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Monthly newsletter with info on avian care, fun facts, and up coming events.



Come check us out monthly as every month something new will be discussed and you don't wanna miss these experts tips and tricks to healthier, happier caged birds.



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 May-Jun 2017




Mar-Apr 2017

President’s Message
Hello Everyone,
Even though our winter has not been that bad, spring time is just around the corner. I can't wait to get outside and enjoy the nicer weather ahead. In the last newsletter we mentioned getting a speaker for our March meeting, however we were not able to arrange anyone to speak at the meeting.
We had a directors meeting in February to discuss the coming events this year and other club issues. One very important issue that has been discussed for many years is the clubs constitution. No one can find a copy of our original and that is not a good thing. We have a draft proposal of a constitution in place and will include it in this newsletter. Please take some time to read through this document and contact myself or any board members if you have any questions. We will be meeting at the library in Thorndale Saturday March 25 at 10:30 to discuss the proposed constitution and voting on it at the April meeting. With a constitution in place it gives an outline on how the club should be run as well as other important issues. I am looking forward to moving ahead with this matter soon and putting this behind us.
Looking forward to seeing everyone the meeting,
Take Good Care

Editor’s Desk
I apologize for not getting this issue of the Newsletter out sooner. This past week went quickly. I had two Board meetings for other organizations, an Annual General Meeting and the Canadian Ornamental Pheasant & Game Bird Association Spring Auction on Saturday. It was a very successful event with a large crowd and a good assortment of many different types of birds including poultry, pheasants, doves and parakeets. It was nice to see a number of LDCBA members in attendance, including Laurene Van Erp, her husband Pete and Mr. Murray Perdue from the Clinton area in Woodstock on a Saturday morning. I hope they and other members will be in attendance on Saturday, March 25th at the LDCBA meeting for the important discussion on the Constitution. Many members find it difficult to travel in the evening, especially during the winter when it gets dark early. President Mark Tiede has been trying to find meeting times that are suitable to everyone.
Jim Symons has been very generous in his support of the LDCBA. We welcome Jim’s positive influence as a new Board member. Please contact President Mark Tiede with any suggestions you may have for the LDCBA activities or to offer your assistance.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

Avicultural Advancement Council of Canada
In an earlier Newsletter I mentioned that Jeremy Faria has been appointed President of the Avicultural Advancement Council of Canada (AACC). The London & District Cage Bird Association (LDCBA) is an affiliate of the AACC. The closed bands LDCBA offers to members are purchased from AACC.
Jeremy is planning numerous projects and activities for the AACC. The following are some of the activities Jeremy is working on:
• Avicultural Journal
• Review of the band (ring) programme for 2018
• Show Manual Update
• Manual on Standards of Care for Birds
• Conservation Projects
• Increase the Member (Affiliate) Clubs
• Program of support for Clubs
Jeremy is looking for volunteers to assist with these projects. You can contact Jeremy at Tel: 905-479-1875, Cell: 647-294-9634, E-mail:Jeremy.aacc@gmail.com
Alternatively contact LDCBA President Mark Tiede, Tel: 519-282-3065 E-mail: marktiede19@hotmail.com to discuss how you can assist both LDCBA and AACC.

Editor’s Note: In the last issue of the LDCBA Newsletter I listed a number of terms used to describe colourbred canaries. Although these terms such as Mosaic, Ivory, Frost, Agate, Isabel. Pastel, Opal, Phaeo, Satinette, Topaz, Eumo, Onyx or Jaspe are used at all of the cage bird shows to describe different colour forms of canaries, I suggested that few people would be able to properly describe these colours.

Below is an article which describes the Jaspe colour canary. This article was published in the September, 2016 issue of the Avicultural Journal. The Avicultural Journal is edited by Deirdre Graham and Jeremy Faria and published by the Avicultural Advancement Council of Canada (AACC). Kelly Vriesema is the LDCBA contact with the AACC for bands and the Journal. Tel: 519-268-0888 E-mail: ldcba@yahoo.ca. Stop in at Kelly’s Shop, “Ziggy & Friends” in Dorchester and have a look at the new issue of the Avicultural Journal.
Jaspe Colour Canary
By Geoff Walker

courtesy: Jean Paul Glement

At the forthcoming World Show the latest addition to the range of colours available for Coloured Canaries to breed and exhibit,

