Calling All Grey Cheek and other Brotogeris Lovers!

I was recently elected Membership Director of the Brotogeris Society International. We are a group of pet owners, breeders, and enthusiasts who love the Brotogeris parrot species. This species includes the Grey Cheek Parakeet, Orange Chinned Parakeet (both of whom you can see in the main mast photo above), the Canary Winged, White Winged, and Golden Winged Parakeets, and the Tui Parakeet. Our goal is to spread knowledge of the species and encourage the conservation of these little gems. We publish a quarterly journal with stories, photos, and articles written by our members.

If you are a Brotogeris enthusiast, please consider joining our club! We are always looking for articles and other content about your Brotos for our journal. You don’t have to be a professional writer; we can help you edit your stories.

Just go to www.brotosociety.org , click on the “application for membership” button and follow the instructions.

If you would like to see a free sample of our journal, leave a comment on this blog and I will email you a .pdf file of our colorful December issue.

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11 Comments

Filed under Birds, Brotogeris Society

11 responses to “Calling All Grey Cheek and other Brotogeris Lovers!

  1. Congratulations on being elected membership director. It sounds like a cool club.

  2. Do you all go to meetings dressed like Brotos???

  3. I used to have a grey-cheek named Bugsy. Best bird I have had. I will be getting one in the future. I had it flight trained, and poop trained (hee-hee). Over the near 10 years of having it she escaped got out 5 times into the real world. Every time I hunted it down and rescued it, a couple of those it flew down to my shoulder when it saw me, but each time I called and she cried for me. I breed birds scientifically and will try to breed this species in the years to come and will contact the society. I’m a big believer in breeding endangered/threatened species that are still on the market to flood the market with home bred to stop or offset the influx of exotic species.

  4. jon

    Hi I have Tui parrot.
    Can you please tell me how can I let them breed.like how big of the nest and birdcage.
    what kind of the environment they like.
    I stay in Taiwan breed some parrots.
    Thank you for your kindness.
    jon

  5. Jon, I am not a Brotogeris breeder. However, there is an excellent free list you can join and there are several breeders there. Go to Yahoo.com, click on Groups, and type in Brotogeris. There are two or three Brotogeris lists, ours is simply called “Brotogeris”. Also you could subscribe to our journal for more interesting Brotogeris info. To subscribe to the journal or get a free sample of the journal, click on the link I mentioned in the post. Tuis are very rare here in the US – a few of our members have them, but I think there are maybe 5 or 6 total that I know about through the Society.

  6. Brian, we need more Brotogeris breeders!!!

  7. Kim Dryden

    Ahhh Sonja… I’m sitting here bawling. All these folks who actually still have these little beauties!

    I bred and raised 5 clutches from two unrelated store bought GC’s while I lived in Seattle between 1987 and 1990. One had been with me forever, a beautiful, sleek, smart, stubborn cuss named BeansBird. I had bought BeansBird for pennies from a pet shop where I worked in Sherman Oaks California because there were going to put him down. He had no feathers from the neck down and the treatment options (quarantine, mite treatments, etc.) were considered too onerous by the owner, so he was sentenced to death. I bought him at the last minute and smuggled him home on the bus under my shirt, happy ensconced in my bra.

    I was a dog person, didn’t really know much about birds, but I learned ASAP. Got Beans’ mite issues all fixed and his feathers started coming in pretty much right away. Despite the vets qualms, he was NOT neurotic, nor was he a fighter/biter. He went everywhere with me. πŸ™‚

    I married in ’86, and we moved to Seattle. At a small pet store there we saw another GC and talked the owner into letting us have him. Beans needed companionship, and I was utterly enthralled with the little things.

    I read Robbie Harris’s book religiously, “feeling up” both birds (the new one now called Porky), and determining in my new found wisdom that Beans was likely actually a girl (based on Harris’ depiction of the female Broto’s pelvis having more “give”) and when Beans, out of the clear blue sky, dropped a clear egg, I felt fiercely proven right. πŸ™‚

    I ran out and got a cockatiel nest, glued (Elmer’s) burnt cork t the inside of the walls and the nest box top, as it seemed the material most like the inner termite nests they so liked in the wild, placed large dried wood flakes in it (this was before they decided pine was bad), and let the two into the new cage. Within three days Pork was pulling selected wood chips out and leaving others, while Beans sat about looking err, contented. πŸ™‚

    A week later, Beans disappeared into the box, while Pork sat outside giving me dirty looks. My little beloved sweethearts have become demons! Despite the threat to life and limb, I peeked into the nest box a couple of days later. Eggs! 4 of them! I tricked Beans out of the box, quickly candled the eggs, placing them back EXACTLY the way I’d found them, same side up, etc. Took the one clear egg away, and removed the barrier to the nest box. Beans dove right back in, squawking death threats the whole time.

    When all was said and done, we had 5 live fledglings. I allowed Beans and Pork (who spent a surprising amount of time sitting eggs and feeding babies) to raise them, as I felt at the time that they were just too smart to take them away from. I came to a reluctant agreement with the two that included bribes and frozen peas, and handled the babies from the time they were born. They tamed without issue. I kept one for future breeding (Molly, for “Molasses” as in “Pork & Beans” lol!), and the rest went to homes of friends and other bird people.

    My Dad and I went to work building a 6′ long x 3′ deep x 3′ high indoor aviary, with a 3′ x 3′ x 2′ attached section for offspring with a divider. We built it with a drawer for cob litter, and zinc free hardware cloth for walls and ceiling that we took and had powder coated. It was a thing of beauty. Beans & Pork took right to it and nearly immediately p[roduced clutch number 2, 4 eggs.

