A big thank you to each reader, follower and supporter, for their suggestions and support over time! And a special thanks to my mentor through American Federation of Aviculture (AFA), Lewis “Buddy” Waskey IV, Vice president, Legislative. Buddy serves on BirbObserver’s Advisory Council and to date has batted 1.000 with recommendations which, when followed, have brought important new knowledge, understanding and fellowship. Most recently Buddy suggested NPRPF’s January Parrot Festival. My mind still runs overtime incorporating new information and perspectives.

In fact, the wonder of Parrot Festival prompts two initiatives. First, the conference demonstrated the continuing importance of the art, science and growing sophistication of Conservation Aviculture. Accordingly, next week Bennett Hennessey of Armonia, in Bolivia will debut a new page for us, ConSAv, dedicated to Conservation Aviculture.

At Parrot Festival Bennett presented on the ongoing conservation efforts for the critically endangered blue-throated macaw, which include the restoration of that macaw’s forest-island-in-a-savanna habitat. That habitat now increasingly supports the resurgence of other at-risk endemic and native wildlife populations.

Second, BirbObserver will now publish each second from last Saturday monthly, rather than the third Saturday. (February 15 simply arrived too soon this year!)

Finally, as President’s Day approaches in the US, as Canada’s Family Day nears, each with its three-day weekend, my sweet parakeets in sing-song fashion seem to insist, “Innaugurate an Aviculture Appreciation Day!

We live in a worldwide bird ecosystem, populated by wild birds, coexisting flora and fauna, the occasional field researcher, as well as cities filled with bird-keeping residents, universities hosting avian research, and shops, factories and vet offices servicing companion and wild birds. Commercial and backyard aviaries number inathe mix as well.

Seasoned aviculturists (breeders) painstakingly gain their rare species-specific knowledge. Aviculture Appreciation honors the sacrifices to gain knowledge, the increase in knowledge, the expertise that makes art of science, in bird husbandry. If you have ever questioned an aviculturist at length, you know they possess in-depth knowledge which is highly specialized and unique, information to fill an encyclopedia. Invest in this living library for your birds’ and each 352 parrot species’benefit! Avicultural science is critical to informed choices which impact both the health of the national pet bird stock and the biodiversity of our planet. Choices we make today shape our tomorrows. Go to a bird mart, get to know a seasoned aviculturist; honor bird breeders with thoughtful questions and a listening ear. Help them preserve their knowledge for future generations. Understand, your breeder knows life-cycle health issues of her species, especially neonates, likely better than your area exotics vet. Work with both your breeder and your avian vet to better provide for your parrot.

Aviculturists study their flocks with intensity, confer with field researchers, veterinarians and each other to ensure the continuing existence of the 352 parrot species. Breeders and pet owners alike belong to the same economy of anthrozoological universe. Captive-breeding means Spix macaws live today, though they no longer populate the rainforest. Aviculturists’ alliance with animal welfare organizations has aided conservation immeasurably.

Importantly, aviculturists ensure the health of the national companion bird stock. However, with animal rights activism’s expansion and break-off from the animal welfare focus, breeders have unjustifiably faced fire– yes, articles galore could be written to expand on this statement!

Aviculturists in the US face an uphill battle: State Endangered Species Acts limit interstate travel and trade in listed birds. This means, unlike others engaged in animal husbandry, aviculturists cannot bring their prize specimen to shows to enhance standards through competition. Similarly, achieving adequate flock biodiversity becomes problematic when exotic birds can’t cross state lines.

Do you know your bird’s breeder? Reach out to him or her and learn personally what they sacrifice to bring hatchlings into the world. Learn their concerns about proposed regulation that threatens the future of a healthy, biodiverse national pet bird stock. Volunteer your time with their tasks and learn in their presence.

And have a joyous holiday weekend!

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