You know excellence when you see it — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to designate our winners for the Year! First the blow-by-blow of the fun-filled Instagram voting for MOST INSPIRING and BEST TRAINER, then Facebook nominees for those categories and, last but not least — our remaining nominees for BEST AVICULTURIST and THE CITIZENSHIP AWARD!

DRUM ROLL!!! Voting for Facebook MOST INSPIRING & BEST TRAINER (below) begins NOW: Send your vote by Messenger to @BirbObserver, or by email to Voting ends Midnight EST, Thursday, January 10, 2019!!!!

A full field of five nominees for Instagram’s MOST INSPIRING Birbie gathered scores of supportive voters. When the 2018 fireworks cleared, Canadian @bird_tails prevailed. CONGRATULATIONS to Birds of a Feather, the 10-bird flock, @bird_tails!

The race for BEST TRAINER remained intense throughout as the two nominees raced neck and neck. As one nominee, @koa_tiko, earlier winner of Canada’s Most Clever Bird, represented the best of relationship building through traditional trick training and the other, @budgiebrigade, the newer realm of training in free flight, no race could more have represented our fast-paced, fast-changing times or our progressively expanding understanding of our parrots’ potentialities. CONGRATULATIONS to @koa_tiko, the ultimate victor, with an extra-special dose of love and respect noting her persistence in training with Koa despite Tiko’s recent passing. (And, lest you think we be based in Canada, let me disabuse you, @BirbObserver is based in the mid-Atlantic US of A. But anyone want to hazard a guess why two sunconures from cold winter Canada prevailed here?)

Facebook nominations have closed and we have THREE NOMINEES for MOST INSPIRING, expressing uniquely the high value the Facebook Avian community places on charitable works and social organizing:

  • Katheryn Taylah,of Instagram’s @i_met_manko,  and the Brisbane Bird Social Club (@_bbsc_ (IG)/ BBSC Brisbane Bird Social Club (FB))the sole individual to receive a separate nomination on both Facebook and Instagram!), for inspiring both hand with her advocacy for birds as therapy animals and by her many generous acts in organizing countless bird meet-ups, or “bird socials” — on the beach, at bird-friendly cafes, etc. in and around the Brisbane, Australia area.
  • Joan Rakrhra, recently featured on our NoRoomAttheInnPage, the owner of Joan’s North Wales Parrot Rescue, for her amazing work in running a live-in parrot rescue providing the utmost in care, enrichment, veterinary care (check out Lola’s/Rolo’s page, and community avian awareness raising activities, whether through visits to local nursing homes or through broadcast television (this month the rescue’s blue and gold macaw Goldie premieres in a broadcast television children’s pirate superhero series!)
  • Don Scott of Chloe Sanctuary and the Chloe Sanctuary Youtube channel which features the wonderfully educational Cockatude series. Curiously enough @BirbObserver also featured Chloe Sanctuary and Don Scott on NoRoomAttheInn (now three stories from the top). In fact, the preface to the Chloe Sanctuary website suggested the title of the page to us!

For BEST TRAINER we have received just two nominations, each candidate with an impressive CV and enthusiastic nominating parties who shared such inspiring stories of the differences these individuals made that each could readily be confused with nominees for MOST INSPIRING —

  • Lara Josephprofessional animal trainer and owner of The Animal Behavior Center, an international educational center focused on transmitting practices and values of living, loving, and working with animals using positive reinforcement and Applied Behavior Analysis, is also a much-published author and columnist in pet periodicals, has worked with deaf, dumb and blind animals in training, and has established several organizations for animal welfare.
  • Chris Armstrongprivate trainer in Applied Behavior Analysis with a love and expertise in free-flight, covered briefly in the December issue of TheRoundUp. Chris uses falconry GPS tracking gear as well as backpack webcams on his free-flight (and accoutrements-) trained birds, and also helped scarlet macaw rescue Percy remember his wings,

Voting for Facebook MOST INSPIRING & BEST TRAINER begins NOW: Send your vote by Messenger to @BirbObserver, or by email to Voting ends Midnight EST, Thursday, January 10, 2019!!!!

Celebrated author and educator in his spare time, international businessman by day, Tony Silva received the SOLE NOMINATION for BEST AVICULTURIST! This award was to have been decided by OPA-members of @BirbObserver Advisory Council. However, the winner most deservedly stands already, unchallenged: Tony Silva!!!!!

Last but not least– nay! the editors would say most importantly!– our four nominees for THE CITIZENSHIP AWARD (to be selected by the editors!)

Adventures of Roku for promoting parrot and cockatoo awareness in Queensland, and for providing free-flight opportunities and tips to so many!

Anika Shatara/@laala_the_banana (IG) for her selfless act of feeding the wild Indian Ringnecks of Kensington Garden in London. Wow, another nominee whom we have featured, –on our November HatchLine page! This devoted practice entailed lots of shopping, commuting to the park and active Facebook fundraising!

Tweety and Friends/My Flock of Eleven, @fluffy.bird (IG) for her constant acts of kindness in creating community on Instagram, teaching people how properly to care for birds, and on not rare occasions, adding birds to her own flock to help out friends on social media.

Joans North Wales Parrot Rescue/Joan Rakrhra for rehoming and caring for parrots and cockatoos in need, regardless of the distance or the hour, for raising awareness about parrots and cockatoos throughout the United Kingdom, and for making the best imaginable chop!!!

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Our deep THANKS to all who have participated by nominating, voting and most especially, to our MOST EXCELLENT candidates!

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