Chairmans Messages 2010

Chairman’s Report to 2010

I am delighted to report that in these very difficult times the Parrot Society has managed to hold its own financially, also in the last year we have supported more conservation projects than for some time, you will have read the reports of these throughout the year in our magazine, Our shows now; three a year, are proving to be more popular then ever. The summer show gives a welcome event for members to meet and to stock up on their needs for bird keeping until our main event in October. Since we have invited specialist societies to take part the October show, now know as ‘The National’, it has just grown and grown. It is just four years since we started inviting exhibiting clubs to take part and our show is now ‘a must’ for all bird keepers. We started our ‘Help Bird Keepers Show’ last December without knowing what to expect, solely with the idea that as no national carriers will handle and deliver our birds, we thought Stafford would make a central point where breeders could meet and exchange their birds. But as soon as we announced our intention many of our Trader friends said that they would come along to support our efforts and as we had only hired one Hall, the room available for trade and Sale Tables was quickly taken; so this year our ‘Help Bird Keepers Show’ which is now only a couple of weeks away on Sunday 5th December, we have taken two Halls. I started my report saying how well we were holding in these difficult times, without doubt it is due to the support and enthusiasm of my fellow Trustees, without a united council it would be difficult to move forward. Over the next few years it will be imperative for us as a Bird Society and Charity to broaden our outlook and to take every opportunity available. Garry Steptowe has once again worked tirelessly to claim back gift add from the government, a much appreciated boost to our funds. I do wonder just how long this gift aid will continue. We are very privileged to have such an efficient office staff to run the day to day affairs of our Society, and I thank Les, Lynda and Louise for their hard work. Now that we hold three shows annually, produce the monthly magazine and only a few months ago we added an On-line advertising facility to our website you will understand the volume of work that passes through the office. Our Areas continue due to the hard work put in by their organisers, as I have so often said ‘probably the loneliest job in the Parrot Society’ and these efforts are much appreciated by all the PS Council. It would be good if we could find some way of increasing attendance at these gatherings. Our tasks for the next year are to find some way of increasing our conservation funds as it looks very likely that interest rates will remain at an all time low for some time and continue to expand our website to keep pace with the world of technological advancement. It has been said that hard times give ways to creative thinking, opening up new opportunities Thank you to all our members for supporting our society and you can be assured that I and my fellow Trustees will work hard to ensure that our society continues to prosper.

Chairman’s November Message

I start this months Chairman’s page with a ‘Thank You’ to all members who displayed their birds so well at Stafford; the standard in the main has improved greatly and gives the whole event a much nicer feel. As those of you that attended will know I think we had the most successful show ever. The trade were well supported by the visitors and looking at the sale tables many birds went to new homes. The extra lighting under the balcony was certainly a great improvement, so now that we know this, we will be able to use it to its full potential at next years Show.

At Stafford County Showground we now have our own storage area it is a loft floor space in the barn where our trestle tables are stored. As most of you will remember these tables are hired out by the Stafford Showground and the PS and the Showground benefit from the revenue generated. This new storage area is to store our transfer aviaries and our display aviary.

A very important announcement for the 5th December ‘Help the Bird Keepers’ Show is that NO HAND REARED BIRDS ALLOWED at the Show. My fellow trustees along with myself carefully looked at the hand reared birds that were offered for sale at the last show and we feel that many were really pet birds. As you all know it is strictly against British law to sell a pet at a market. All events such as Stafford or Newark no matter who organises them, was certified by the Judge in the High Court ruling ‘A Market’.

At the open meeting before the AGM being held on November 21st this subject will be discussed, anyone that has an interest in this area is advised to attend so that you are able to hear what is said and help reach a conclusion to the best way forward. My suggestion is to have all members wishing to display hand reared birds in the middle of the hall all together close to the large display aviary, Visitors in this area would know that these birds were not for sale but purely on display of course this is only my idea. My fellow trustees will also have views on the way forward. We have 6 months in which to make a decision before we hold our Summer Show.

