Film ID:
NEFA 21284



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A compilation of two nature studies filmed in Gosforth, produced by James Cameron in 1931 and 1945, one of the original founders of the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA). This amateur film depicts the progressive stages in the development of budgerigars.

Title: The Budgerigar or Grass Parakeet

Title: A Nature Study by James Cameron

James Cameron enters an outside aviary. Budgerigars sit on perches in the caged aviary.

Title: Keeping budgies is a fascinating hobby.

Budgies sit on a perch and eat seed from a small container attached to a cage wall.

Title: They may be kept in a cage, birdroom or outside aviary.

Budgerigars sit on a perch and the birds interact.

Title: Budgies are quite handy; no artificial heating is required provided they are housed free from damp.

Budgies kiss and preen on a perch.

Title: The staple food is canary seed, white millet and seeding grasses.

Budgies feed from a small trough in the aviary and cling to the aviary cage to eat seeding grass, occasionally passing food from beak to beak.

Titles: Budgies do not build nests but use boxes, logs or coco husks

James Cameron presents an example of one of his homemade boxes. Another box is attached to the caging. He opens the box and picks up budgies from the box to show to camera. Further shots of the birds flitting in and out of a homing box follow. James Cameron then presents to camera examples of a hollow log homing box and another made out of coco husks.

Title: Budgie’s egg contrasted with a hen’s egg.

Still life shot of a small and a large egg placed on a work bench.

The next sequence of shots records the growth of the budgie chicks from one day to eighteen days old. The birds stagger around on a table top next to an egg.

Title: Young budgie a day old

Title: Four days old

Title: Ten days old

Title: Fourteen days old

Title: Eighteen days old

Title: Broods of young vary from 3 to 8 per nest

James Cameron displays some budgie chicks on his hand, then on a table top.

Title: The hen bird does all the men bating [sic], and sits from the time the first egg is laid.

Three budgies interact on the table top.

Title: Period of incubation is 19 days

Shot of the three budgies in a homing box, nesting.

Title: Young birds leave the nest fully feathered one month after hatching.

James Cameron presents a young budgie to camera, first on a table top, then perched on his hand. He extends the bird’s wing span.

Title: The wild species is green in colour

Title: By careful selection and mating blues, yellows, mauves, whites, etc. are obtained.

Brief shot of a row of birds on a perch.

Title: Young budgies are easily tamed and make most attractive pets.

The next sequence shows a succession of portrait shots of James Cameron, and possibly his son and daughter, speaking to budgies perched on their hand or head, intercut with shots of the birds in the aviary. In some shots, James Cameron lights up and smokes a cigarette whilst the bird perches on his hand or head. The montage of shots speeds up towards the end of the sequence. James Cameron walks out of the aviary.

Title: The End

[colour film, faded]

The second film in this compilation is a study in colour of stages in the development of the budgerigar.

Title: The Budgerigar

Title: A Nature Study by James Cameron

This film study opens with a general view of James Cameron’s garden in Gosforth and of the aviary. Closer shots follow of the birds flitting about in the aviary and seated on perches.

Title: Different types of nests

James Cameron displays four different types of homing box to camera, illustrating how each opens. Close-ups of the budgerigars using a homing box, and sitting on a perch.

Title: Egg contrast

Brief shot of a small and large egg.

The next sequence of shots records the growth of the budgie chicks from one day to eighteen days old, the chicks displayed on a table top.

Title: A Day old budgie

Title:10 days old

Title: Nineteen days old

Title: Twenty-eight days old

Title: Stages of growth

Various shots of budgie chicks of different ages filmed individually and in groups on a table top, and in someone’s hand.

Title: Fledglings

Close-ups of the budgies held in someone’s hand, wing span displayed to camera.

Title: They love seedling grasses

Shots of budgies eating grasses in the aviary.

Title: Green is the common colour; but Blues, Whites and Yellows add variety.

Various shots of different varieties of budgerigar perching together.

Title: Cuttle fish bone is appreciated

Birds peck at cuttlefish shell suspended on the aviary cage wall.

The film ends with close-ups of the birds in the aviary.

Title: The End