I do hope that you enjoy this month’s magazine. As a strong supporter of normal birds I am very pleased to see the article on Breeding Barnard’s and also the text on normal Redrumps supporting the beautiful picture of a pair of these popular parakeets by Tony Tilford. It is also very pleasing to see such a good article about the merits of Cockatiels as pet birds so skilfully written by Jane Hainge, there is no doubt that we are very fortunate to have a number of members that are not only excellent pet bird owners but also have the ability to write clearly and constructively about the care and wellbeing that these birds so importantly deserve.

We are continuing to publish our January magazine early as it allows members the opportunity to read it through the festive season and gives our hard working office staff a well earned break over the holiday, the office will reopen on Tuesday 3rd January.

Another year now draws to a close with the ‘Help Bird Keepers’ show a success. The weather was fine when we were setting up the show in marked contrast to last year’s snow and ice. There was an increased attendance who was rewarded with a wide selection of birds for sale and exchange in advance of the breeding season. This is the main reason for holding the event at this time of the year and it will continue as long as we receive your support. The traders who attended were pleased with the day and we thank them for their support.

The third issue of Bird Scene, our email magazine, will be available for viewing on our web site from 23rd December I urge you to read it as an example of our forward thinking. Thanks are due to Les our Secretary for its successful production.

We are pleased with the progress of our conservation projects and will be continuing our support and keeping you informed. It is essential that we maintain our membership numbers, not an easy task in the present worldwide economic turmoil. If you can persuade a fellow enthusiast to join us we will all benefit.

As we face the forthcoming New Year with our bird breeding plans being formulated I ask you to spare time and space to preserve the pure bred normal strains of our chosen species for breeding. I consider this to be essential for the successful future of our chosen hobby. For all those who keep pet parrots please give them a special treat on Christmas Day I am sure they deserve one.

On behalf of the Parrot Society Council and Office I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

David Coombes



This year began with the death of our Treasurer Cliff Wright please read his Obituary inthis months magazine. He supplied me with many articles for the magazine when I was editor he leaves us with many memories.

Council have decided that two early entrance tickets for each of our Shows in 2012 should be made available to all our members not just members booking tables. These will be available by post or through our website. This will allow you to enter the Sales Halls at 7.30 or 8.00 am rather than having to wait outside until 9.30 am. We feel that this is a fairer method especially as non-members who book tables enter at 7.30.

At our Council meeting on 29 January Keith Jones was appointed Treasurer of the Society and he will liaise closely with our staff at the Berkhamsted office, I wish him every success in this very important position.

The mild weather followed by sharp frosts has once again fooled our birds and given us an excuse for a poor breeding season before it has begun, it was ever thus.

The year ahead for the Parrot Society looks good with our shows firmly established, especially the National which has grown and improved each year and is leading the avicultural scene, providing opportunities for a growing number of clubs to exhibit their birds and thanks is due to support from our sponsors The Bird Care Company and Johnston & Jeff and the PS Council and staff who work hard to ensure it is a success.

The third edition of Bird Scene, our online e-magazine covering all birds seen at Stafford is now available to view on our web site thanks to the hard work of Les Rance our Secretary. I recommend it to those who have the equipment and knowledge to view it.

As usual we will have a club stand at the Newark Show on 12 February and the Stafford Spring Show on 4 March. These will be attended by Les and he would be delighted to help you with any of your bird related problems, please do drop by and have a word with him.


I reported in my February message that all members will be allowed access to our shows at the same time as table holders, generally 7.30 am. I have been delighted at the response from members to this change. It has been very well received and just goes to show how well read this column is! Just to allay fears that the flow of incoming vehicles may cause difficulty I have asked our Secretary to print the Show Schedule on bright pink paper so that table holders can display these in their windscreens as they enter the Showground and can be easily identified and given access to the areas closest to the sales halls.

I would like to thank Council member John Hayward for his submission to the Rural Crime Consultation he has produced a clear and concise report which I am sure the Committee will find most enlightening, it certainly proves that we are doing as much as we can to fight the criminality that can affect hobbyist bird breeders and pet owners alike, a great effort John.