Chairman’s September Message

Our main event of the year, The National Exhibition at Staffordshire County Showground on 10th October is the main focus of activity being undertaken at this time. I understand that the main entrance to Bingley Hall has been totally updated and is a great improvement to the previous facility. The Show is shaping up to be the biggest event we have staged. An insert that advertises the Show/ Exhibition side of the event will be included in Cage and Aviary Birds magazine in the second week of September. Trade and breeder table bookings are going very well as are the advanced ticket sales. If any member is able to help on the day just for a few hours, your input would be greatly appreciated by Council, please get in touch with either the office on 01442 872245 or myself.

Our on line advertising ‘Parrot Advertiser’ is working well so if you have birds that you hope to sell at Stafford why not advertise them prior to the Show on our site. The advantage of the online advertisements is that you do not have to work to our magazine deadline you can place them at any time. The big advantage that we have with our sales site is that members of the public can buy with confidence as they know that only Parrot Society members are able to place advertisements. More details of the facility appear in the advertisement for ‘Parrot Advertiser’ on page ----- of this magazine.

In the Free advertisement section of the magazine the price limit of birds has been suspended. The Council felt after requests from members that the price restriction was stopping members using this service. It has always been the policy of the Parrot Society to give the facility of Free advertisements. If, however, you wish to expand the virtues of your birds that are for sale, the donated section will continue.

Generally this year has not been a good year for breeding, members are telling us of less young then normal, this coupled with the ban on imports will increase the demand for young stock. So I feel that the sales and exchanges will be brisk at Stafford this year.

One final request if you are having a Sales Table at Stafford. Now is the time to look at the display cages that you will be using, renovate and paint as necessary, help us to maintain the high standards we look for. Please ensure that you use the correct size cage and that you place only two birds in each cage. Without doubt a well displayed bird in a clean cage sells. All the tables will again be covered with white paper this has a number of advantages, increased bio-security, improved light in the hall and better visual appearance. If you buy birds at the Show please make a note of the table number and the name of the seller, labels with this information are attached to each table, it makes it almost impossible for our office to answer queries after the show if you do not have these details. To help speed things up when bringing in your sale birds please have your wristbands fitted before you reach the entrance, small details such as this speed up admittance enormously.

Chairman’s August Message

My fellow Trustees have invited Keith Jones to fill the vacant trustee position until the elections at the AGM. I welcome him to Council. Keith has been known personally by me for many years and he has run the Parrot Society exhibiting section at our Show in October since it was started three years ago. I am sure the Society will benefit from his many years of birdkeeping experience.

Thank you to our members who helped to make our Summer Show a resounding success again. We were fortunate that the day was not too hot making it better for the birds to travel. Our walk in aviary has become a major feature of the show for families the children do love to be able to see and touch the birds without wire between them.

Last month I mentioned on this page that the Animal Welfare Act and the Bird Strategy Document was as far as needed at this time, but before I had time to read our magazine things had changed. I have been informed that work will restart and the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is to be reviewed.

This year we have supported in our conservation efforts five worthwhile projects. Some of these projects you have seen reported and the others will be reported in our magazine as the information becomes available. The projects are as follows. 16th June 2010 £1,600 to Fundacion Proaves in . 15th June 2010 £2,870, to the Sam Williams Bonaire Parrot Project. 14th May 2010 £2,100 to Asociacion Civil Armonia Bolivia. 12th May 2010 £3,446 to Chris Vaughan in Costa Rica. 17th February 2010 £1,334 Kakapo Project Incubator. We have currently agreed to fund at a cost of £700 an investigation intoPBFD in wild parrots in New Zealand. This money has not yet been paid as the project has not yet re-started.

In order to maintain this level of conservation work we have to find other ways of raising cash for these projects. I have reported previously on the Chairman’s page that our funds have been placed on deposit for safety in these volatile money market days, but the down side of this is that the interest is very low. Charities are classed as a business by the banks, and only offer commercial interest rates unlike domestic accounts where interest is about 2% higher. In the past we have spent this interest on conservation. This means that for our Society to fund conservation projects at this level, new ways of raising money must be found. If any member would like to become involved with raising money for conservation or has any constructive ideas that we could implement I would be very pleased to hear from you?

