Wow! What a weekend!
Parrots 2018 is a mammoth task for a group of Volunteers, but it's something we all thoroughly enjoy to continue to promote our ethos to "Raise The Perch In Aviculture"!
We flew in a great group of Speakers this year. One of our key points of interest was finding people who hadn't spoken at a Parrots Convention before (or for some time), and would provide a different perspective on Aviculture in general.
The weekend was a cold and early start for our feathered-adventurers making their way out to not one but four different private collections! Everything from understated Natives, to playful Amazons, rare Indian Ringneck colour mutations, and some of the most impressive gardens many of us had ever laid eyes on! It was a stand-out Aviary Tour, and a fantastic start to a knowledge-rich weekend.
We then all rolled in for the two streams of lectures, one focussed on Companion Parrots and the other on Breeding. Of course this was complimented by shared lectures, but all in all there was something for everyone; regardless of your interests. Between lectures there was time to view the range of Trade Stands, including that of the Parrots 2018 major sponsor - Vetafarm.
We also welcomed ABK, Animetics, Priam, Parrot Supplies Australia, and the Hagen Avicultural Research Centre (HARI); who were accompanied by none other than Mark Hagen himself! There were many bird-keepers who enjoyed networking with Mark, and learning a great deal more about the Tropican brands and its supply to Australia!
Then the pinnacle of our weekend is the Parrot Trust of Australia Conservation Dinner. We raised just shy of $5,000 for our vulnerable native species, which is a wonderful effort. Our President and Secretary decided to play the part of Auctioneer and Spotter, keeping the crowds entertained with a wondrous array of bird-related artwork, literature, and collectables.
We also welcomed to the floor a presentation on the Night Parrot, as well as the night being opened by Australia's Threatened Species Commissioner - Dr. Sally Box! Interesting conversation was sparked about the Orange-Bellied Parrot, with a view of having private Aviculture working closer with Government; all in aid of building a brighter future for Australia's bird species.
Another great addition was our 'Nutrition Panel', made up of Mark Hagen, Dr. Deborah Monks, Dr Stacey Gelis, and Daniel Gowland. This raised a great number of questions from the floor, and allowed for a science driven approach to Avian diets to be discussed; as opposed to the old rhetoric. It certainly gave many perspective, and was well received!
We're already well underway for planning Parrots 2020 - which we are hoping to be our best yet! Keep an eye on our website for updates.