24 Bird Scene - July & August 2015

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BIRD ISSUE TWENTY FOUR: JULY / AUGUST 2015

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THE MAGAZINE FOR HOBBYIST BREEDERS AND CONSERVATIONISTS

BY DON BURKE

THE NATIONAL EXHIBITION

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UPDAT

7T ISS H UE SE 2 20 PT 5 O 15 EM UT BE R

SICK BUDGIE BREAKTHROUGH NOV, 2008

FR EE

A LITTLE PIECE OF PARADISE IN WELTVOGELPARK WALSRODE


Everyone’s welcome at the

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10 .00 4.3 – am 0p m

Country and Craft Fair

rday, Satu mber e Sept th 5

Bit End Field, Whittington, WS14 9LQ

New this year: Savage Skills Mountain Bike Display Team, Shetland Ponies, Parrots as well as old favourites Reach-Up Tower, Punch and Judy, the Dog and Duck Show, a huge Craft Tent and Local Food Market, vintage cars, tractor rides, dog shows and so much more.

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The 11th Whittington Country and Craft Fair, to be held on Saturday September 5th in the lovely village of Whittington, Lichfield Staffs (WS14 9LQ), will this year feature parrots for the first time. During the Show we will be welcoming a local Parrot Rescue Centre, who are bring around a dozen birds, some for static display and some of which can be handled by children…these birds sometimes meet Special Needs people and the disabled, and are used to being handled. The Show is a great family day-out, with animals from llamas to ferrets, dog shows, many arena events including a Mountain Bike Display Team, a huge Craft Tent and Local Food Market, over 50 vintage and classic vehicles…the list is endless. Tickets are the same price as for the last ten years; £10 for a family of four, £5 for adults, £3 for concessions. Car parking is free, and the fun begins at 10.00am and finishes at 4.00pm. All profits are ploughed back into the community through grants to local charities.

nsor: Te Spo mp

A great Family Day Out: Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) £10, Adults £5, Concessions £3. Free parking.

Further information on 01543 432848, or find us at www.whittingtonandfisherwick .org.uk


CONTENTS

BIRD SCENE: JULY / AUGUST 2015

CONTENTS DONATE TO OUR CONSERVATION FUND… CLICK THE LINK BELOW: www.theparrotsocietyuk.org/donations.php

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BIRD ISSUE TWENTY FOUR: JULY / AUGUST 2015

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THE NATIONAL EXHIBITION Les Rance MINUTES OF MEETING - NATIONAL EXHIBITION Les Rance

THE MAGAZINE FOR HOBBYIST BREEDERS AND CONSERVATIONISTS

A LITTLE PIECE OF PARADISE IN WELTVOGELPARK WALSRODE

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SICK BUDGIE BREAKTHROUGH NOV, 2008 BY DON BURKE

06 THE NATIONAL EXHIBITION

UPDATE

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ON THE COVER

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SICK BUDGIE BREAKTHROUGH NOV, 2008 By Don Burke

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7T ISSU H E SE 25 20 PT O 15 EM UT BER

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A LITTLE PIECE OF PARADISE IN WELTVOGELPARK WALSRODE By Hanne van Bavel, Andreas Frei, Jan Dams, Antje Mewes

BIRD SCENE: Issue Twenty Four: July / August 2015 BIRD SCENE is run by The Parrot Society UK, 92A High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 2BL, England. FOR SALES AND EDITORIAL ENQUIRES Telephone or Fax: 01442 872245 Website: www.theparrotsocietyuk.org E-Mail: les.rance@theparrotsocietyuk.org

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INTRODUCT

Les Rance, Editor, The Parrot Society UK | www.theparrotsocietyuk.org | les.rance@

