cages designed for pet birds are more suitable.

Blue-and-yellow macaw

The blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), also known as the blue-and-gold macaw, is a large South American parrot with mostly blue top parts and light orange underparts, with gradient hues of green on top of its head. It is a member of the large group of neotropical parrots known as macaws. It inhabits forest (especially varzea, but also in open sections of terra firme or unflooded forest), woodland and savannah of tropical South America. They are popular in aviculture because of their striking color, ability to talk, ready availability in the marketplace, and close bonding to humans.

Blue-crowned parakeet

The blue-crowned parakeet, blue-crowned conure, or sharp-tailed conure (Thectocercus acuticaudatus) is a small green Neotropical parrot with a blue head and pale beak native to large parts of South America, from eastern Colombia in the north to northern Argentina in the south. They inhabit savanna-like habitats, woodland and forest margins, but avoid dense humid forest such as the Amazon.

This species is officially called a parakeet by the AOU and by birders, though usually called conures in aviculture.

Citron-crested cockatoo

The citron-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata) is a medium-sized cockatoo with an orange crest, dark grey beak, pale orange ear patches, and strong feet and claws. The underside of the larger wing and tail feathers have a pale yellow color. The eyelid color is a very light blue. Both sexes are similar. Females have a coppered colored eye where as the male has a very dark black eye.

The smallest of the yellow-crested cockatoo subspecies, it is endemic to Sumba in the Lesser Sumba Islands in Indonesia. The diet consists mainly of seeds, buds, fruits, nuts and herbaceous plants.

Clutch (eggs)

A clutch of eggs is the group of eggs produced by birds, amphibians, or reptiles, often at a single time, particularly those laid in a nest.

In birds, destruction of a clutch by predators (or removal by humans, for example the California condor breeding program) results in double-clutching. The technique is used to double the production of a species' eggs, in the California condor case, specifically to increase population size. The act of putting one's hand in a nest to remove eggs is known as "dipping the clutch".


Conures are a diverse, loosely defined group of small to medium-sized parrots. They belong to several genera within a long-tailed group of the New World parrot subfamily Arinae. The term "conure" is used primarily in bird keeping, though it has appeared in some scientific journals. The American Ornithologists' Union uses the generic term parakeet for all species elsewhere called conure, though Joseph Forshaw, a prominent Australian ornithologist, uses conure.

Entente Européenne d'Aviculture et de Cuniculture

The Entente Européenne d'Aviculture et de Cuniculture, usually known as the Entente Européenne or simply EE, is a European organisation of breeders of poultry, pigeons, rabbits, guinea-pigs and cage-birds. It was founded in Brussels on 18 June 1938 as the Entente des Commissions Internationales; the founding members were from Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. It is now based in Luxembourg. It represents some 2.5 million members from 31 countries. It sometimes uses an alternative name:

French: Association Européenne pour l'Elevage de Volailles, de Pigeons, d'Oiseaux, de Lapins et de Cobayes

German: Europäischer Verband für Geflügel-, Tauben-, Vogel-, Kaninchen- und Caviazucht

European Association of Poultry, Pigeon, Cage Bird, Rabbit and Cavy Breeders.

Fancy pigeon

Fancy pigeon refers to any breed of domestic pigeon, which is a domesticated form of the wild rock dove (Columba livia). They are bred by pigeon fanciers for various traits relating to size, shape, color, and behavior, who often exhibit their birds at pigeon shows, fairs and other livestock exhibits.There are about 800 pigeon breeds; considering all regional varieties all over the world there may be 1100 breeds. The European list of fancy pigeons alone names about 500 breeds. No other domestic animal has branched out into such a variety of forms and colours.Charles Darwin is known to have crossbred fancy pigeons, particularly the Ice Pigeon, to study variation within species, this work coming three years before his groundbreaking publication, On the Origin of Species.

Gouldian finch

The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae), also known as the Lady Gouldian finch, Gould's finch or the rainbow finch, is a colourful passerine bird which is native to Australia.

Green-cheeked parakeet

The green-cheeked parakeet or green-cheeked conure (Pyrrhura molinae) is a small parrot of the genus Pyrrhura, which is part of a long-tailed group of the New World parrot subfamily Arinae. This type of parrot is generally called a conure in aviculture. It is native to the forests of South America.

