Chairmans Messages 2011 

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT TO THE AGM 2011

Welcome to the AGM, it is time to review the past year and look forward to the future.

I am in the Chair following the resignation of Colin O’Hara in July. He did not agree with a Council decision to award a donation to assist in the raising of some confiscated parrots in Bonaire, we are sorry we could not persuade him to continue as Chairman.

These are not easy times, the world’s economic situation is in turmoil and we are all suffering the consequences. Everyone is struggling to balance their budget, charities and hobbies are among the first to feel the pinch. Our investments are not bringing in the interest that we relied on to boost our Conservation Fund and we have to find alternative sources. We are fortunate in that our three Stafford shows are as popular as ever with full bookings in October, fourteen avian clubs had their own stands and we had a growing number of entries to our judging show to date which means we are successfully filling the vacuum left by the demise of the NEC National show. We are indebted to the officials of the clubs concerned for their assistance in organising their displays.

The sponsorship we received from The Birdcare Company and Johnston & Jeff enabling the extra staging required to be ordered along with the prizes they presented to the winners were gratefully acknowledged by the presenting of silver salvers as a token of our appreciation.

The Gift Aid payments organised by Garry Steptowe are still being collected and I thank him for the time and effort he spends on our behalf to ensure a valued source of income. The purchase of tables for Stafford shows two years ago is paying dividends, a cheque for £9000 was received recently from the showground office, this being money paid by other exhibitors that we share with Stafford who store and hire the tables on our behalf. At the present time it is proving a better investment than holding it in a bank, we do not have to pay for the hire of tables so have almost recovered our outlay with more to come.

Another venture is the production of the second issue of Bird Scene on the Parrot Society web site which is free to all who can pick it up. In time it is hoped revenue from adverts will be considerable. This does mean extra effort from Les and his office staff which is much appreciated by the Council, the lack of overheads that are involved in the production of the magazine such as postage, printing and distribution costs ensure it will be a success.

We are receiving encouraging reports from our worldwide conservation projects. It is good to hear that our support does make an essential contribution to the wellbeing of the parrots concerned. We are looking forward to the Help Bird Keepers show in December and hope we have better weather than last year and that members are able to locate the birds they need for next year’s successful breeding results.

It just remains for me to wish you all a safe journey home and the compliments of the Season on behalf of the Parrot Society Council.

David Coombes Chairman

Vice Chairman’s November Message

The Parrot Society National Show held on 9th October was a great success with new records in attendance and exhibitors.  I hope all who attended had an enjoyable visit.

I would like to thank those that organised and helped to stage the show and by doing so ensured its success, it is a task that increases with its growing development.  I highlight the annual help from two members from the Shetland Isles, John Johnson and Alan Smith who arrive on Saturday and help to set up the tables, they leave home on Thursday and arrive back on Tuesday. We thank them with a free meal and subscriptions for the coming year.

The number of clubs showing has increased and is a sign of its growing popularity helped by the reports in Cage & Aviary Birds who had eight of their staff in attendance.  I was there to see the prize winners collect the seed and essential supplements donated by our sponsors Johnson & Jeff and The Birdcare Company who I thank on your behalf for their generous support.

On a totally different subject P.S. Council member Aeron Williams has been in contact with DEFRA concerning the situation created by listing Ringneck Parakeets as British native birds, the matter is under review and our concerns will be taken into account.

The AGM with its Open Council meeting is being held on November 20 at Allesley more details appear on the opposite page please try to attend this important annual meeting. Graham Thurlow will be making a presentation on the Animal Welfare Act and there will be details about the Conservation projects that the Society are supporting.  The Help Bird Keepers Show is on December 4 at Stafford.  Bookings are coming in well, contact the office for details.  It is an ideal opportunity to acquire stock for the coming season.  We cannot guarantee the weather but we can promise a well attended show. Booking details appear on pages 10 to 13. There is strong support from the trade and Rob Harvey who had such a large stand at The National will also be attending this show. I understand that Morley Aviaries will be wearing fancy dress and I am sure Les Rance will be coming up with something fetching for the Parrot Society helpers. Perhaps all traders might consider adding a bit of fun to the day bearing in mind how close we are to Christmas.

