Friday, September 24, 2010

Pacific Parrotlet/Yellow Face Hybrids

Hi Sandee,

What a pleasure to "meet" you today! I am forwarding the pictures of my two hens, Lauper and Abby, Abby being the one I believe to be hybrid. I hope these are good enough but I can take new ones if need better pics.

I await your feedback and guidance. Again, many thanks for taking the time to help, it is greatly appreciated!

Kind Regards,


Thank you for the pictures. In my opinion, they are both hybrids between Pacifics and Yellow Face. Abby is probably about 90% Pacific; I’d say that Lauper has more YF – but is also a hybrid. I’d say probably 50%-60% Pacific. Hope this helps!

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner,


Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I am disappointed but grateful for the information. I guess I should stop thinking about breeding them, even Lauper, if she's not yellow faced, the whole point of me breeding them was to try to help the conservation efforts of these little guys!

May I pick your brain as to what made you see the pacific in her? I know I am but a novice, and to my untrained eye, she looked like a full yellow faced, but haha, I've only ever seen them in pictures in your book and on the web! If you could guide me in what you saw that led you to conclude she was hybrid, I can be more discriminating if I try again.

Since you mentioned the virtual impossibility of getting full 100% yellow faced here in the US, would you suggest I try to get them from Peru or Europe instead? How hard would it be to do this? I read the plight of Henry (how saaad!!!) but I am wondering if there have bee nany changes since you wrote it in 2006... any laws changed yet or who do I have to harass?? (haha!)

On another note, I am also very interested in the Lucida Pacific, but seem to have a hard time finding 100% full that have not been crossed. In your article you mentioned that you had started the Lucida breeding with birds caught in the wild, I was wondering if you still had availability of these? I would love to be able to conserve these.

Thanks for taking me under your wing, so to speak!! : )

Kind regards,


Dear Didi:

Unfortunately, there are many species of parrotlets in the US which are pretty much genetically dead – Yellow Face are certainly one since they were never imported in large numbers. Mexicans are almost gone since they were difficult to breed in the first place. Blue Wings are also on that list – most people finding them difficult to breed and they were considered too nervous and flighty to be good pets so after almost 20 years of non-importation, these species are pretty much gone from US aviculture. Fortunately, there are tons of them in Europe and Asia so even if Americans can’t breed them, the species’ will survive. Also none of these parrotlets are highly endangered in the wild.

I don’t know how I can explain to you the differences in a YF/Pacific hybrid since you have never seen a pure YF. Its kind of like describing a Catalina macaw (blue & gold hybridized with a scarlet) if you have never seen a blue and gold macaw. Mainly its size – YF are much larger than Pacifics about the size of a PF lovebird, the structure – YF weigh about 30 grams or more than Pacifics, placement of color – the yellow is supposed to go from the crown of the forehead around the entire face including cheeks and chin, down the throat, the entire chest, belly and all the way to the tail and it is a pure deep yellow and not that washed out greenish yellow. It is a deep, deep bright yellow. Finally, the beak doesn’t have enough black on the upper mandible nor is it dark enough. The entire upper mandible should be dark black. So while there is YF in both birds, one is at least 3 generations of hybridizing with Pacifics, the other could have had one Pacific and one YF parent although I doubt it. It probably is 2 generations of hybridizing with Pacifics.

As for the lucida subspecies of the Pacific, these birds have been bred interchangeably since people first started breeding Pacifics and certainly since the WBCA ban in 1992. With the introduction of color mutations, they are all but gone although unlike the YF, they are not hybrids. They are called ‘generics’ because they are still Pacifics but have a commingled subspecies.

Sorry. I appreciate your offer but you cannot change the law. There are exceptions to it if you are a zoo, a US&FW approved foreign breeding facility or a breeding cooperative sponsored by a non-profit (which is what IPS tried to do but was unable due to people refusing to cooperate and the fact that the most of the birds were either hybrids or had TB or both). But the WBCA was written in accordance with the parameters set up by CITES (Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species) which the US is a signatory. They were written to protect species from becoming extinct in the wild. More and more countries are passing laws to prevent the sale of wild caught birds – the EU passed their own version several years ago. The only species of parrotlets that can be legally imported are visual color mutations of the Pacific parrotlet. Ironically, it is because of this exception that we have lost most of the other species from American aviculture as people dumped the rarer species in order to make more money when the new colors were imported.

Hope this helps.

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.