A World-Class Breeding Center

Today in our rapidly changing world the need to protect and preserve our environment is abundantly clear. Numerous species of our earth’s wildlife are dwindling to near extinction, including exotic and increasingly rare birds. Already in the early seventies Antonio de Dios noticed the dramatic decline of tropical forest in the Philippines and the resulting decline in numbers of parrot species. It was at this time that he envisioned a first class breeding and research station for parrots focusing on rare and threatened species. In Quezon City Mr. de Dios acquired 6 ha of land on which he built the world's largest parrot breeding facility. Its location is strategic. The Philippines offers a tropical climate that is conducive to the breeding and propagation of these rare exotic birds.

Birds International, Inc. (BII), dedicated to the preservation of endangered birds, is at the cutting edge of bird conservation. Committed to saving the world’s endangered bird species for over two decades, BII has sought to achieve three objectives:

♦      To contribute to the preservation of rare bird species by breeding them in captivity. The young top quality parrots can help to establish new breeding nuclei in the importing countries and to improve the already existing ones by adding new bloodlines.

♦      To end smuggling and poaching of wild birds by undermining the market for smuggled and illegal birds through the availability of legal progenies.

♦      Captive bred and tame parrots of species in demand should replace the poached wild birds in pet shops. Private breeders should have the opportunity to buy mainly birds bred in captivity.

Since its foundation in 1973 BII has been striving to attain these goals and has achieved remarkable success in the breeding as well as in the keeping of birds. Because of this BII has established itself as an internationally renowned breeding facility.

Today BII houses a total of 8,000 birds, including 1.500 breeding pairs. Average production is about 2,500 birds a year. Initially BII bred parrots only, but now, it also breeds Asian Doves, Hornbills, Gallinaceous birds, Cranes, and Flamingos. From the beginning, the focus was on Philippine parrot species. BII is so far the only breeding station which successfully breeds the Blue-crowned Racket-tailed Parrot (Prioniturus discurus discurus) and the Guaiabero (Bolbopsittacus lunulatus).

Fresh local fruits and vegetables, as well as food gathered from the wild, are prepared daily for each bird. Additional food supplements are imported from abroad to meet the exact nutritional requirements of all species. Operating on the principle of prevention, strict protocols and procedures are faithfully followed, from the daily cleaning of birdcages to regular desinfection of all facilities.

BII is staffed by 100 highly trained experts who care for a vast array of exotic birds from around the world and who are continuously trained in the latest techniques in bird care. About one third of the eggs are artificially incubated and the hatching progenies hand-raised. The remaining two third are parent-raised. The techniques of artificial breeding and hand-rearing are mainly applied for species threatened with extinction and species, which do not breed successfully enough to avoid the risk, involved in parent-rearing and to increase the number of progenies. The technique of hand-rearing is also applied for species destined for private breeders desiring tame progenies.

The hand-reared progenies are kept and fed in groups to get them used to members of the same species and to avoid imprinting on humans. A caretaker of the breeding station looks after about 50 chicks several times a day. This leaves no time for playing and extensive contact with humans. After weaning the hand-reared parrots are placed in large flight aviaries together with their parent-reared conspecific birds to strengthen their species specific behaviour. Once mature, the birds will choose their mate and the resulting pairs are placed in the breeding aviaries.

In addition to thousands of aviaries, BII also has the following facilities:

♦      complete veterinarian clinic and quarantine for sick birds

♦      rooms for food preparation and store rooms

♦      artificial breeding and hand-rearing station

♦      weaning station for progenies

♦      plant for treating drinking water

♦      guest house with conference rooms

♦      department for aviary and cage construction

♦      export department and dispatch rooms

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Breeding aviaries for macaws Breeding aviaries for macaws
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Breeding cages for small parrots BII nursery
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Weaning cages for large parrots Weaned Triton Cockatoo with his caretaker
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Handfed Golden Conures in a group Handfed African Grey Parrots in a group

The quarantine rooms are outside the actual breeding facility. The newly acquired birds are kept here for a minimum of one year and are checked several times by a veterinarian before being placed in the large common aviaries for conditioning and mating.

For safety reasons a 3,5 m high wall surrounds the whole compound. The facility is not open to the public. To limit disturbance of the birds few people are allowed to visit BII. Generally, only representatives of the Philippine and International environmental ministries, Zoological gardens, veterinarians, biologists and experienced breeders are allowed to visit. A 30-minute video about BII may be ordered through our firm at a cost of € 30.00 (to be prepaid).

To keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the science of aviculture, BII conducts intensive research and networks with aviculturists from around the world.

Affiliations - International

Convention and International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Switzerland

Fundacao Biodiversitas, Brazil

Instituto Brasileiro to Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovaveis (IBAMA), Brazil

International Union for the Conservation for Nature (IUCN)

Species Survival Commission (SSC)

TRAFFIC Sudamerica

Affiliations - Local

Manila Zoo

National Museum of the Philippines

Philippine Council for Agricultural Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCCARD)

Philippine Eagle Conservation Program Foundation, Inc.

Philippine Eagle Working Group (PEWG-PAWB)

Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB-DENR)

University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna