HERE’S A LETTER we received last week: “Alfred Charles Eaglen was my grandfather. He exhibited canaries, somewhere in South London, until about 1928. He had a gold shield/medallion, which he wore on his watch chain, and had a silver cup, earned, I was told, by winning a competition three times in a row, thus making the cup his property to keep. From records, could you please tell me, where the shows were held, what categories he won, and when, plus any further information you may have.”
I would be delighted if we could supply the enquirer with any information about her grandfather, and if he was indeed a competition winner as described, then he would certainly have featured somewhere in our pages. The difficulty is that the only “records” that we hold consist of a complete set of back issues of the magazine in all its guises, dating right back to the beginning in 1902! There’s no such thing as an index, sadly, and hence no way of looking up references to a particular individual. It’s frustrating. Even when I once received an enquiry about a long-time staff member on the magazine, I had no biographical information that I could call on.
Still, I’m not complaining, since the archive is a fascinating and fantastic resource, and we will indeed have a look as and when we can for any references to Mr Eaglen. (And – long shot – if any reader can help with information about this gentleman, I would be extremely grateful.)
And don’t forget, if you’d like to arrange a visit in order to consult our archive, you will be very welcome.
■ Ed’s Phrase of the Week: “Socially monogamous but genetically unfaithful” (see house sparrow story, page 3). If there are any divorce lawyers out there: you read it here first.
■ Don’t try this at home, Part 47: “At this time of year, I increase the amount and range of greenfood I feed to the birds on a daily basis. This needs to be fresh, and as my wife grows lots of vegetables in raised beds I am able to ‘steal’ whatever I want!” Yes, and speaking of divorce lawyers... that arrangement plainly works well in the Kelly household (see page 16); however, other fanciers may wish to secure permission in triplicate before they proceed.
Enjoy your birds this week.
In the June 22, 2016, issue of Cage & Aviary Birds, Jeff Attwood says you'll know about the dominants and recessives, but did you know there used to be bandeds and clearflights as well? Jeff's history lesson reveals all.
In news, we report that the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance and the Poppy Appeal have each benefitted from a generous donation from Ilkeston & Erewash Valley CBS, and the orange-cheeked waxbill (Estrilda melpoda) has been afforded special breeding attention by the Waxbill Finch Society (WFS), after only a single chick was reported in its 2015 breeding returns.
When Rosemary Low went across Brazil in 2013 to catch a glimpse of the rare Pfrimer's conure she didn't realise it wasn't this bird that would command her attention, but rather the superb jandaya conure.
Following his 'bird boy' memoir in the June 1 issue, Graham Wellstead recalls his early show entries, his progress with falconry and his first encounter with song canaries.
In the second of two articles about getting your young seedeaters through their first moult, Terry Kelly advises on the key elements of diet, including wild-food tips.
Plus lots more, including Gloster Topics, north Dutch canaries, magpie mannikins and black-cheeked waxbill.