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t the time of writing this introduction on 1st July it is a particularly hot day I am just pleased that I am in a cool office and suspect that many who have ventured to Wimbledon to view the tennis wish they were with me! Before leaving for the office I took the precautionary move of taking the lids off the nest boxes where there were broods of well feathered youngsters just to make sure they do not suffer from sun stroke as the heat rises in their boxes, the tops will go back on around 8.00 pm this evening. Generally bird keeping is a relaxing past time, however, for hobbyist breeders that keep their birds in aviaries through the breeding season heat weather can also be a worrying time. Those who keep their stock in breeding rooms where they can easily cool the building are in a far more satisfactory position. In this edition of Bird Scene I have both Birds of Paradise and the popular Budgerigar, I hope you enjoy reading both these articles. This is now the twenty forth edition of Bird Scene, how quickly four years can pass when you are working on project – the first FREE on-line bird 4

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magazine produced in the UK. At 48 pages this is quite a big read! Every time we post the Parrot Society magazine I cringe at the cost. Postal costs appear to have increased far faster than inflation and if The Royal Mail are not careful they will find that their income will reduce even further as people and businesses send less and less by conventional means. These costs obviously affect bird clubs when the show schedules have to be posted to potential exhibitors and equally it affects the exhibitors when they return their entries. In addition how much longer will bird clubs be able to afford to post magazines to their members? This must be a great worry to many club officials. Fortunately with an e-magazine we do not have this problem, or for that matter the cost of colour printing. As a result of increases to the costs of both postage and printing I am really pleased that we decided to produce Bird Scene as a FREE e-magazine. We have learnt a great deal over the past four years about this way of communicating with bird enthusiasts and I am sure that this knowledge will become more and more


TION

BY THE EDITOR

LES RANCE

@theparrotsocietyuk.org valuable as we see further increases in costs to paper magazines. We are always happy to receive articles about the species that are being exhibited at The National and are very pleased to give publicity to the club supplying the information. Regular readers will know that Bird Scene as been produced to publicise The National Exhibition held each year at our October Sale Day/ Show which will be held on Sunday 11th October and to promote our Conservation efforts for threatened parrots in the wild. An archive of earlier editions of Bird Scene can be found on the Home Page of our website www.theparrotsocietyuk.org so if you would like to see earlier versions please do log on to our site. In this edition we have two excellent articles one on Birds of Paradise kept in Germany and a very interesting article on keeping Budgerigars in Australia. Unfortunately there seems to be a continued spate of thefts mainly from exhibitors keeping valuable show birds, it

appears that exhibitors are being followed home by the thieves so they then know where the exhibitor resides. Also in this issue are details relating to The National Exhibition especially the minutes of the meeting that was held with the exhibiting clubs which took place at The Quality Hotel, Allesley, Coventry on Sunday 26th April. These annual meetings are so important to ensure the smooth running of the event which started in its present format in 2007 and is going from strength to strength thanks to the support we are receiving from the bird clubs who so vigorously support the Exhibition. It is very pleasing to report that these meetings are still well attended and ensure that we are all ‘up to speed’ on such areas as Show Schedules and Lifting Arrangements that are so important to a successful show.

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Greater bird-of-paradise

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FEATURE

A LITTLE PIECE OF PARADISE IN WELTVOGELPARK WALSRODE AUTHORS: HANNE VAN BAVEL, ANDREAS FREI, JAN DAMS, ANTJE MEWES

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his year, Welvogelpark Walsrode launches a remarkable new attraction, unique in Europe! The park built a brand new facility for the most extraordinary birds on the planet: Birds-of-paradise! Birds-of-paradise are passerines that are related to crows and jays. They are mainly found on New Guinea and its surrounding islands, where they live in dense rainforest habitat. Birds-ofparadise are particularly famous for the peculiar plumage of the males. All 41 species have very colorful, elongated or elaborate feathers on their tails, wings, beaks or heads. These feathers are used in the elaborate mating rituals, which are a well-known birdof-paradise trademark! Females typically have a dull brown color which blends in with their surroundings as a perfect camouflage.