will be presented for the third year to a team of judges drawn from those officiating at the show. Should the birds presented be considered worthy of the points requirement, then from next show season they can be properly exhibited and awarded prizes.
Apart from the introduction of red lipochrome colour by hybridizing yellow canaries with the Black Hooded Red Siskin (Spinus cucullatus), all other variations in the Coloured Canary have arisen as a result of a mutation occurring.
The Jaspe has arrived by combining a mutation (the Dilute, which is often referred to as the Pastel in the UK) that exists in the European Siskin (Carduelis spinus) with all of the four classic variations of a normal melanin canary (Black, Brown, Isabel and Agate) via the Black Hooded Red Siskin (Spinus cucullatus) and the Black Hooded Yellow Siskin (Spinus magellanicus). Which by my reckoning makes for two creations not one!! I am left to wonder why, if this was an intentional experiment, the pairing of the European siskin directly to the canary was not made.
Whether by design or by accident , a Spanish breeder was responsible for creating the bird, initially using the Black Hooded Yellow Siskin as the out cross with the European Siskin, and then at a later time doing the same thing with the red version. The F1 hybrids created were then paired back to the European Siskin to create F2s and so on until a pure Black Hooded Yellow Siskin displaying the mutation was created. This bird was then paired to coloured canaries again until a pure canary was created displaying the mutation.
The familiar exercise of then crossing the mutated canary to the other three classic colours has taken place. Given that the bird can be created in all of the lipochrome colours: Yellow, Red. Dominant White, Recessive White and the Ivory versions of each of these. Plus the three feather types: Intensive ( Yellow) Non Intensive (Buff) and Mosaic (formerly known as Dimorphic). It can be seen that 96 variations are possible; a fact that I am sure will delight show secretaries when they need to add them to show schedules.
The major effect of the Dilute mutation in the Siskin is to, in varying degrees, create a melanin free zone in the flight feathers and to alter the colour of the melanin pigment, especially on the back to a dark grey colour.
When introduced to the canary it really is amazing what variations have occurred throughout the four classic colours, with no defined pattern seeming to have evolved in the examples that I have inspected. Although not yet really established in large numbers in the North European countries. In Spain and Southern France the situation is different and last year in particular over three hundred examples were exhibited at the Bordeaux show. In few classes were there two birds that really resembled one another. Judging therefore becomes extremely difficult.
Within Canary variations we have mutations that are Dominant - or to be truly accurate codominant: Intensive (Yellow) feathers, Dominant White lipochrome colour and the Crest. Sex Linked examples: Ivory lipochrome colour, Brown (Cinnamon) Agate, Isabel, Pastel, Satinette, all of which affect melanin and Recessive Mutations: Recessive White lipochrome, and the melanin mutations: Opal, Onyx. Phaeo, Topaz, Eumo and Cobalt. But we have no Dominant mutation which affects melanin pigment, thus the Jaspe might find some favour with experimental breeders simply because of that fact.
With any Dominant mutation, examples can appear in both Single and Double factor forms. Claims are made that in some instances some mutations are not viable in double factor format, something that cannot be proved. The double factor Jaspe birds do however; present a very different phenotype to the single factor examples, thus demonstrating that with this mutation at least, no such problems arise.
With any Dominant mutation, examples can appear in both Single and Double factor forms. Claims are made that in some instances some mutations are not viable in double factor format, something that cannot be proved. The double factor Jaspe birds do however; present a very different phenotype to the single factor examples, thus demonstrating that with this mutation at least, no such problems arise.
Dominant mutations do allow breeders to quickly establish the mutation in both sexes, and allow for out crosses to be made regularly to maintain vigour.
The inheritance table for all dominant mutations is as follows. I have used Jaspe but any of the other mutations with this mode of inheritance will follow the same form.