On 23rd February I attended a meeting with our Secretary and Treasurer at the offices of Johnston & Jeff one of our sponsors who give so generously to support The National Exhibition which this year will be held at Stafford on Sunday 14th October. The meeting confirmed the continued support for the exhibition and Richard Johnston said that he was delighted how well the 12.5Kg bags of his seed mixtures were received by the winners of last year’s event and how he wished to donate a tonne of seed again in 2012. I am sure that 2007 was the ideal time to relaunch a large exhibition and when Cage and Aviary Birds said that we could use the title ‘The National Exhibition’ that really gained the event the ‘seal of approval’. However, we should not forget that without the strong support from the 17 clubs who support the exhibition then it would never have grown as quickly as it has to become the premier exhibition in the country which attracts bird enthusiasts from Europe and beyond. Long may this event expand and flourish.

Although we have been running an advertisement about the dates and costs for all of our Shows throughout 2012 I have been asked to point out that we do not require applications for any show until full details appear in the magazine and you can make the required declaration in relation to the rules laid down by Animal Health for compliance with the Licence we require for each event. The details for the summer show to be held on 8th July at Stafford will appear in next month’s magazine.

The 4th Issue of Bird Scene our FREE on-line magazine which can be obtained from the Home page of our website was released on 23rd February and among numerous features includes an excellent item on the Conservation work with the Scarlet Macaw in Costa Rica by Tony Pittman and also an interesting article by former Council member Colin Scott on his success with the Red and Yellow Barbet.

I am very sorry to inform members of the death of Raymond Sawyer on Tuesday 21st February. He was a leading aviculturalist and highly experienced exhibitor. Since 1952 when he took the Supreme award at the National Exhibition with a ruby and topaz hummingbird, he was acknowledged as the world’s leading exotic softbill specialist. During the past forty years at Chestnut Lodge, with its park-like grounds, he was able to keep a much wider range of birds but it was always the softbills that were closest to his heart. A few parrots featured in his mixed aviaries, including mutation Kakarikis and Rosellas, and separately a pair of Eclectus. He formerly bred Keas. Everyone is saying the same: "It is the end of an era". The days of the big collections in park-like settings have now gone, along with a remarkable man who was truly a unique individual.


We are now at that really exciting time of the year for our members who enjoy the thrills of being hobbyist breeders. The weather is starting to warm up and we are getting some good sunshine but the nights can still be cold so we all need to monitor our breeding hens each morning to make sure they are not suffering from egg binding. The birds prone to this problem are mainly the early breeders such as the Asiatic species and the Australian Manycolour which features on the cover of this edition and in the centre page spread with some interesting text by our editor.

It is now time to book for the first of our three shows at Stafford. The details of 8th July Show appear on pages 27 to 30 of this edition. Please remember that members do not need to book tables to get in at 8.00 am, members can obtain two entry wristbands per membership either through our website or by post via our office (please enclose a stamped addressed envelope) at just £5 each.

At the end of April when we are about to have our May magazine printed our printers are installing a new printing press which will, long term, have benefits for us but may cause a few problems with the despatch of the May edition. At present they are hoping to be able to send the magazine out on Tuesday 8th May but obviously so far in advance this might not be achieved although every effort will be made to ensure that the magazine is sent on that date. Printing presses are large expensive items of equipment costing up to £1,250,000 which is obviously a substantial expenditure for the printer and requires a week to fully install and test, we wish them well with this project.

We are making enquiries with Beale Park about another members reduced entry day at this beautiful park. Last year although the day was in mid April the weather was very kind to us and we sat out on the lawn in a very relaxed and enjoyable manner with a few glasses of drink and some nibbles, very enjoyable. This year we will be meeting in late June or July just keep an eye out for the full details in the May magazine. Also on the ‘Away Day’ theme do not forget the visit to Flamingo Land, that excellent theme park at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire where a special offer is available to society members on Sunday 20th May, full details are on pages 16 and 17 of this months magazine.

Please enjoy your hobby whether it relates to hobbyist breeding or the keeping of your pet parrot, we are all very lucky to be involved in such a pleasant pastime that spans all sections of society and age groups.


In my April message I started with the words ‘We are now at that really exciting time of the year for our members who enjoy the thrills of being hobbyist breeders. The weather is starting to warm up and we are getting some good sunshine………’ Well since then it has rained most days in Luton and much of the rest of the UK, although the rain is most welcome as we are under a ‘hose pipe’ ban to restrict water consumption after 18 months of below average rainfall it has all come as a bit of a shock!