The exceptional plumes of male birds-of-paradise were often used by societies of New Guinea, as decoration for their dresses and rituals. The plumes were also very popular in Europe, as exotic ornaments for ladies’ hats. In the early sixteenth century, specimens of the greater bird-ofparadise (Paradisaea apoda) were brought back to Europe from trading expeditions. The wings and feet on these specimens had been removed by native traders, so they could be used as decorations. This was not known in Europe, and the absence of information gave rise to the many beliefs and myths about birds of paradise. Because the birds had no feet and wings, it was believed that they never landed and were permanently floating through the air, only falling to the ground when deceased. For a brief period, they were

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King bird-of-paradise

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King bird-of-paradise

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1991 in Weltvogelpark Walsrode. This was a single male Magnificent riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), and the only individual of this species that has ever been kept in the park. In 1999, five new bird-of-paradise species arrived from Bali, Indonesia: the King bird-of-paradise (Cicinnurus regius), the Twelve-wired birdof-paradise (Seleucidis melanoleucus), the Red bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rubra), the Red bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rubra) Lesser bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea minor), and the Greater birdof-paradise (Paradisaea apoda). Two even thought to be the mythical years later, the Red birds-of paradise phoenix. Local traders told European and the Greater birds-of paradise explorers that the birds were coming already produced offspring! And from a terrestrial paradise, and called another year the King birds-of-paradise them “birds of god”. This resulted in also reproduced! From that moment the name “bird-of-paradise”. The on, Weltvogelpark Walsrode has been specific name “apoda” from the greater breeding different bird-of-paradise bird-of-paradise means “without feet” species on a regular basis. and is derived from the feetless At the moment four bird-of-paradise condition in which the specimens species are being kept in the park. The arrived in Europe. King bird-of-paradise and the Red The hunting for plumes reduced some bird-of-paradise are still a part of the species to an endangered status. At the collection and they are breeding moment all birds-of-paradise are regularly. The Twelve-wired bird-oflegally protected and hunting is only paradise is also still in the park, and is permitted to fulfill the ceremonial breeding since 2012. A recent addition needs of local tribes. Unfortunately to the collection is the Raggiana birdhabitat loss due to deforestation is still of-paradise (Paradisaea raggiana). a major threat for these beautiful birds. Weltvogelpark Walsrode has lots of The first bird-of-paradise arrived in 08 10

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FEATURE

Statue

experience with birds-of-paradise, and with the new facility, the park wants to show everyone just how extraordinary birds can be! Visitors can enjoy the peculiar plumage of males of different Bird-of-paradise species in five naturally decorated show aviaries. There is an interactive education wall, where visitors can learn more about the birds, their habitat, diet and behavior. The remarkable mating rituals that are so typical for birds-ofparadise are shown on a video screen. To top it all off, there is a giant statue of a bird-of-paradise which creates a nice photo opportunity for all visitors. Behind the scenes, the facility can house no less than 60 birds! Here the birds will be stimulated to mate and produce offspring, in order to secure

the Park’s population. The birds are all housed separately because of their specific needs. This last part is not open to the visitors, but cameras inside the aviaries show how the birds are behaving and add to the bird-ofparadise experience in Weltvogelpark Walsrode. Diet and feeding The diet of the birds-of-paradise is dominated by fruit and arthropods, although small amounts of nectar and small vertebrates may also be taken. The ratio of the two food types varies by species, with fruit predominating in some species, and arthropods dominating the diet in others. The ratio of the two will affect other aspects of the behaviour of the species, BIRD SCENE 11 09 25


Twelve-wired bird-of-paradise just hatched

for example frugivorous species tend to feed in the forest canopy, whereas insectivores may feed lower down in the middle storey. Frugivores are more social than the insectivores, which are

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more solitary and territorial. Even the birds-of-paradise that are primarily insect eaters will still take large amounts of fruit; and the family is overall an important seed disperser


At the moment four bird-ofparadise species are being kept in the park. The King bird-of-paradise and the Red bird-of-paradise are still a part of the collection and they are breeding regularly.

for the forests of New Guinea, as they do not digest the seeds. Species that feed on fruit will range widely searching for fruit, and while they may join other fruit eating species at a

fruiting tree they will not associate with them otherwise and will not stay with other species long. Fruit are eaten while perched and not from the air, and birds-of-paradise are able to use

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Twelve-wired bird-of-paradise 8 days