CHAIRMAN’S JULY MESSAGE

Politically things are now very quiet in the bird world and with the amount of cuts that government is making it seems very unlikely that the Animal Welfare Act will have any secondary legislation in the near future. With an enormous amount of work and many hours of dedication from the committee that drove forward the ‘Bird Strategy Document’ is now about as far as we need to take it at this time. When necessary it will be very easy to pick up and move forward as required.

In the last month, The Parrot Society has supported two major conservation programs in South America. The first project is Pro Aves; they submitted a proposal for a grant of 2,277 US dollars to fund during 2010 the school bus project in Colombia. This is an educational program and its progress will be reported in our magazine. The second program we have supported was outlined in last month’s magazine. The request was to fund for two years at a total cost of £2,870 the purchase of a motorised scooter along with the fuel, tax and maintenance for this vehicle.

Although our October show seems a long way in the future, we have started work on the catalogue that is distributed as an insert in Cage and Aviary Birds magazine, due to the change of format of Cage Birds now it is not possible to produce it as a loose insert as in previous years. This year’s catalogue will be in the form of extra pages in Cage and Aviary Birds. The content will be the same giving all relevant information. Details relating to the booking of sales tables are on pages 326 to 328 of this magazine

Sky television have been working on a program called ‘My Pet Shame’ Alan Jones and myself have been answering some questions posed by the owners of problem Parrots and the series is to be screened on Wednesday 14th July at 8pm on Sky One and will continue for 6 weeks. I am sure it will make interesting viewing.

A few months ago I mentioned on this page the research that was being done on the population of wild Ringnecks that have established themselves in the southern part of England. This will be no doubt a long ongoing debate with some wishing to cull and others wishing to see them become established as a British bird.

It is amazing just how quickly a year passes and we are only 8 weeks away from the end of the financial year of the Parrot Society. So please if anyone has any proposals for the AGM which will be held in Coventry on 21st November, this is a reminder that they must reach the office by August 31st. Also if anyone would like to be nominated to become a Council Member; August 31st is also the cut off date.

Chairman’s June Message

I must start this months Chairman’s page with an apology. Last month I wrote about our conservation activities and mentioned the tree tinning in Australia to stop the Iguanas from climbing the trees to destroy the nest of breeding cockatoos. David Coombes our sharp eyed retired editor with a smile pointed out that Iguanas live eight thousand miles from Australia and it is the Goanna that is resident in Australia, the monitor lizard that does the nest damage. Sorry for the not a deliberate mistake.

Our Conference at Twycross was a total success as you can read on page 245 of the magazine, I would like to thank Tony Pitman and Alan Jones for organising such a good program covering so many topics and to all the speakers for making such an interesting and informative days entertainment, also I would like to thank John Catchpole of Parrots Magazine for his kind sponsorship to the event.

Bookings for our Summer Show being held on Sunday July 4th are going very well, with good interest being shown from the trade who are taking up space fast and we have a large number of member tables already booked. Non member tables also; these tables are now a permanent feature at our events selling birds not of the parrot family so this has given our shows a much wider appeal. With all this interest our Summer Show is all set to be a good day out, a chance to stock up on all those necessary seeds and foods that are required to see you though the rest of the breeding season.

I have reported through our magazine the difficulties that we are having finding a safe place to reinvest our capital funds. The Council have taken the view that in these uncertain times in the Stock Markets around the world to place our funds in a safe haven. We have split up our funds into small amounts and placed into Institutions that are covered by the government compensation guarantees. Although the interest returns are low our capital is safe and we will closely watch the money markets to see when the situation changes.

On 17th May we started our website advertising ‘Parrot Advertiser’, to keep up with the modern way of doing things. We have set up online advertising within our existing website. To use this facility just go to our website www.theparrotsociety.org and follow the links and read the FAQ (frequently asked questions) to learn more. Only members are able to place advertisements on the site, so this will give buyers confidence to know that all the birds advertised on our site are being offered by Parrot Society members. All advertisements will be monitored by our office, so this, the Council feels will be an excellent outlet for members to sell their birds, second hand equipment and place wanted advertisements.