    They settled in, with the offspring I had kept back (Molly), and one more pet store acquisition (Hank), and promptly clutched again. 6 eggs this time. Again, no issues with the raising. I added a second nest box, and the Molly & Hank settled in. Too young to clutch, but they were obviously in love, and again, surprisingly, also assisted in the sitting, feeding, and raising of the second clutch.

    The 3rd (six), 4th (five), and 5th (four) clutch I allowed to be raised by a pair of parakeet (budgies) that I had, who did an exceptional job. They spent all their time having sex and laying eggs anyway, and everyone in Seattle had parakeets from me, and people were starting to run screaming when they saw me, so I figured they’d start earning their living. πŸ™‚ They were exceptional parents, I would steal and dispose of one of their eggs and replace it with a GC egg and they’d go right on like nothing ever happened. πŸ™‚ Except for the babies I kept for future breeding, the rest went to birdy homes, not stores.

    We moved to Phoenix shortly after the last clutch. By them we had 7 bonded pairs and were ready to retire Beans & Pork – I did not know Beans age, but suspected she was much older that we assumed as she was wild caught, unbanded, and sold and resold before ending up in Sherman Oaks.

    2 years after moving to Phoenix, we were hit with an outbreak of psittacosis/ornithosis, likely caused by an inadvertently open window and wild birds coming too near outside (Best guess as we were very careful in the hygiene, and no new birds had come in in over a year).

    Beans died in my hands – A hurt that STILL haunts me, and this was 15 years ago… The first clutch from Molly & Hank had just fledged, all died. Molly lived, Hank passed. Pork lived. In the end we had 7 birds from the original 14… 5 males, 2 females – NO original bonded pairs. Despite every attempt at re-pairing, allowing them to choose their own, changing environments, splitting them up, etc., none ever re-bonded, with each other, nor with two breeder birds we borrowed.

    We were eventually transferred to another state where we could not take our birds – We would be there 18 months. There was a local parrot speciality store, VERY nice, where we had gotten a bird a few years earlier that offered to take them in in exchange for breeding rights if they could get them to bond in a new environment with the GC’s they had. I agreed, and we made arrangements for me to come pick them up within 18 months.

    Last I heard they had not bred or re-bonded. Then I called one day, got a disconnected number. Waited a few days, got the same. Panicked. Called a Phoenix friend, had him go by the store. They had gone bankrupt, no one knew where anyone was, where any of the birds were, etc.

    My heart was forever broken. All of my beloved Beans surviving offspring, gone. To make it even more poignant, due to a divorce, all my pictures are gone as well. I have only my memories.

    Now, I occasionally mournfully crawl the ‘net, gazing at pictures of Grey Cheeks… Wishing and hoping that someone somewhere is making a go at breeding them so that they not be forever lost to us all.

    Those who do breed keep it very hush hush it seems. But there ARE folks with youngish ones it seems, so that speaks to a hope for the future. If I ever do find someone willing to sell/spare/share some, I will breed for the breed and keep it hush hush as well. πŸ™‚

    In any case… Thanks for listening, and for being an advocate for these beautiful birds. My stepmother is from Ecuador/Peru. She says they are somewhat plentiful in Peru, less so in Ecuador, and in fact, finally protected species status there. So some hope survives there as well.

    Thanks again for sharing all your pictures… Tho’ they made me cry, I treasure them. I hope someday that my current husband gets to experience the thing of joy that is Grey Cheek. πŸ™‚

    Kim

    • Sonja

      Kim. could we possibly use your post in our journal for March? If we publish it I will send you a free copy of our Brotogeris Society International journal.
      Please let me know as soon as you can.
      Thanks for telling me your story. I lost a grey cheek several years ago and miss him much. I have an Orange Chin now who is cool, but not like Peeper was!

  8. Carol Nickisher

    Just discovered this website while searching under Brotogeris – for a Greycheek to purchase. I know that they are very difficult – if not impossible to find – but hope springs eternal.

    After reading Kim’s story, I thought I would add my own story of loss – in the hope that it may save a little bird from a senseless death.

    Nine years ago I bought Petey – my Greycheek, at age two, from a man who could not keep him. He was the second Greycheek I had and I adored their personalitites. Even nine years ago, I was very fortunate to find Petey.

    Throughout all those years he gave us so much joy – brightened every day with his chatter. We drove across the country with him from Seattle to New Hampshire – twelve days in total, and he chattered happily in the back of the car – and in the motel rooms. He brought sunshine into the house during the long cold New England winters – and then one day – being a responsible bird owner, I took him to an aviat vet to have his nails clipped. She said that while he did not have mites she would give him a prophylactic. Seven hours later he died in an incubator in an Emergency Clinic. She had given him an overdose of Ivermectin.

    For his weight of 59 gms he had received 0.0121 mg. This was diluted with saline, but the clinic report stated: “it dissolves poorly. Petehy may well have received greater than his calculated dose and his cx signs could be explained by Ivermectin toxicity.” Beware overly-concerned bird vets and what I learned from this is NEVER give your bird a preventative medication for something it does not have. I wish I had shouted “NO, don’t do this.”
    Had I done so, my bright, chatty, beautiful little Petey would still be alive.

    So we all search for the elusive Greycheek …and while I know it is highly unlikely someone will know someone who knows someone else who has one for sale, I’ll keep hoping.

    It is comforting to read these messages and to know I am not alone in my love and appreciation of this remarkable and beautiful little bird.
    Carol Nickisher

  9. Fedde

    I am from the Netherlands and wuold like to see a magazine, I bought 1 pair of plain parakeets and 1 pair of cobalt-winged Brotogeris last month so I can try to breed some of this beautiful birds.
    kind regards, Fedde

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