Twelve-wired bird-of-paradise 5 days

Twelve-wired bird-of-paradise 8 days

their feet at tools to manipulate and hold their food, allowing them to extract certain capsular fruit. There is some niche differention in fruit choice by species and any one species will only consume a limited number of fruit types compared to the large choice available. For example the trumpet manucode and crinkle-collared manucode will eat mostly figs, whereas the Lawes’s parotia focuses mostly on berries and the superb bird-of-paradise and raggiana bird-of-paradise take mostly capsular fruit. 08 14

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King bird-of-paradise 10 days

Breeding Most species have elaborate mating rituals, with the Paradisaea species using a lek-type mating system. Others, such as the Cicinnurus and Parotia species, have highly ritualised mating dances. Males are polygamous in the sexually dimorphic species, but monogamous in at least some of the monomorphic species. Hybridisation is frequent in these birds, suggesting the polygamous species of bird of paradise are very closely related despite being in different genera. Many hybrids have


FEATURE Twelve-wired bird-of-paradise just hatched

Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise 25 days

been described as new species, and doubt remains regarding whether some forms, such asRothschild’s lobe-billed bird of paradise, are valid.Despite the presence of hybrids, some ornithologists hypothesise that at least some putative hybrids are valid species that may be extinct. Birds-of-paradise build their nests from soft materials, such as leaves, ferns, and vine tendrils, typically placed in a tree fork. Clutch size is somewhat uncertain. In the large species, it is almost always just one

Males are polygamous in the sexually dimorphic species, but monogamous in at least some of the monomorphic species. Hybridisation is frequent in these birds, suggesting the polygamous species of bird of paradise are very closely related despite being in different genera. egg. Smaller species may produce clutches of 2–3. Eggs hatch after 16–22 days, and the young leave the nest at between 16 and 30 days of age. BIRD SCENE 15 09 25


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FEATURE

2008

SICK BUDGIE BREAKTHROUGH BY: DON BURKE

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or many years budgie breeders have had awful disease problems. Many breeders have encountered disease outbreaks that almost destroyed their whole flock. Many times, even in ‘Budgerigar World’, you hear of breeders despairing and reluctant to continue breeding our precious little birds. The list of diseases and problems is truly awful: • Viral diseases that cause feather loss in adult birds (flightless and tailless wonders) and French moult. • A debilitating disease first called megabacteria but which now is avian gastric yeast. • Chronic runny noses and sneezing • Constantly infected eyes • Rampant infertility • Coccidiosis On top of that, many birds just never seem well. Many sit on the aviary floor all day. The list goes on and on. You hear from many excellent breeders that antibiotics and general bird medicines are of little help. Many say that taking your birds to the vet is a waste of time and money. I have written previously that auctions, and shows like the Nationals

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in Australia are partly to blame. Intimately mixing birds from many breeders from all over the country (and the world) spreads diseases at an incredibly fast rate. Perhaps too fast for the immune systems of budgies to cope. Nonetheless, the disease rate seems preposterous. When I started breeding

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budgies in the 1950s diseases were never a problem of this scale. Clearly something is seriously wrong – some new thing has happened. Time and time again I looked at my birds as they too declined into a crevasse of morbidity. My average dropped from five chicks per nest to less than one. Yet I had a wonderful set of bird


FEATURE

rooms and aviaries. People call it the Budgie Hilton. The aviaries were super clean (not dirty as they used to be) and very dry to prevent disease spread. The general care was meticulous and the feeding was excellent. Yet still they died or failed to reproduce. What had I done wrong? The diseases also produced eggbinding and I lost quite a few hens. I attributed this to the fact that many of my birds were over-weight. Yet I couldn’t get them to lose weight, even if I fed them on just a basic diet of Hungarian millet and water. By now many of you must be saying, yeah, I’ve got (or have had) that problem. Well, about a year ago I read some extraordinary new research on Vitamin D3. I had always assumed that D3 helped Calcium absorption for bones and eggs, and did little else. The extensive new research done on humans is

