Geraldton budgie breeder mourning loss of prized birds

Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian
Budgie breeder Wilma Bunter.
Camera IconBudgie breeder Wilma Bunter. Credit: Michael Roberts/Geraldton Guardian

An award-winning budgerigar breeder says she is devastated a group of young birds were able to escape her property and is asking Geraldton residents to be on the lookout for the flock.

Wilma Bunter has been breeding budgies for close to 60 years out of her Wonthella home.

The Geraldton grandmother takes her finest birds down to Perth each year to be judged in competitions, but her hopes of coming away with an award in 2021 have been dashed after a group of prized youngsters flew away.

Only one budgie of about 10 was not brave enough to explore the streets of Geraldton.

The rare breeds include a Danish pied, whitecap and golden face mauve.

The lost budgies will have a purple metal ring around one of their legs.
Camera IconThe lost budgies will have a purple metal ring around one of their legs. Credit: Michael Roberts/Geraldton Guardian

“Young budgies just climb all over the place and find their way out of places,” Ms Bunter said.

“Some of them are quite rare.

“They were the best of the youngsters for the season.”

Ms Bunter feared most would not return, but was hopeful the public might be able to find one or two.

The budgies have a purple metal ring attached to a leg, with the letters “1BW” engraved as part of a breeder’s registration code.

It’s the first time a group of budgies has escaped from her property, but she said she was the victim of a “targeted burglary” in 2002 when someone broke in to the backyard breeding area and stole about 20 birds.

“Someone came in the night and took the file of the stud records,” she said.

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