not dampened and their enthusiasm for the
hobby reigned supreme.
Don Burke spoke at the official opening
on the topic Will Bird Clubs Survive in the
21st Century or Slowly Fade Away? Those well
known in aviculture who had passed since the
previous convention were also honoured at
the opening, and special guests introduced.
During the two days of lectures, the results of
the National Finch and Softbill Association
2017 Finch Census were tabled by Gary Fitt,
and I expect will be forthcoming for a future
issue of BirdKeeper.
The event was an outstanding success,
with numerous compliments regarding the
proceedings and standard of presentations. A
more detailed report follows in our next issue.
Finch keepers at the Finches 17 convention
were also very complimentary of our
magazine, but many still want more finch
articles. With the cessation of Just Finches
and Softbills (at this stage), I am conscious
of the need to fulfil this request. With this in
mind, I would love to hear from anyone—you
don’t have to be a professional author—
interested in writing for us on a casual or
regular basis about finches.
In this issue, enrichment and foraging are
discussed by Dr Bob Doneley on page 639
and Nathaniel Cohen on page 652, while EB
Cravens gives us some ideas on bird yoga
on page 650. All three present differing
approaches to ensuring our birds are kept
occupied and healthy, which make for good
human brain food, hopefully resulting in
happier birds and keepers.
Another enrichment topic is that of
flighted versus clipped birds and free-flight
considerations indoors. Hillary Hankey has
some wise words on this controversial subject
on page 630.
Russell Kingston reports that Red-winged
Pytilias, also known as Auroras, are a quiet,
insectivorous species that breed well—find
out more on page 633. And Marcus Pollard
provides some prudent guidelines for setting
up an aviary for finches or any smaller species
of parrot, such as Neophemas or Budgies on
Clancy Hall is back in this issue with the
second part in her short series on What’s in
a Name, this time addressing the topic of
medium–sized Australian parrots, on page 617.
Young bird keepers—we need your input
on these pages, so please start taking some
good photos of your bird-keeping activities
and notes that can form the basis of your
entry into the Syd Smith Young Bird Keeper
Writers’ Competition—see advertisement on
page 667 or contact us at ABK.
Please read the important notice below
and, if you have any comments, feel free to
contact me directly. We do try to give our
readers the very best in every aspect of our