breathtaking in its revelations and their possible relevance to budgies. Vitamin D3 does a lot more than build bones, it is a powerful anticancer agent and it regulates the immune system. Low Vitamin D3 levels in humans have been linked to many serious illnesses: various infectious diseases, cancers (such as breast and prostate) and autoimmune conditions. Identical twin studies showed that increased sun exposure as children can reduce the chance of developing Multiple Sclerosis by up to 57%. The same applies to autoimmune diabetes, Crohn’s Disease and tuberculosis. New research has also confirmed that, in humans, vitamin D3 deficiency has been linked to infertility in women and poor quality sperm and lower fertility in men. This is exactly what we have seen in budgies. Vitamin D3 is actually not a vitamin at all since we make it ourselves (as do birds) and it acts more like a


hormone: that is a messenger chemical that controls various functions. It controls well over 1,000 genes in the human body. In humans, ultraviolet B light (which is part of normal sunlight) acts on oil in your skin cells and turns it into Vitamin D3. In budgies oil is taken from the preen gland at the base of the tail during preening and is spread all 08 24

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over the feathers. This is turned into Vitamin D3 by sunlight and the birds consume it later on during further preening. This is essential for the budgies’ health. Here’s the rub though: ultraviolet B light (UVB) does not travel through glass or clear plastic or fibreglass. Sunlight in general goes through, but not UVB light. So today’s modern


FEATURE

aviaries and bird rooms are death traps for birds since little or no UVB light reaches the budgies themselves. It gets worse. Even “full spectrum” fluorescent lights lack UVB light. They produce the wrong sort of UV light, that is UVA. While certain foods contain Vitamin D3 such as cod liver oil, this is a messy and dangerous supplement that does far too little to help. It may assist in safe egg laying and other calcium issues, but not much more. So I decided twelve months ago to try some experiments. My birds had sadly ceased breeding in their fully enclosed aviaries with glass or clear fibreglass roofs and windows.

1 I removed all of my glass windows and doors. I also removed all of the clear fibreglass roofing. 2 I installed reptile versions of full spectrum lights which had a fair amount of UVB emissions (timed to come on when I was absent). 3 I approached a local bird medications company (Vetafarm) in Australia to create a new supplement which was high in Vitamin D3 and which could be added to the birds’ water. In this, I am indebted to avian veterinarian Dr. Tony Gestier of Vetafarm. It’s now a year later. The results are spectacular. Although I have discontinued all the fiddly food

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supplements and all bird medicines, my birds have leapt back to health. Eggbinding is now down to zero. Most pairs have around four chicks per nest. The chicks are huge, often bigger than their parents. Some pairs have seven babies per nest. Some previously infertile birds are now fertile again. Some incapacitated birds are managing to breed five babies in a nest. Many older birds (over 4 years) are healthier but have 08 26

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not hatched babies. But they are at least laying eggs. I have no sick birds and have only had two sick birds (out of 350) in the last six months: both recovered and have babies. Several died of old age (over six years old). The worst part was that, for six months after I started to feed them the supplement, nothing happened. It took around seven months to start to work. Many of my best birds seem


FEATURE

beyond help, but the younger ones are rallying. My aviaries get rain in them now. They smell a bit (like they used to before the clear roofing - but my breeding successes were huge then). The aviaries are windy too and my birds get wet. And I couldn’t care less. I have babies again and no sick birds. I have huge clearwing babies that are as big as normals. My research was done in Sydney,

My research was done in Sydney, Australia. The vitamin supplement is added to the water - it is now released as Vetafarm Soluvite D Breeder. It contains 2,500,000 IU of Vitamin D3 – twice previous levels. Australia. The vitamin supplement is added to the water - it is now released as Vetafarm Soluvite D Breeder. It contains 2,500,000 IU of Vitamin D3 – twice previous levels. I put it in their water all the time. BIRD SCENE 27 09 25


It now seems that the budgerigar diseases that have crippled our breeding for years have been caused by badlydesigned aviaries that exclude UVB light which in turn causes a deficiency in Vitamin D3.