CHAIRMAN’S JUNE MESSAGE

This month I have a very exciting announcement to make. The Parrot Society is launching an E-magazine. It is to be called ‘BIRD SCENE’ initially it was an idea I had to help raise conservation funds. Over the years the Parrot Society have supported many worthy projects but members and the general public have not had the opportunity to donate money to a specific conservation program of their choice. The production of this E-magazine will allow this. It will be designed in a way that each conservation project that our Society supports will have a page outlining the project and updates on its progress with a donate button connected. All money donated will go directly to that project with no administration costs.

The magazine is to be produced and edited by our secretary Les Rance who has been working hard to expand the initial ideas, to make it appeal to as wide an audience as possible. It will contain articles on all aspects of bird keeping including Parrots, Parakeets, Canaries, Foreign Finches, Zebra Finches, Softbills, Budgerigars etc. however to give it interest to people other than bird keepers it will also carry stories on bird watching and of course conservation.

If you would like to receive a copy of ‘BIRD SCENE’ and we hope to publish in August, please send your email address to les.rance@theparrotsocietyuk.org with ‘Bird Scene’ in the subject box. And if you think you have friends that would also like to receive a copy please get them also to send us their email address. Any assistance you can give in helping us to as wide a circulation would really be much appreciated.

Bookings from the trade and for sales tables for the July 3rd Summer Show at Stafford are good so it is all set for another brilliant day out. Table details and wristbands will be sent out mid June. As I have mentioned in previous magazines we have worked to give pet bird owners something of interest, so please come and support our effort. As an attraction for our younger members we are holding a photographic competition, the entries of which will be displayed at our Summer Show. Full details appear on page 20 of the magazine.

The National Show on 9th October is giving rise to a good interest from traders that have not previously attended so we look forward to an even bigger show with more to see than before. Our sponsors The Birdcare Company and Johnston & Jeff will be supplying entry wristbands containing a metallic Logo that cannot be photocopied.

Chairman’s May Message

I would like to start this month’s page by thanking Dave Coles and the management team at Beale Park for making The Parrot Society so welcome on Sunday 17th April and giving our members free admission to the park. In view of the change in plans for the Beale Park day it could not have gone better. About 35 members attended and the weather also was kind with sunshine all day. The park has excellent large communal aviaries to view, housing an array of interesting birds. And new aviaries are to be added. Also a big thank you to the management of Flamingo Land for the concessions on entry they give to members, making it a very affordable day out for the whole family, our representative Eric Morfitt who runs the Hull Area will be located in the Education Centre please visit him there.

Please remember that our Summer Show on Sunday 3rd July at Stafford County Showground is getting close and as I reported in last month’s magazine we are working hard to make a special day for pet bird members. Council Member Aeron Williams is formatting the arrangements to this area so if you have any thoughts or ideas please contact him, further details and an Appeal for assistance by Aeron are on page XX. The Parrot Society has been given samples of ZuPreem a pelleted complete diet to distribute to members and these samples will be available in the pet bird area. Over the years we have organised this event it has become a firm favourite for families and also breeders, being a smaller show it gives time to meet up with friends and catch up on the news in a more relaxed atmosphere than our National event in October.

In the press over the last few days there have been reports “Wild parakeets living in Britain are to be culled before they can breed and become a nuisance”. It would appear that this refers to 100 or so Quaker parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) that have started to colonize in the Home Counties. No doubt that this will be an emotive subject in the same way as that of the feral Ringnecks which are now truly well established in the Surrey area and are spreading. With regard to the Ringnecks I thought that over the last severe winter we experienced these would has diminished in numbers but it seems that somehow they have adapted to those harsh conditions.