As promised I have arranged another Beale Park Day on Sunday 24th June. The Society has had a long association with this excellent park, in 2003 we facilitated the rebuilding of a shelter in the park, close to the aviaries, following the death of John Mollindinnia, a long standing member of our Council and a personal friend of mine. Last year we held a social function on Sunday 17th April and it was a great success with beautiful sunshine, this year will follow the same format and Beale Park have agreed to give our members free admission to the park, just bring your magazine to prove membership, more details are on page 30 of this edition. Also on the ‘Away Day’ theme do not forget the visit to Flamingo Land, that excellent theme park at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire where a special offer is available to society members on Sunday 20th May, full details are on pages 28 and 29 of this magazine.

Les informs me that we are receiving plenty of bookings for the 8th July Show details appear on pages 20 to 23 of this magazine. Please remember that this year as a change  members do not need to book tables to get in at 8.00 am, members can obtain two entry wristbands per membership either through our website or by post via our office (please enclose a stamped addressed envelope) at just £5 each.

Although most of the focus in our office is on the July Show I understand that good progress is being maintained on The National Exhibition which will be held at Stafford on 14th October, this is such a large event that many months of organisation is required to ensure that it is a successful day out for both our members and our other visitors.

In this magazine is an excellent article by Allan F. Manning on feeding Lories and Lorikeets for successful breeding results. I know that these birds are not easy to establish in UK aviaries and I am sure that this article will be greatly appreciated by those who are interested in these beautiful birds. I would like to personally thank Allan for the time he has spent preparing this article for our magazine. Any club magazine will only be prized if members give some of their time to writing for the Society, personal experiences are greatly appreciated and very well worth recording for future generations of aviculturalists.  

I read the last magazine from the Amazona Society and regret that they are unable to continue due to lack of support. It is a great pity when clubs are forced to close, many people have worked very hard over the years for this specialist society and their closure will be a loss to UK aviculture.


For some time now I have been considering the most appropriate date in the month to despatch our monthly magazine. Over many years it has been posted to arrive within the first seven days of the month and generally this has worked very well. However, with the growing attendance at our three Shows, all of which take place within the first half of the month, I feel that there is a sound case to bring the posting date forward. This would allow members more time to arrange the purchase of birds advertised in the magazine and then collect their new stock at the Show. Council agreed this change at our meeting on 13th May and I am pleased to say that as from the July magazine all future editions will be posted one week earlier. The July magazine will be posted on Monday 25th June, and we will continue to print, in the top right hand corner of the Contents page the date of despatch of the next magazine, this information also appears at the heading to the Free advertisements and the Donated advertisements. I will obviously monitor the operation of this change and would welcome member’s views on this issue.

The first half of our Annual Breeding Register appears in this magazine and lists all the birds that our members have told us were bred during 2011 so if there are any birds that you are considering obtaining please study this Register carefully. The contact details of the breeders will be published in the July magazine it is just too large a document to print in its entirety in one magazine.

Due to the promotion of Keith Jones to Treasurer and the resignation  of Mike Davies who’s present duties means that he is unable to attend Sunday Council meetings the number of trustee’s had dropped to five instead of the permitted nine, we have been able to co-opt Vicky Hammond and Alan Jones onto Council. Alan has previously served as Chairman and Vicky was until recently Chairman of the Amazona Society. After these co-options there are, however, still two vacancies and nominations for these will be available at the AGM.

Please remember the Beale Park Day that has been arranged for Sunday 24th June details appear on page 14 of this magazine, if the weather is good it will be a very pleasant day. Eric Morffit has reported that the Members Day at Flamingo Land was very well received by all those members who attended for the half price entry day at this impressive establishment. On behalf of our trustee’s I would like to thank the directors of Flamingo Land for their generosity and Eric for manning our stand in the Education block. 

I hope that you have enjoyed the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.


Although I have been involved in Shows since 1973 I never lose the enthusiasm and excitement for these excellent events, I feel that the numbers of both members and non members who attend year after year is testimony that I am far from alone in my passion for these days. In many ways now that we have three events each year they are becoming an integral part of The Parrot Society and compliment our monthly magazine. There is no doubt that many people who have their own collections attend to catch up with friends they only ever see at Stafford for a good chat and reminisce and compare the bird scene of say twenty years ago when imported parrots were available from many countries worldwide to our current position where only birds bred in Europe are now permitted to be sold. There has in fact been quite a radical change in the availability of species, some would say that this has made aviculture less interesting but I believe that our efforts as hobbyist bird breeders is just as important as it has ever been and it is now much more ‘in our hands’ to establish the rarer birds. I know that this will take quite some time but I am sure that with the experience we gained when Australia banned the export of its native parrots in the 1960’s we will indeed be able to establish viable breeding stocks of birds that are now becoming rare following the introduction in 2006 on the ban on the importation of wild caught birds into Europe.

