The Most Noble Hastings William Sackville Russell, 12th Duke of Bedford, Marquess of Tavistock, Earl of Bedford, Baron Russell of Chenies, Baron Russell of Thortonhaugh in the county of Northampton, Baron Howland of Streatham in the county of Surrey, was born in Scotland on 21st December 1888. He had an early interest in aviculture as he was brought up at Woburn Abbey where his father had an extensive collection of birds and animals. While at Oxford University he bought two pairs of Madagascar Lovebirds, which he put at liberty at Woburn. They stayed in the grounds and reared young. Later the Duke decided to specialise in parrots and before World War One he bred at complete liberty the Roseate Cockatoo and a range of parakeets including the Red Rosella, Mealy Rosella, Pennant, Adelaide , Barnard's, Redrump and later the Passerine Parrotlet and Peach-faced Lovebird. Among the finch-like birds the Duke bred at liberty were the Common Waxbill, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Avadavat, Orange-breasted Waxbill, Cordon Bleu, Lavender Finch, Diamond Sparrow, Rufous-tailed Finch, Parson Finch and Long-tailed Grass Finch.
He was a Fellow of the Zoological Society, member of the British Ornithologists' Union and a member of the Avicultural Society. He was also associated with the Avicultural Society of America and a life member of La Societé Nationale d'Acclimation de France.
The Duke died tragically in October 1953 when he went out to hunt a sparrow-hawk that was predating his flock of free-flying budgerigars and when forcing his way through some bushes stumbled and accidentally fired his gun inflicting fatal wounds.
The book was published around 1954 with the American version being published in 1969.
Distribution Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil
Adult Slate blue, brighter on the rump and very dull on the head, neck and upper breast. A patch of naked yellow skin on the cheek. Bill black. Total length twenty-nine inches
A rarely imported bird resembling other large all-blue macaws in disposition and hardiness.
Saturday 13th April 2019
I have been made aware of an organisation - Jardins da Arara de lear - set up in Brazil to solve the problem of the lack of licuri plams, which used to provide much of the natural diet of Lear's Macaws in the wild. As regular visitors to the ... Read More »
" Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret "
( If you drive out nature with a pitchfork, she will soon find a way back)
Horace (65-8 BC)