Breeders who have been experimenting with the creation for a number of years are sufficiently confident that they can describe and breed to a standard of excellence for single factor examples, and it is this that has been tested for the last two years at World Shows, and which they hope will be finally accepted in January. They are however finding fixing a definitive phenotype for the double factor examples much more difficult, and no standard has yet been created for presentation to OMJ. Perhaps it never will. There are a few breeders in the UK with small studs of the Jaspe, and I am aware of one breeder who has Variegated F2 hybrids - which unfortunately will be of no use for serious breeders. He has used a Double Factor Dilute Black Hooded Red Siskin as the sire and has bred Fl examples this year using an Intensive Red Black as the hen, photographs of which look interesting.
Editor’s Note: The following article was published in Siskin News, Vol. 5 No.4, 1995. Siskin News was created by the American Federation of Aviculture to report the Red Siskin Recovery Project. I have only included a portion of this large article. The article was provided by long-time LDCBA member, Peter De Gruyter. Peter was formerly a premier breeder of Zebra finches in southern Ontario as well as many other species including the Red Siskin. Colourbred canary fanciers are indebted to the Red Siskin (Carduelis cucullatus) for the red factor this species provided to canaries. Unfortunately the enthusiasm of aviculturalists for the Red Siskin led to its endangered status in the wild.
Despite conservation efforts, the Red Siskin is still threatened by habitat destruction. Also the captive breeding programmes of the Red Siskin have not been as successful as hoped due to disease and some captive populations were found to actually be hybrids.

Red Siskin Populations
By Kevin Gorman


The red siskin is considered the most endangered bird species in Venezuela. It was once found throughout the foothills of northern Venezuela. Its range extended from eastern Colombia across Venezuela into Trinidad. This small, semi nomadic seed and fruit eating finch has become very rare throughout a now fragmented range.
Excessive and relentless trapping for the cage bird trade since at least 1835 is the single known cause of the decline of the red siskin. Trapping pressures exist because this species readily hybridizes with the domestic canary to produce fertile offspring with red orange colors. These hybrids have been known by bird fanciers since the early 1900's.
In 1952 Phelps wrote that the red siskin was almost extinct even though ten years earlier it was relatively common. Others reported that the species was formerly common in bird shops in the country and was often flown to foreign markets in lots of 500, but at the time of his writing, people had difficulty finding a single bird. Trapped birds had a high mortality which meant that more birds were trapped than were intended to be sold.
In the past, trapping took place between July and September when flocks were feeding at the base of mountains. Nesting sites were inaccessible due to the rainy season and lack of all-weather roads. With increased road construction and the advent of four wheel drive vehicles, red siskins were trapped throughout the year. As siskins became scarcer the higher prices paid for these birds encouraged trappers to pursue them even more. Although Venezuelan laws prohibit the possession of this species, many Venezuelans still keep them as pets.
A captive breeding effort as a means of taking pressures off of the wild population was proposed in the mid - 1960s. Venezuelan conservationists repeated this call in the early 1980s. The American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) responded with an attempted worldwide survey of captive stock . Following the laying of groundwork for a captive breeding program, the AFA officially initiated a breeding consortium for the red siskin in 1990. Subsequently, several articles have described this program.
Currently called the AFA Red Siskin Recovery Project (RSP), this captive breeding program includes over 35 aviculturists in the U.S. with numerous other individuals playing supportive roles. Project breeders in the U.S. have raised 226 young from1991 through 1994. Aviculturists from other countries have shown an interest in collaborating with the RSP by exchanging information or birds.
The main focus or the RSP is to create a strong captive population or red siskins to he used as a reservoir if the wild population becomes extinct. With German collaborators we plan to determine the genetic variability and the extent of hybridization of birds in captivity in the U.S. and in Europe. We are proposing a comprehensive program which includes field studies to determine the current statues of C. cucullata in the wild and captive propagation and educational initiatives for C. cucullata in Venezuela.
Status of the Red Siskin in Captivity
In 1986 a worldwide census on the captive red siskin population was performed. Responses were obtained from approximately 17 countries. Included in the responses were three successful breeders in Venezuela: Domingo Conde, Juan Camacaro and Vincenzo Serino. There were several successful breeders in the Canary Islands, Spain, Ital y, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Australia. In Australia, less than 50 red siskins had been imported prior to the importation ban in 1956. The current captive bred population (of hundreds to over a thousand) are descendants from this small number of birds. In Australia many aviculturists that have been successful at breeding red siskins in planted aviaries. These birds may be of value as they may have retained wild nest building skills.
The red siskin has been successfully bred in Europe where one ornithologist estimates as many as 100,000 birds exist. A formal survey is being conducted to achieve a better estimate of the European population. In Germany special CITIES permits used to be required to keep and breed the red siskin. This permit system ensured that breeders kept accurate records. Captive-bred red siskins in Germany grew to such a large number that in 1993, government permits were no longer required for raising this species.
Australia is the only other country known to have a formal breeding program for C. cucullara. In the U.S., the Red Siskin Recovery Program (RSP) has been officially operating since the beginning of 1990.This program is composed of individuals with a wide variety of expertise. Participants range from private aviculturists of many professions, to zoo curators and Ph.D. scientists. In addition to maintaining a genetically diverse captive population in the U.S. and Europe, DNA analysis techniques will be used to determine the genetic purity and genetic variability of captive bred and wild red siskins. An educational campaign and a captive breeding element are also planned in Venezuela.