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The lights I use are called Sylvania Reptistar. These need replacing every six months to maintain UVB output. I feed the following: - Seed - 95% Hungarian millet and 5% plain canary - Other – fresh corn on the cob, silverbeet and carrot daily - Shellgrit and cuttlebone - Nothing else. Summary It now seems that the budgerigar diseases that have crippled our breeding for years have been caused by badly-designed aviaries that exclude UVB light which in turn causes a deficiency in Vitamin D3. This compromises the birds’ immune systems which leads to severe and constant disease problems. Viral feather diseases go unchecked, avian gastric yeast (normal in birds’ tummies) goes feral and slowly kills birds and most other common diseases get out of hand. Fertility plummets and general budgerigar vigour collapses. When significant increases in Vitamin D3 are introduced, the problems begin to recede. Improvements are slow, but perhaps in one or two generations the younger generations will be fully healthy again. Even infected eyes have largely cleared up and no babies have this problem like they used to. I have no new cases of feather loss of any sort. A few old flightless birds can fly again (but not many). Obviously budgerigar aviaries or bird rooms which are open to direct

sunlight will produce far healthier birds. It also seems apparent that the older vitamin supplements fed to birds simply don’t contain anywhere near enough Vitamin D3. Hopefully, the new one is far better. For those wishing to read further on Vitamin D3, check out the November, 2007 issue of Scientific American pages 36 – 44. To read the entire article go to www.sciam.com & search for cell defences and the sunshine vitamin.

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Comments on Sick Budgie Breakthrough By Michael Cannon BVSc, MACVSc

I read Don’s article with interest and I agree with much of what he has to say. The Scientific American articles were also fascinating and I recommend reading them to all of you. The problems Don was experiencing were significant and extremely frustrating. I always find it sad when I am dealing with a bird breeder who has a chronic, seemingly untreatable problem and observe the frustration that is causing them to be depressed,

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eventually leading to the loss of their passion for bird breeding. In this case, the story has a happy ending and it is obvious that Don’s passion is revitalized.


FEATURE

The comments on antibiotics are understandable. I have been concerned for some time of the use of antibiotics as a “cure all” when birds are sick.

The comments on antibiotics are understandable. I have been concerned for some time of the use of antibiotics as a “cure all” when birds are sick. It worried me that people will use (or more correctly abuse) antibiotics by using them on a hunch (“my mate’s birds looked the same and they improved on antibiotics”). It is equally

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concerning that some bird breeders use antibiotics for a few days to “clean them out”. In the right situation antibiotics can be life savers, but if used incorrectly are at best a waste of time and at worst can create resistance so in future they do not cure infections. A world where many antibiotics struggle to cure infections is a world that really scares me. Until recently, we all thought that Vitamin D was only involved in controlling levels of calcium for bones and eggs. The new research found in Scientific American and other medical and scientific literature is definitely a breakthrough. The information about Vitamin D’s anticancer role and its effect on the immune system has been a great step forward in our knowledge. 08 32

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The influence on such a large number of genes is also evidence of how powerful this vitamin can be, and how significant its deficiency can affect your birds. We also need to revise our opinion of the levels of Vitamin D that each individual requires. For many years, it has been my observation that any disease is a complex of interactions between the patient, the organisms causing disease and the environment. These new revelations regarding UVB and Vitamin D reinforce how changes to the bird’s environment can impact on the organisms that are continually attacking the bird as well as the impact on the bird’s ability to defend itself from this attack. For me the most fascinating revelation is the role Vitamin D and


FEATURE

The new research found in Scientific American and other medical and scientific literature is definitely a breakthrough.

UVB plays in protecting our birds from chronic, recurring infections. This may help to explain some of the failed responses to antibiotics. The concept to enclose aviaries, to control problems that were prevalent, was not a bad idea, it was its application that led to many of the problems. In every design you need to find a balance. Total enclosure in glass, plastic or fiberglass removed access to direct sunlight and the important UVB rays that were filtered out. Birds, just like people need some access to direct sunlight – if you have insufficient levels of Vitamin D in your diet or insufficient exposure to sunlight, you will develop disease, but on the other hand, if you have excessive Vitamin D in your diet or excessive exposure to sunlight you will

