THE WEEKS SEEM to be whizzing past, so it’s a relief just to pause for a moment and take stock of a few items in Cage & Aviary Birds this week. Zebra finches feature strongly, with renowned mobile partnership Green & Brown dropping in on lucky Peter Cannan in Devon on page 8. Peter is the possessor of one of the most recognisable friendly grins in birdkeeping – and I’m glad to say he’s still wearing it during the dynamic duo’s whirlwind visit!
Staying with zebbies, on page 10 Larry Mann clears up the confusions around a complex and versatile mutation, the black-breasted, which offers abundant possibilities to the skilled and imaginative breeder. And still in the finch line, Bengalese kingpin Tony Edwards writes on page 12 with total clarity and realism (but a welcome dash of humour too) about a 2016 breeding season that has left so many of his hopes unfulfilled. This absolute objectivity is in my experience a key attribute of the top breeder, in any branch of the fancy. Yet, you know, I did have a funny feeling about clouds and silver linings when Tony first sent me his article (I nearly said tale of woe) and so I wasn’t wholly surprised when he walked away with best Bengalese at Stafford. Not a bad result, really!
“Can a Belgian fancier make it a hat-trick of wins this year?” wonders Brian Keenan on page 11, looking forward to this weekend’s YCC open show at York. Overseas talent (including from Ireland, of course) has contributed immensely to this event in recent years and I reckon a Brexit of any constituency, hard or soft, is unlikely to affect that tendency. Let’s just hope that all visitors to the event, whether from within the Four Ridings or fresh off the ferry from Zeebrugge, remember: it’s not Leeds, not Bradford, but York for the Yorkie show!
■ The C&AB team has been saddened to learn of the recent passing of that greatly admired birdman and long-time servant of Poole & Parkstone CBS, Bernard Palmer. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr Palmer, but came to have a high regard for him, not least via the writings of his wife (now, sadly, widow), Gwen, for many years a talented and versatile contributor to this paper. Sincere condolences to her and to Mr Palmer’s family and numerous friends.
In the October 26, 2016, issue of Cage & Aviary Birds, named somewhat obscurely after its call, the bobwhite quail deserves to be kept more widely, says Bill Naylor, as he introduces this delightful ground-dwelling aviary companion
In news, we report that plans for a Norfolk bird club's open show next October are in motion, after members pledged to commemorate its late president with a special memorial event and for the first time, Critically Endangered Javan green magpies (Cissa thalassina) have successfully hatched and raised chicks in a UK zoo.
The South West can relax: Dave and Chris have completed their tour – but not before they've popped in to see specialist zebbie breeder and respected clubman Peter Cannan
It seems that Tony Edwards's Bengalese breeding plans haven't quite gone to plan, with infertile eggs, cocks masquerading as hens and badly shaped eggs thrown in the mix. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel...
With so many supplements and treatments out there, birdkeepers can often struggle to know what to look for to keep their birds healthy and gleaming with quality. Fred Wright speaks to Simon Carr of family-run Carr's for his thoughts on why natural supplements are the way forward and what the company can offer breeders and exhibitors in the modern era
Plus lots more, including Ask the Experts, Beautiful Parrots, Alderton's Observations and canaries, plus lots more.