This is the first magazine that we have published with despatch a week earlier than previously which has been introduced to ensure the magazine arrives well before the date of our three Shows, I am sure this fairly minor change will actually be well received by our members. It will certainly allow members to pick birds up at the Stafford Shows that have been advertised in the magazine.

Unfortunately the Scouts have a clash of dates with their bi-annual District Camp which happens to be on the same weekend as our Summer Show. The Unit that normally comes along are at the Camp so are not available (as are other units who are attending) they have put some feelers out around the District to see if they can get some new recruits in but as yet have not had any firm offers but will let us know if they can supply a limited service, I think that it would be best for members to assume that they will not be attending.

I am delighted with the strong support that we are receiving from the Trade for our Show, there will be plenty of opportunities to stock up on your bird keeping requisites to carry you through to The National Exhibition on Sunday 14th October, please note that details of The National appear on pages 16 to 19 in this magazine and to reduce postage costs we will be taking bookings at the July Show.

All that I can do now is to wish all of you who visit the event at Stafford on Sunday 8th July a very enjoyable day at a Show that has that unique ‘Family’ feel to it and allows all our visitors to learn more about our wonderful hobby. 


I have now written these messages for just over a year and it still gives me pleasure to report that the Society is continuing to progress on all our fronts. As the largest avicultural club in the UK we are obviously looked up to by both other specialists clubs and those thousands of people who visit our shows without being members of the Society. It has taken us 46 years to arrive at where we are now and during that time we have gone from a new organisation working out of a small flat in Normal Cooper’s house to our existing excellent rented offices in Berkhamsted, west Hertfordshire, maybe one day we will purchase our own property.

I am delighted that Vicky Hammond has agreed to join Council, she has a wealth of experience and has recently appeared on the One Programme on BBC1 with two Macaws, I understand this was a very interesting day. In addition I am very pleased to inform members that leading avian veterinary surgeon Alan Jones a former Chairman of the Society has rejoined Council, he will be a great asset to us.

Please remember that this year’s Annual General Meeting will be held at the Quality Hotel Allesley, Coventry on Sunday 25th November, if any of you would like to place an item on the agenda of this meeting could you please send it to the office before 31st August, this date is also when nominations to join Council should be received. As in recent years there will be an Open Council meeting held on the morning of the 25th and a very good three course lunch will be provided for the first 25 members who apply to the office for this benefit. If there are any items that members wish to have placed on the agenda of this Council meeting please  email your request to

As soon as the July Summer Show was completed we have been working on The National Exhibition, booking forms were actually placed on the sales tables on 8th July and already 200 tables have been booked, and invitations sent to our valuable Trade supporters and clubs who have their stands on the balcony. During the year we purchased a further 150 trestle tables so we should have plenty for this show. I am certain that The National this year will be the biggest ever and please remember that this year you will be able to enter at 7.30 am even if you are not booking a table, this benefit worked well on 8th July and I have been delighted with the praise I have received for this move. I am delighted that Cage & Aviary Birds will again be supporting the event by printing an insert in their 12th September issue to remind exhibitors who keep the birds covered by the 17 clubs who support the Exhibition in the Sandylands and Argyle Centres of this exhibition, prize giving is scheduled for 3.30 pm so if you can visit the Argyle Centre at that time you will see all the deserving winners receiving their seed donated by Richard Johnston of Johnston & Jeff and product donated by Malcolm Green of The Birdcare Company, I am always delighted when I see the support that these two companies provide the P.S. we value their support tremendously.  

This is another packed magazine with a pictorial review of the Summer Show, an interesting article from Emma Freeman on parrots in Majorca and a taster chapter from Alan Jones on his next book ‘Brazil 2011’ happy reading to all of you.    