also develop disease. The skill is in finding the balance for your birds. At the same time you do not want to return to the problems of the past where excessive exposure to the elements led to diseases, particularly problems with infections and parasites. The challenge is to find the balance How much exposure to the elements is good for your birds? How do you place appropriate sources of UVB in your aviaries? The answers to these and other questions are a challenge as well as a source of frustration. The answers will vary from site to site as well as person to person! You need to find out what works best with your birds, in your backyard and your aviaries. The only means to find the appropriate balance are trial and error – to make a change and then be patient enough to allow it to develop. In Don’s case this took several months, but it did eventually pay off. He will continue to tweak these changes until he has the success he seeks. This is the fun and unfortunately also the frustration of working with live animals such as birds. I look forward to reading the ongoing research into vitamins and other aspects of diet and environmental changes that can assist us to maintain our birds as healthy as we can. Just when you think you know it all some new research comes along that changes how we need to treat the animals in our care and in this case how we treat ourselves as well. BIRD SCENE 33 09 25


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FEATURE

THE NATIONAL EXHIBITION 11TH OCTOBER 2015

T

he Parrot Society can only thank the bird club officials that have all worked so hard to increase the number of exhibits year on year and made this exhibition the success it has become. We were pleased to announce that The London Fancy Canary Club have joined our ranks and will be exhibiting their member’s birds for the first time in 2015. Eight years ago The Parrot Society started out on a venture of hopefully rebuilding “The National Exhibition” that had been run up until 2003 at the Birmingham NEC. The defining factor was whether it was possible for all branches of our hobby to jointly pull together and ‘make it work’ after recording such a success in the first year the question

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was then whether the enthusiasm would be sustained. It has indeed worked each year since the first Show in 2007 the numbers of exhibits have increased and we are working hard to ensure that even more varieties of exhibition quality canaries are on the show bench for the 2015 event. By combining this exhibition with the already highly successful Parrot Society October Sale Day at the superbly equipped Staffordshire County

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Showground a large proportion of the exhibitors were familiar with both the location and the available facilities. UK bird exhibitors now view this event as the premier ‘all variety show’ on the UK calendar. We are delighted that the exhibition is obtaining increasing support from both continental judges and breeders who travel long distances to attend this


FEATURE

event it is exciting to think that in a very short time this exhibition has been able to attract these dedicated fanciers from all over Europe. The continental influence is not only limited to the fanciers, there is an increasing demand from continental traders to attend this event, further increasing the range of products available to all our enthusiastic visitors. As it is located only a few miles to the east of junction 14 of the

M6 vehicles can quickly arrive at the Showground. Arrangements are well in hand for the next Show on Sunday 11th October 2015. A meeting with representatives of all the supporting clubs was held at The Quality Hotel Coventry on Sunday

They like to be able to see what is going on around them. It’s a precautionary thing so that they can identify any predators including mankind.


26th April. Each time we organise this Show we aim to improve both the exhibitor experience and that of the viewing public and the points discussed at this meeting prove invaluable in ensuring improvements continue to achieve these goals. The minutes of the meeting are printed at the end of this article. Sponsorship of “The National Exhibition” will be in the sole hands of the highly experienced Richard Johnston of Johnston and Jeff Limited. This year his generous sponsorship has also financed additional new judges Stands needed due to the increase in 08 40

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both numbers of exhibits and clubs he has also donated one tonne of seed and bird seed as prizes can only help increase the numbers benched. We are indebted to the management and editorial staff of Cage & Aviary Birds magazine for the production of a very well designed insert, with our contribution being the collation of the information from all the exhibiting clubs. The supplement will appear in their 2nd September 2015 edition and will as previously carry advertisements from all the exhibiting clubs and details as to who to approach to obtain the Show Schedule for your chosen


FEATURE

species. This supplement has now become a feature of “The National Exhibition”. Since the show took on the name “The National Exhibition” in 2010 the demand for trade space has significantly increased, with some new traders making their first appearance this year. So whatever your bird keeping requirements they will be on offer at Stafford on 12th October. The Sandylands Centre and half of the Argyle Centre will again be used to accommodate the exhibits with the ‘booking in’ and club stands filling the remainder of the Argyle Centre. This

facilitates the management of the exhibition during the judging of the birds and allows both exhibitors and general visitor’s access to the exhibition at the earliest possible time on the day. The Parrot Society Council members hope that all the exhibitors and the officials of the specialist exhibiting clubs have a very enjoyable day. The Parrot Society would like to thank the clubs for all the kind words and support that you have given us. It will make the organisation of this year’s “National Exhibition” a pleasure to be involved with. BIRD SCENE 41 09 25