Chairman’s May Message

May is all set for a busy month in the life of the Parrot Society. The arrangements for the conference at Twycross are going very well and with such a list of outstanding speakers, including speakers from Holland and Germany, will without doubt be a great Saturdays entertainment and on the Sunday as you will have read in last months magazine an open day at Twycross Zoo for all our members, details have been reprinted on the opposite page. We are indebted to the management of Twycross Zoo for giving generously free entry to their park on Sunday 16th May to our members.

Even in these very difficult financial times we have again been able to give generous support to conservation projects around the world, some are ongoing like the Scarlet Macaw project in Costa Rica, incidentally Fiona Deer, one of the Macaw project workers, will be speaking at our conference giving us an update on the work with this program. We have supported the research into PBFD in the highly endangered population of the Orange-fronted Kakariki (c.malherbi) on Little Barrier Island, New Zealand, this program is linked to the Kakapo project hoping to find a way to stop the spread of this virus into the Kakapos.

We have also continued to support Armonia, In 2008/9 we supported a photographic road show promoting action against the illegal trade in parrots, which visited major cities in. An article appeared in the PS magazine after we received a progress report from . The team there are to follow-up on this initial success and extend the scope of the campaign.

To conclude news on our conservation projects we have had notification from Ray Ackroyd in Australia that our tinning project is looking good and with the rains that have fallen in the area of Tandu, our tree with the John Mollindinia memorial plaque is at the moment amid a sea of green. I have visited this tree twice and both times there was nothing but pure yellow sand, it is amazing what a little rain fall can do. Ray also told us the neighbouring farmers are now tinning the trees on their land to preserve the nests from the iguanas, it is great news that John’s foresight on such a simple operation can bring such positive results.

I finish on a sad note that Peter Newlands has left Council, I and fellow trustees have benefited greatly from his input on the finances of the Parrot Society, in these times of very low interest rates Peter had worked hard looking at the various ways that our money could be best and safely placed, I personally thank Peter and look forward to him returning to Council at a later date.

Chairman’s April Message

You will remember in last months Chairman’s message I mentioned that the Council would be looking at the Free advertisement facility for members at the next Council Meeting. This was discussed on May 21st and Council felt that we should completely remove the price barrier, therefore making Free adverts just that. But it was considered that birds in this section should still be advertised with the asking price. We will continue with the Donated advertisement section for those that wish to give more details of the birds they are offering. Life membership is something that has been discussed now for some time and the Council have agreed to grant all Life Members free admission to all Parrot Society Events. A new Life Membership Badge has been designed; this badge will allow entry into all our shows at any time, a real bonus for those that do not like queuing and waiting for opening time and now there are three shows a year it gives a considerable saving as a bonus.

The conference at Twycross Zoo on 15th May has now been fully arranged by Tony Pittman and Alan Jones. The program on the Saturday has been designed to be of interest to all branches of Parrot Keeping whether your interest lies with Pet Birds or as a Breeder and on the Sunday free admission to Twycross Zoo. Full details of this conference can be found on pages 149 & 150 in this magazine. Arrangements for our Stafford show to be held on October 10th the main event of our year are going very well. We have an increase of Bird Clubs taking part in the Exhibition section and it looks like we could stage over three thousand birds this year. Speaking with many of our members they feel that this extra section has benefited our show enormously, again we will be including classes for Parrots and Parakeets and it would be really good to see a large display from our members in these classes. Placement of the Society funds is something that has given me and fellow trustees a considerable task.

Since the return of our funds for the Icelandic bank, we have looked at many ways that we could manage our funds without putting them at risk. To date we have placed the Conservation fund into bank investments that will give sufficient interest to fund our ongoing conservation projects, with interest rates being so low and the constraints when dealing with charity moneys we are still looking at all the possibilities for the General fund. Booking details for our Summer show on Sunday 4th July appear on pages 168 to 171 this show grows each year and it is an excellent time to meet friends and compare notes on the current breeding season.