We are working very hard to ensure that everything goes well for The National Exhibition at Stafford County Showground on Sunday 14th October. There has been strong demand from members for the new 7.30 am entrance tickets, please remember that these need to be purchased in advance, either via our website or by sending a cheque or postal order to our office. More traders are coming than last year and bookings for tables are in advance of the level this time last year. I am certain that it will be a great Show. I have received ‘mixed messages’ as to the current breeding season and will be particularly interested to see how many current year bred birds arrive at Stafford we will then get a much better idea of the results achieved during this very wet breeding season.

I do not know how many of you remember the banner we displayed at the back of the Parrot Society stand at the 2007 Stafford Show which had the text ‘How many of these birds will be in aviculture in ten years time?’ accompanied by images of the birds listed below but I am sure the sentiments are starting to prove correct with the virtual disappearance of most of the species referred to, birds such as Hawk-headed Parrots, the rarer Amazons, various Macaws, in fact most of the birds that were regularly imported are now becoming much more difficult to obtain and when available the prices have increased considerably. What is really frightening is that we are only five years (half way) into the prediction and it now appears that our concerns were really justified, these birds are extremely difficult to maintain in aviculture.

What is without doubt, is that the exhibition section of The National Exhibition is going from strength to strength and I am confident that there will be a further increase in the numbers benched, as last year Cage & Aviary Birds will be including a Supplement in their 12th September issue to support the event which will include a message from Les Rance Secretary and Keith Jones who is The National Exhibition Co-ordinator and there will be advertisements for all 17 clubs who are supporting the exhibition. I am delighted how strongly Cage & Aviary Birds supports this event and how well the Clubs bond together to organise this exhibition ‘run by bird keepers for bird keepers’.        

I hope you have seen the 7th issue of Bird Scene our free e-magazine to promote the birds seen at The National Exhibition and publicise our conservation efforts. Access is via the home page of our website Also our on-line advertising ‘Parrot Advertiser’ is being promoted on page 34 of this magazine with instructions as to how you can place an advertisement, if you have not seen this member facility please check it out. 


I am delighted to report that excellent progress is being made with arrangements for The National Exhibition at Stafford County Showground on Sunday 14th October. Bookings in all areas are very good and I am sure that attendance will be high. The Supplement regarding the Exhibition was in Cage and Aviary Birds 12th September edition and I am sure that the Show Secretaries of the 17 participating clubs are busy circulating their show schedules to both their members and anyone else who requests them because this is an Open Show just like the old National Exhibition.

Now that we are publishing this magazine one week earlier than last year I hope that this will give you ample time to source the birds you are looking for from the advertisements in this publication. It is important that changes of blood are obtained for all birds to ensure that your birds are not inbred, as custodians of our birds we owe them the best of attention at all times and to a great degree our Shows are very important regarding the exchange of birds.

Over the years I was a great friend of Dave Hall Chairman of The Amazona Society who sadly died suddenly in September 2007 and therefore I would like to share half of this page with Terry Spilman the Treasurer of TAS U.K. reporting the final arrangements now that this Society is being closed.


Final Report of The Amazona Society U.K.

On 3 August 2012 the Treasurer closed the account of the Society.  With the final proceeds, money was sent as follows:-

£689.76 to Dr Paul Reillo of Rare Species Conservancy Foundation towards a census of the Imperial Amazon Amazona imperialis on the island of Dominica. £544.33 to Dr Sam Williams of Echo Project towards the conservation of the Yellow-shouldered Amazon  Amazona barbadensis barbadensis in Bonaire. Previously in March 2012 Dr Mark Stafford of Parrots International received £938.90 to be shared between conservation of the Yellow-naped  Amazon  Amazona auropalliata auropalliata in Nicaragua and Caroline Stahala for her work on conservation of the Bahaman Amazon Amazona bahamensis on the island of Abaco. Altogether, since its inception, TAS U.K. has donated over £13,000 towards various Amazon Parrot conservation projects. The remaining key-rings and bottle openers are to be delivered to the Rare Species Conservancy Fund in Florida by the former Chairperson, Mrs. Vicky Hammond, for sale in the Caribbean to raise funds there for Caribbean Amazons. The remaining stock of books, are to be available from the stand of Mr. Terry Spilman (Stand 135 at the Parrot Society October Parrot Sale Day). Any subsequent proceeds will be dispatched to Dr Sam Williams.

Finally many thanks to all our former members and the public without whose support TAS U.K. would not have achieved the amount we have donated towards conservation.                                                                     

Terry Spilman, Treasurer of TAS U.K