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FEATURE

MINUTES

OF MEETING HELD AT COVENTRY ON 26TH APRIL 2015 FOR THE NATIONAL EXHIBITION 1. Welcome – Les Rance welcomed the 23 club representatives attending. 2. The 2014 National Exhibition was reviewed. It was agreed that the layout of Exhibition halls was acceptable. There was a long discussion on the security issues and the need to provide signage on the outside doors so that exhibitors knew which hall to book their birds into on the Sunday morning. There would need to be strict enforcement of the way birds are accepted on checking in, ALL birds will have to be checked in in front of the crowd barriers so that no exhibitors access the exhibition area, this is to ensure the best possible security of birds. 3. Sponsorship arrangements for 2015 – The Chairman told the meeting that as The Birdcare Company was no longer wishing to be a joint sponsor Johnston & Jeff will in future be the sole sponsor. 4. Checking In facilities for 2015 –

Booking in tables will again be lined up in front of the Show staging and the crowd barriers. Security is paramount at this event and we do not want exhibitors gaining access to the exhibition area when birds are staged. Chris Smith agreed to supervise the barrier in the Sandylands Hall during the checking in process. We do not see any need for anyone other than Club and Show Officials to be in the show area of the halls until after completion of judging and the show is open to the general public at 12.30pm on Sunday. Exhibitors MUST wear wrist bands when they enter Sandylands and Argyle Centres on Sunday morning to book in their birds. Then only security would be needed on the doors into Sandylands and Argyle Centres. No person will be allowed to enter the show halls on Sunday morning without a wristband. All those attending

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agreed with this arrangement. Should any clubs not support the systems developed by the National Organising committee they could jeopardise the Bounty received. 5. Erection of staging from 12.00 on Saturday 11th October. 6. The Canary Council have kindly agreed to award 3 trophies, best U/F Canary, best U/F White Canary and best U/F Junior exhibit. The I.O.A. will also donate rosettes for best in each section. Two additional new Judging stands will be purchased and additional 2”x1” batten to strengthen the show staging. The Parrot Society will again supply free tea, coffee and biscuits in the Argyle Centre both during the erection of the staging on Saturday and when birds are being checked in on the Sunday. Kettles will still be available in the Argyle hall during the period of judging, but Clubs were advised to bring their own cups, tea, coffee etc, to ensure supplies do not run out.

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7. Please do all that you can to encourage people exhibiting with your club to purchase the entry wrist bands at £8.00 each when they send in their entry forms. Please use the same wording as you used on your Show schedules in 2014. 8. Lifting arrangements - After considerable discussion the same system used in 2014 will be in operation. That is, the use of ‘Yellow Notification Forms’ that will be taken to the National Co-ordinator’s desk in the Argyle Centre by each Show secretary when they are satisfied that all their exhibitors have claimed their birds. Once all the ‘Yellow Notification Forms’ have been received by the National Co-ordinator he will give instructions for the doors to be opened. Lifting time will be 3.30 pm. All those attending agreed with this arrangement. Meeting closed at 3.50 pm


FEATURE

PARROT SOCIETY SOCIAL DAY SUNDAY 9TH AUGUST

BEALE PARK LOWER BASILDON, READING, BERKSHIRE RG8 9NH

A

ll our members can enter Beale Park on this Social day FREE OF CHARGE, just bring the envelope that your magazine came in which shows your membership number above your name to show at the entrance, there is ample car parking available at the park. As there is a plaque dedicated to John Mollindinia in the grounds at Beale Park therefore this particular event is an excellent time to remember John who was so generous to the Society and left a substantial legacy to the Society. There are many interesting birds kept at Beale Park and an extensive children’s play area. Please arrive at anytime after 10.00 am and head towards the far end of the lawn close to the education building where there will be tables and chairs on the lawn. It will give us a good opportunity to discuss progress with the 2015 breeding season and catch up on how our pet birds are enjoying the summer. A great day and it is

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