Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another Step Forward for the Self Bengalese

A few weeks back at a meeting at the Finch society of Australia, we had a guest speaker named Bob Barnes come through to speak about rare or extinct Finch and Softbill species Bob is well known in "Bird Circles" and equally respected. I was quite inspired by his words about Bird Keepers efforts to preserve Finch species (especially foreign) in Australia,  it resonated with me, and the concept properly hit home that when some birds in Australia are gone.....then they are gone. Aside from the various exotic species of finch Bob discussed birds like the African Silverbill, Rufus Backed Mannikin and The Javan Munia all of which are in decline in Australia.
Bob came across as very well spoken and I realized that we shared a few friends and he had actually seen my Self Bengalese at a friends place previously where I had some being held. After the meeting I bailed him up again because I could tell he was someone to talk sense with and I was learning a great deal from all of our conversation. It came up that I have this Blog and also get involved with the Aussie Finch Forum (which he frequents) and I was surprised and quite honestly very pleased that he was familiar with my effort to promote the Self Bengalese in Australia. What was most pleasing was that Bob continued to sincerely encourage me in my efforts since he personally agreed that the Self Bengalese is a poorly represented Finch in Australia.
Since this conversation we have spoken a few times and it was not long later that Bob was displaying interest in getting hold of some Self Chocolate Bengalese when they might come available. After this was raised a few times with me, one thing led to another and the concept of developing a breeding program together started to take shape. I have collected a few pairs of Selfs in the last 18 months and do not really have the facility to breed them all so Bob agreed to help and currently we have paired up some Selfs and also some of the Pied Dilute Bengos that I have so that we can develop the colours further.

It's a bloody exciting thing because now following a good season of breeding we will hopefully have a few birds to pick from and put on the show bench next year. Being a Canary and Zebra Finch Exhibitor also, I am learning a lot about showing birds through working with Bob on this and at least for now I have found a local Bird Breeder/Exhibitor that is passionate about the Self Bengalese. Regardless, his help is very much appreciated and it can only be good for our Aussie Self Bengo.

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