Chairman’s March Message

Our Scottish Area has for many years supported the Kakapo Project in New Zealand supplying them with an incubator and other equipment, A program that has been very successful in a comparatively short time and following on from the fantastic success of the 2009 breeding season – the Kakapo conservation team are setting up a second breeding population of Kakapo on Anchor Island. This is a huge step in the Kakapo recovery programme for the first time ever they are now in the position of separating female Kakapo between two islands (Codfish and Anchor) and realistically having breeding occurring in both sites in the same year. The incubation room on Codfish houses the Grumbach incubator that the Scottish Area donated and has been instrumental in rescuing eggs and chicks from nests and being able to successfully incubate/hand raise birds that have for whatever reasons been failing in the wild. In order to be able to manage breeding events on both islands in the same seasons, the team are setting up an identical incubation facility on AnchorIsland this winter and The Parrot Society are delighted to fund this second incubator.

The Pet Bird Strategy paper is now in its final stages it has been drafted by John Catchpole of Parrots Magazine and has been written in a way to give prospective pet bird owners basic information on what is involved when giving a pet bird a home and where to find additional information on pet birds. This document will be added to the Bird Strategy Website, www.birdwelfarestrategy.org.uk

Already we are working on the National Exhibition. This year it will be held on Sunday October 10th. We are having a meeting with all the clubs that are taking part in the competitive exhibition on March 21st. We are expecting to stage 2,500 birds this year. The exhibition has proved in the three years we have organised this extra attraction to be very much appreciated by our members as well as the bird keeping world at large. It would be nice this year if we could have a few more members of the parrot family in the exhibition. Perhaps you would consider entering a pair of birds?

Last month I mentioned on this page the wild population of Ringnecks down on the south coast, I have received letters on the subject some in favour of culling and some against. Culling in any form always gives rise to controversy, if these immigrants are taking over the nesting holes of our native species as reported then do numbers need to be controlled? I look forward to hearing further comment on the subject

Finally I had intended to add to the agenda at the Open Council Meeting the subject of Free Advertisements in our magazine. Many of our members have spoken to me suggesting that now many birds are in short supply so more expensive we need to raise the £100 ceiling level. This will be discussed by Council on 21st March if you have thoughts on the issue please give me or the office a call.

Chairman’s February Message

It is often said by our friends from overseas that the English always talk of the weather but I think I am justified to mention it in this months Chairman’s page. Here in my part of East Anglia we have seen night temperatures drop to minus 7 degrees centigrade and speaking with friends around the country they have had it much colder than here. Having all my birds heated I have not had to suffer the task of frozen water pots to deal with but I sympathise with those of you that have. However I have not heard of this very cold weather having any adverse affect on the birds and some people even saying that these very cold conditions will bring us a good breeding season.

In the news lately most of you will have seen the debate on whether or not to instrument a cull on the wild Ring-necked parakeet population that is growing rapidly in numbers, south of London. I wonder if this prolonged cold snap with snow covering much of their food supply and the Asiatic species susceptibility to frostbite, if nature has redressed the balance, or in only a few years these Ring-necks will have established themselves and adapted to the weather of the UK? No doubt we will hear from the researchers the results very soon.

I also feel that a quick rundown of The Parrot Society Events for this coming year is appropriate to remind members to mark the dates in their diaries. We start with our conference at Twycross Zoo, the first event of this kind that we have organised for seven years being held on May 15-16th.

Next is our Summer show at Stafford on Sunday July 4th. This Summer show has grown and grown each year and now is a major event on our calendar. I am sure that no one needs reminding of our October National on Sunday 10th October, since bringing in the competitive showing, the support of Cage and Aviary Birds along with our two Sponsors, Johnston and Jeff and The Birdcare Company; this show is now by far the biggest all varieties event in the bird keepers year. And lastly the December show at Stafford organised for the first time last year it is an instant hit. Please note; this year it is being held one week earlier on Sunday 5th December and we have booked two halls for this event, as those of you who came and enjoyed the day last December will know things were a little tight to say the least.