My bird club, North County Aviculturists, has been around for going on thirty years. Many of the members currently are older, retired, and facing the realization that they need to rehome or find a way to care for their birds in the event of their death. We’re not attracting many young members. The same core of people volunteers and take on all the offices and positions over and over again.
I pushed to have a Facebook page because I hoped to connect there with younger folks who want to learn about caring and loving parrots or canaries or finches. Finding people who might wish to breed birds is another story. I think it just happens when you learn how wonderful a handfed parrot can be to interact with.
Right now I am hand feeding three beautiful American parakeets. There are three more in the nest box that I will pull next week. And three that grew up, were weaned and placed in loving homes. I charge very little for my birds because to me the key to growing the love of aviculture is to make it easy for young families and children to get involved. And budgies are simply easy and fun to feed and wean. They are much easier, to me, than cockatiels and lovebirds.
The three birds that I rehomed, the first wave of chicks from this prolific pair, not only went to uplift the lives of children but also brought me new friends who stay in touch through photos of their children interacting with the newest member of the family.
M’s son wanted the light blue bird, but I apparently didn’t hear clearly and I delivered the white bird. It turned out well because once he saw the chick he was instantly in love. His sister is also now a fan of little birds. Good thing I have more coming along.
J’s son came with a carrier to select one of the two remaining birds and picked the lighter blue. This little champ became an essential costume accessory during dress-up time. I am so treasuring these photos. Some day, that household may include a cockatiel or a conure. It just keeps going from here.
The last blue parakeet went to a home in a nearby city on St. Patrick’s Day. Last year, this family took three lovebird chicks for me and hand raised them when I could not. They send me pictures of the little birds as they grow. While I was there with the parakeet, the children brought out the lovebirds for me to handle. They did an excellent job with those little birds, reinforcing my belief that the next generation of aviculturists are growing up in homes where birds are loved and encouraged as pets.
In the next few months, I will have six more opportunities to give a spark to more youngsters. Will they all become aviculturists? Maybe not but they will all know the joy of having a companion bird. That’s fine by me.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.