Chairman’s April Message

Taking on board the comments that we have received from the large number of members with pet birds that our shows appear to them to be directed at breeders we intend to make changes for the Summer Show on July 3rd. The middle section of the hall will be arranged with pet bird keepers in mind. Our Leicester Area ‘The Charnwood Parrot Club’ are coming to talk to families and pet bird owners, one of their topics will be pet bird diets and they will have samples of Zupreem the pelleted diet that has been advertised in our magazine over the last year to give away for you to try. Also we have just purchased a new large display aviary to hold the tame birds that families just love. Macaws Direct will also have tame birds on display. Although it is not possible to sell pet birds at a bird show in the UK we are asking members who wish to bring young birds to display to indicate this on their table application so we can locate these in the middle area, and traders selling toys and pet bird products will also be situated close by. With this arrangement of collecting pet interests together we hope it will be a success.

Arrangements for our main event The National Exhibition on Sunday 9th October are well in hand. Already we have confirmed trade bookings from mainland Europe. Since we have extended an open invitation to other bird keeping branches we have had a welcome increase in traders wishing to take part. The new management team at Cage and Aviary Birds have agreed to once again include a supplement to advertise the National in the second week of September issue.

We have changed the format of the Beale Park Day to be held on April 17th. Please see details on page XX of this issue. We have had a very long association with Beale Park so please try to come along and share the day with us.

Thank you for the kind comments on my Tambopata article I was very pleasantly surprised just how many members commented on it at the Stafford Spring Show. There is serious research work undertaken at Tambopata also and I will write an article about this. Finally any one wishing to contact me please do so, my email is colin@splendids.co.uk or my phone number is in the front of this magazine.

Chairman’s March Message

Last month you will remember that the whole of the Chairman’s page was devoted to asking for your views on how you thought the Parrot Society was running and how we could improve the service to our members.

From communications that I have received almost everyone commented on the improved way that the magazine is posted. Last year was a frustrating year for the office, as they tried all different ways of posting the magazine to ensure that it was received on time, now the postal service is back on track, posting is working well. Another main topic although unfortunately not controlled by the Parrot Society is the rising cost of travel. Fuel prices look all set to rise and members are concerned about the cost of travelling to our events.

Here is a typical reply that was posted on our web forum:-

“As a novice 'pet parrot' owner - with an African Grey for two years I find plenty to interest me in the magazine. The hints & tips about bird behaviour & health are very helpful. I especially enjoyed Oliver Fry's article on The Rare Parrots of London Zoo in the February issue. The 2011 'new look' magazine is very fresh, colourful & uniform. This compliments the fabulous photography throughout. I look forward to receiving my copy every month. The web site is also excellent. I find the Forum with its many friendly & helpful people who are always happy to share their experience invaluable. Please pass on my complements to those responsible, Great Work.”

This type of reply underpins my request to members to write about their experiences as this is the information that members like to read, it also makes our magazine very personal to members. Not wishing to repeat myself too many times but ‘Please’ write and share your birds with other members. The other point it brings out is that we have an active Forum on our website please take the time to visit.

Please continue contacting any member of Council with your thoughts so we can carry on guiding the Parrot Society in the direction that members would like.

Arrangements for The Breeders Day at Beale Park are going well (full details on page xx).We think we have designed a good days entertainment, in so much that the morning will be spent listening to very knowledgeable speakers covering all varieties of the parrot family and the afternoon looking around this very well kept park with many birds on view.

Finally with the news that our National Exhibition arrangements are already going very well we are receiving reports from the trade and the exhibiting clubs saying that they expect the number of birds benched to increase this year. October 9th will again be the largest bird event staged in the UK.

Anyone wishing to contact me colin@splendids.co.uk or Tel. 01787 277148.

Chairman’s February Message

This month on the Chairman’s Page I am asking for help rather than telling you about the things that the Parrot Society has been doing. When I took over as Chairman of our Society, I invited members to come along to an Open Council Meeting on the morning of the AGM and to put forward any ideas you had for discussion on the agenda. The idea was to allow members to see just how the Society is run and how important decisions were debated and the voted on by Council Members. At the last Open Council Meeting only six members took this opportunity.

