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photo by Gail J. Worth
the mid 1980s while working in a quarantine station in Los Angeles,
Ca., I first came upon the Yellow-Sided Conure. I was banding
a group of Green-Cheeked Conures imported from Argentina when
I noticed two brightly colored conures in the group with the others.
After referencing these birds in Parrots Of The World, I learned
that Forshaw questioned if the Yellow-Sided were a separate species
and not just a sub-species of the Green-Cheeked Conure.
The Yellow-Sided Conure, while similar in color to the Green-Cheeked
on the back and tail, differs greatly in the coloration of the
breast feathers, feet and facial feathers. The term "yellow-sided"
is actually in reference to the sides of the breast area. Brightly
colored yellow and green, they differ from the solid green of
the normal colored Green- Cheeked. The center of the breast and
abdomen area is a bright red to yellow variation of color and
the throat and facial feathers are a light, white gray color.
The feet are pink in juveniles, turning gray with age.
I purchased these two birds, which I learned were females. To
prove that they were in fact naturally occuring color mutations
of the Green-Cheeked, I paired one bird with a Green-Cheeked male
and the other with a male Painted Conure. I had previously seen
offspring producd from a Green-Cheeked/Painted Conure cross and
used this as my comparison. The offspring produced by the Yellow-Sided/Painted
Conure cross resembled these exactly. The Green-Cheeked/Yellow-Sided
cross produced visually normal colored Green-Cheeked Conures.
Interestingly enough, all offspring produced by both crosses were
determined to be female. I separated my pairs and put the project
aside until years later when fellow aviculturist Denna Ferris
began her breeding research. She had also purchased two Yellow-Sided
females at the same time as I had with the same results in her
offspring production. Visually normal colored, female Green-Cheeked
Conures. After several generations of line breeding, Denna was
successful in producing visual Yellow-Sided females. But it took
several more generations of line breeding to produce visual Yellow-Sided
males. At this time I purchased from her to visual males and the
rest, they say, is history. In addition to the Yellow-Sided, Fallow
Green Cheeks and European blood lines that are split to blue have
been added to the breeding collection creating an enormous variety
of new and exciting
We eagerly await the feathering of each new baby to see just what
color he or she will be! I must also note that these birds are
some of the most gentle I have worked with. Birds held back for
breeding are still very easy to handle even months after weaning.
Birds kept as companion animals are said to be sweet, social,
intensely animated, and good talkers. Click
here to see our newest mutation colors the American Dilute,
American Dilute/Yellow-Sided, and the Suncheek!
click here for more images!
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