For most young aviculturists Stars are the first “better” birds, as we used to call them, after keeping Zebs, Mannikins and possibly some wild caught Double Bars or Redheads
most young aviculturists Stars are the first “better” birds, as we used to call them, after keeping Zebs, Mannikins and possibly some wild caught Double Bars or Redheads
The Gulf area is home to numerous and diverse species of birds including migratory species parrots, finches, honeyeater, herons, birds of prey, brolgas and much much more. Karumba being located on the coastline with savannah grassland, meandering wetlands stretching up to 30km inland, savannah scrub and coastal mangrove environments is a virtual birdwatchers paradise.
No doubt we all have kept Star Finches Neochmia ruficauda in our aviaries at one time or another. They are a firm favourite with most aviculturists and why not, they have everything going for them. They are available, affordable, attractive and good breeders. For most young aviculturists Stars are the first “better” birds, as we used to call them, after keeping Zebs, Mannikins and possibly some wild caught Double Bars or Redheads. Of course, nowadays, wild caught birds are a thing of the past.
In the early days, Stars, along with most Northern Territory or Western Australian Finches, were available from the trappers in huge numbers. Thankfully those days are gone for the birds however, so has the availability of those spectacular coloured Kimberly Stars.
Stars are easily sexed when coloured. Cock birds have the extensive red head that extends under the lower mandible; he also carries the more prominent yellow lower chest and belly. The hens have far less head colouring and almost never under the chin. The yellow plumage on the belly is considerably duller.
Stars have and will breed under many different situations and aviaries. They are extremely adaptable, and once settled are not fussy as to the type of aviary they breed in. I’ve seen them breed in small box type aviaries, bare of any shrubbery or teatree lining, with only wicker baskets hung on the wall. At the other extreme, huge heavily planted flight aviaries that resemble a tropical jungle. Once you put them in your aviary they will check out every corner and like nothing better than clambering in and over any plants in the enclosure. Covering new plants until they get established is a good idea as they like to have a good pick at them. The type of aviary you keep them in should have a good shelter, as wet damp conditions are not good for any species including the warm, dry loving Stars.
Stars are not fussy in their food requirements. A good quality Finch mix is the basic requirement. I feed mine Avigrain Finch mix. To this, during the winter months, I add some canary tonic mix.
As with all species, green food is essential for good health and breeding. Milk thistles, dandelions, winter grass, summer grass, green panic, Johnson grass and African Veldt grass are all popular. When green food is hard to come across, green leafy vegetables are the next best step. Silverbeet, Chickory and Endives are all readily taken. Corn on the cob is also another favourite, as is sliced Lebanese cucumber. Recentl,y I have been giving my birds a dish of corn and peas that have been lightly squished. This dish can be readily sprinkled with such goodies as Ornithon, calcium powder or whatever extra things you use.
Insectivore cake mixes, egg and biscuit mixes or your own favourite soft food mixes, of which there are countless home grown recipes. My own soft food mix that I use for my birds is a simple one; however I have had good success with it. Plain sponge cake mixed with “Passwells” Finch soft food mix and Polenta crushed corn. When my birds are breeding and feeding chicks I add Finch Crumbles and a hard boiled egg. Also, twice a week I add “Vetafarms Breeding Aid” and believe my birds have benefited from this.
Sprouted seed is something I have only recently started with my Finches. I have used it in the past when breeding African Lovebirds and Parrots. I have started using sprouted seed out of necessity due to the lack of green food.
My birds are housed in a mixed situation with both native and foreign neighbours. In this situation live food is offered to the whole aviary. My birds are given bush fly maggots and mealworms and have noticed my Stars, although not the first to the live food dish, defiantly will partake in some.
Stars are not a hard species to breed and once they start, quick successive nests can be the norm. They will use a variety of nesting sites, though wicker baskets and wire cylinders are popular, nest boxes and gourds are sometimes used. They do, however, love to build their own nests of dry and green grasses in shrubs or teatree lining. November grass, teased hessian, coconut fibre and plenty of white feathers are all used in nest construction. They colony breed well and large numbers of chicks can be expected but keep up plenty of nesting material when colony breeding or nest robbing will occur.
The average clutch is between four and six, and fertility and mortality is good as Stars are good parents. Nest inspection is a no no as chicks will readily abandon their nests well and truly before they’re ready and you have the headache of placing them back in their nest. In my experience, young Stars are very quiet. Many times you are unaware you have chicks until the bash and crash when you enter the aviary one day.
Stars are reasonably strong and healthy birds. A good dry drought free aviary and clean good quality food is probably the best way of maintaining healthy birds. One of the most important health tips anyone can get is to keep your water dishes clean.
I worm my birds four times a year. I use both “worm out gel” from Vetafarm and Avitrol in the water. Any new birds or birds that have to be caught have a drop of Ivermectin placed on the back of the neck. My Coccidia treatment is done every three months and I use Baycox.
Aviaries are sprayed out twice a year with “Coopex” for mites, spiders, cockroaches and spiders.
Stars have a number of mutations and this is a popular side to the species. The most common is the Yellow Star but there is also the Cinnamon, Fawn and Pied in both normal and yellow forms. A couple of breeders in the Hunter Valley and Mid Coast have been breeding a very diluted form of the Red Star, this colour is mostly referred to as cinnamon fawn, in some individuals they are so light that they are almost white.
Stars are extremely popular; they are hardy, colourful and free breeding. A must have bird that is very hard to go past.
Karumba township consists of a small supermarket, pub, butcher, baker, post office, police station and pharmacy – all within easy walking distance of the caravan park. There is also a mechanical and marine workshop, a fuel outlet, a library, and the bowls and golf club are close by. Karumba Point has a small supermarket, a tavern with Pokies, TAB, cafe, and fish shop and Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park has a takeaway service, Pizzas and a shop with clothing, food, souvenirs and other essentials. We have all you need at the point.
Without a doubt Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park location in one of Australias finest with nearby beach, panoramic ocean views, excellent fishing
Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park is an ideal place to stay and we recommend to all visitors who have intention to stay short or long term stay because one will get following facilities under one roof such as
01. EnSuited Cabins.
02. EnSuited Villas.
03. Unpowered Site.
04. Powered Site.
05. Coined Washing Machine.
06. Fish Cleaning Area.
07. Dump Stations.
09. Office / Shop / Cafe.
10. Clothes Lines.
12. Camp Kitchen.
14. Swimming Pool.
15. Car Wash.
16. Pizza Service.
17. Staff Hospitality.
18. Park Slabs Area.
19. Park Gardens.
20. Park Trees.
A beautiful relaxing atmosphere is created by the abundance of trees and colorful flowers situated through out the park with wildlife frequenting constantly.
BBQ facilities are available at the park and public phone booths are also situated in convenient locations. There are spotless ablution blocks providing excellent shower and laundry facilities.
For those lazy days relaxing you can also treat yourself to a dip in the swimming pool that is provided for all to use.
Internet facilities are provided.
The caravan sites range from cement slabs and outrageous lawns. They are excellent for campers of all types. There is a special area for cleaning fish and if you would like to walk then there is walking track just few steps away from the Park. The layout of the sites is non regimental adding an easy going feel to the park. Well established trees are everywhere with a shady spot being no problem to find.
The swimming pool is there for all to enjoy. A great setting for those lazy days to lay back and relax. The swimming pool is open all year round and is maintained daily.
Children under the age of ten must be accompanied by an adult.
BOOK NOW! for January, February, and March. You may also do advanced booking for April, May, and June.
Postal Address: Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park, PO Box 61 Karumba Queensland 4891
Tel: 07 4745 9277
Fax 07 4745 9480
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