It is so important to understand that although Council Members have the responsibility as Trustees of a Charity we are just ordinary members of the Parrot Society willing to devote time and give our various expertises to benefit the society as a whole. I, along with the rest of Council would like more feed back from members on just how you think we are doing? In the main we have three of areas that we cover Magazine, Shows/Saledays and Conservation.

Our magazine is the lifeblood of the Parrot Society and as far as I know the only UK bird Society that produces a monthly magazine, for this to continue to be a success we need articles from members about their birds. Over the last few years our membership has changed a little, we now have a growing number of members that have pet birds, hence our editor makes sure that in the magazine there are articles that they will enjoy. We do know from our breeder members that the articles that they like to read is how fellow members breed their birds, so please put pen to paper and let us have your personal experiences.

Shows/sale days are another area of great importance to members and our Society as a whole. With the rising cost of transport and no national carrier operating to transport birds, Shows are now where the vast majority of birds change hands. It was my idea back in 1981 to hold these events and we have seen these develop over the thirty years that they have been running. Throughout these years we have tried various locations around the country, for one reason or another these have not been successful, Stafford has become the home of bird keeping events. I appreciate it is a long journey for some of our members to travel, but with very high costs to hire accommodation to hold these events finance is a major consideration. I know that I repeat myself here by saying that for a show to be successful it is made up of three parts, Breeder tables, Trade and the third maybe the most important are bird keepers to attend to support the sale tables and trade.

The last main area that Council has to consider is Conservation, possibly this is the most difficult area to make a judgment on. We have proposals put to us all the time but in my view projects have to have a real impact on helping parrots. Tinning the trees in Australia is one; another is the Kakapo project that our Scottish Branch has supported for some time and the main Society helping last year providing incubators. In the past we have funded students to do field studies, on condition that they give us a report for publication; but these reports have not been forthcoming, we have also funded for some years the Scarlet Macaw Project in Costa Rica.
We are having a stand at the Stafford Spring Show and the sale day at Newark. Please come and have a chat about the Society. In this magazine on page 21 are the telephone numbers of council members give them a call to express your views, my telephone no. is 01787 277148 give me a call or email colin@parrotmutations.co.uk
It is your Society but we do need your views on what you would like us to provide?

Chairmans January 2011 Message

I must really start this first Chairman’s page of 2011 by thanking all the hardy bird keepers that turned out to make the ‘Help Bird Keepers’ Show at Stafford such a success when the whole country was in deep freeze on 5th December. We had a thousand breeders and visitors and of course all the traders that supported the event.

Looking back at our Society over the last year we once again have had a most successful time. We now have up and running an internet sales site that is working well thanks to the dedication of our office staff. After trying all ways to improve the posting service of the magazine the Royal Mail seems to have now settled down so once again the vast majority of members receive their magazine at the correct time.

The conference held at Twycross Zoo went very well and with this in mind we are organising a Breeder Day conference at Beale Park near Reading, Berkshire on 17th April. The Parrot Society has had a long standing relationship with Beale Park and it will be good to hold this event there. Although the program has not yet been finalised there will be four speakers, each presentation being given on the breeding of different members of the parrot family. The day will be completed by a tour of the park i

tself, where among many other attractions we will be able to see the Lesser Vasa parrots which the Society donated to the Park in 2008 as part of their Madagascar themed area.

With interest on our investments so low, the amount of monies that we have available to assist conservation programs around the world has become difficult. Current bank interest rates are not even keeping up with general inflation. I know that I am repeating myself here, but we do need to find new ways of raising funds to be able to continue with this work. A request; Please do we have amongst our members any Independent financial advisers who would be willing to advise us on placing our funds to the best advantage?

We are continually looking at ways that we can give interest/appeal at our shows to our pet bird members. At our next event to be held on July 3 at Stafford we will be having the centre of the hall devoted to tame and pet birds. Currently we are in the process of having a special walk in aviary built for the display of birds. I am always delighted to see the aviaries that contain the tame birds providing such attraction to families. It is satisfying to watch parents allow their children to get close to and handle these tame birds and the adults also enjoy the experience.

I finish by wishing all members a happy New Year and a good breeding season in 2011.

Colin O’Hara…………….