Indian vulture

The Indian vulture (Gyps indicus) is an Old World vulture native to India, Pakistan and Nepal. It has been listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2002, as the population severely declined. Indian vultures died of renal failure caused by diclofenac poisoning. It breeds mainly on hilly crags in central and peninsular India.

The slender-billed vulture Gyps tenuirostris in the northern part of its range is considered a separate species.

Nene (bird)

The nene (Branta sandvicensis), also known as nēnē and Hawaiian goose, is a species of bird endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The official bird of the state of Hawaiʻi, the nene is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, Molokai, and Hawaiʻi.

The Hawaiian name nēnē comes from its soft call. The specific name sandvicensis refers to the Sandwich Islands, a former name for the Hawaiian Islands.It is thought that the nene evolved from the Canada goose (Branta canadensis), which most likely arrived on the Hawaiian islands about 500,000 years ago, shortly after the island of Hawaiʻi was formed. This ancestor is the progenitor of the nene as well as the prehistoric Giant Hawaiʻi goose and nēnē-nui (Branta hylobadistes). The nēnē-nui was larger than the nene, varied from flightless to flighted depending on the individual, and inhabited the island of Maui. Similar fossil geese found on Oʻahu and Kauaʻi may be of the same species. The Giant Hawaiʻi goose was restricted to the island of Hawaiʻi and measured 1.2 m (3.9 ft) in length with a mass of 8.6 kg (19 lb), making it more than four times larger than the nene. It is believed that the herbivorous Giant Hawaiʻi goose occupied the same ecological niche as the goose-like ducks known as moa-nalo, which were not present on the Big Island. Based on mitochondrial DNA found in fossils, all Hawaiian geese, living and dead, are closely related to the giant Canada goose (B. c. maxima) and dusky Canada goose (B. c. occidentalis).

Olive-headed lorikeet

The olive-headed lorikeet (Trichoglossus euteles), also called the perfect lorikeet, is a species of parrot in the family Psittaculidae.

It is found in forest, woodland and cultivated areas on Timor and smaller nearby islands.

Panama amazon

The Panama amazon, also known as the Panama yellow-headed amazon, (Amazona ochrocephala panamensis) is a subspecies of the yellow-crowned amazon, and is endemic to Panama (including the Pearl Islands and Coiba) and northwest Colombia. In aviculture, it is sometimes listed as a separate species (Amazona panamensis), and this is potentially correct; at least as a phylogenetic species.


A pheasantry is a place or facility used for captive breeding and rearing pheasants, peafowls and other related birds, which may or may not be confined with enclosures such as aviaries. The pheasants may be sold or displayed to public or used as game birds. Pheasantry may also be used for conservation and research purposes.

Scarlet macaw

The scarlet macaw (Ara macao) is a large red, yellow, and blue Central and South American parrot, a member of a large group of Neotropical parrots called macaws. It is native to humid evergreen forests of tropical Central and South America. Range extends from south-eastern Mexico to the Peruvian Amazon, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil in lowlands of 500 m (1,640 ft) (at least formerly) up to 1,000 m (3,281 ft). It has suffered from local extinction through habitat destruction and capture for the parrot trade, but in other areas it remains fairly common. Formerly it ranged north to southern Tamaulipas. It can still be found on the island of Coiba. It is the national bird of Honduras. Like its relative the blue and gold macaw, scarlet macaws are popular birds in aviculture as a result of their striking plumage.

Sun parakeet

The sun parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis), also known in aviculture as the sun conure, is a medium-sized, vibrantly colored parrot native to northeastern South America. The adult male and female are similar in appearance, with predominantly golden-yellow plumage and orange-flushed underparts and face. Sun parakeets are very social birds, typically living in flocks. They form monogamous pairs for reproduction, and nest in palm cavities in the tropics. Sun parakeets mainly feed on fruits, flowers, berries, blossoms, seeds, nuts, and insects. Conures are commonly bred and kept in aviculture and may live up to 30 years. This species is currently threatened by loss of habitat and trapping for plumage or the pet trade. Sun parakeets are now listed as endangered by the IUCN.

Birds (class: Aves)
Fossil birds
Human interaction
In the arts

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.