Threats To The Captive Population Hvbridization
The European captive red siskin population may contain a large percentage of hybrid genes. Other carduelian finches, especially the Hooded green siskin (Carduelis megellanicus) have been used as hybridizing partners to increase the size and improve the cold tolerance of the red siskin. Red siskins have also been hybridized with other carduelian finches in Europe to increase stamina and improve health, as many earl y breeders had limited success at breeding the red siskin.
German breeders are particularly sensitive to the hybridization issue as many strive to produce pure red siskins. The pressure to find pure red siskins may mean that some German breeders may seek wild caught birds as the purity of wild birds is essentially guaranteed. The current proposal in Germany is to have two classifications of red siskins: Class A siskins are pure blooded red siskins (i.e. bred from birds of known purity). Class B siskins are all other red siskins (may contain hybrid genes). Birds classified as A will probably have a higher price associated with them as they will be sold with a certificate of purity, while birds classified as B will sell for the standard price.
The possibility that a highly developed country, with virtually unlimited captive-bred red siskins may still seek wild-caught birds is testimony that pressure still exits on the wild population. Even in the U.S. some aviculturists continue to seek out wild caught birds from Puerto Rico. They expect the wild birds to be stronger than captive-bred and the price is usually less than captive bred birds.
In the U.S., there has been some hybridization between C. culcullata and C. megellanicus. The RSP holds some of these birds for use in fostering (obtained from a n independent breeder who died). One
wouldn't expect to find many red siskins with hybrid carduelian finch genes in the U.S. as other carduelian finches are relatively rare in U.S. aviculture.
There is a need to scientifically document the purity of the captive population, especially in Germany, Australia, and in the U.S. Once pure red siskins are identified in captivity, breeders will have a ready supply of pure birds to use in future breeding programs.

From the beginning of the RSP birds have been obtained from independent breeders across the U.S. The RSP population represents a large percentage of the U.S. captive-bred gene pool. Diseases and pathogens have been documented throughout the RSP population through fecal slide exams and histopathology reports on all RSP birds.
Mycobacteriosis is found in many bird species around the world. It is being diagnosed with increased frequency in pet birds, especially in Brotogeris species (grey-cheeked parakeets) and older amazon parrots. Mycobacteriosis has even been documented as causing wart-like lesions in an amazon parrot. In a report on mycobacteriosis at the National Zoo, the most commonly stricken orders to be Anseriformes , Galliformes, Gruiformes, Columbiformes, and Passeriformes. It has also been reported in Gouldian finches ( Chloebia gouldiae ) and Common hoopoes ( Upupa epops ). There are many cases where stress could be linked to the onset of mycobacteriosis.
Although there have been reports of successful treatment regimes for mycobacteriosis. These treatments are typically prolonged and may be administered for up to a year. In many cases the disease is incurable and the only alternative is to euthanize the bird to prevent the spread of disease.
This particular disease has been widespread in the U.S. population of red siskins. Many independent breeders, because of overcrowding, improper husbandry techniques and lack of detection, continue to pass this disease to other breeders. The result may be a captive population that will be weakened and unfit for long term survival. A dramatic decrease in mycobacteriosis in the RSP population has been documented. This may he attributed to early diagnosis, elimination of sick birds and proper husbandry techniques.
Two additional diseases that have had a negative impact on captive populations are atoxoplasmosis, a chronic form of coccidiosis and canary pox. Pox can he spread from infected canaries and has been known to kill entire flocks of captive red siskins.


Many red siskin breeders in North America have inadequate record keeping and do not ask for genetic backgrounds when acquiring birds from other breeders. This practice contributes to inbreeding as there are limited numbers of founder stock from which birds are obtained. Breeders assume that if a bird is from another state it is unrelated to their own. Most likely a relatively small number of successful red siskin breeders have supplied the majority of birds throughout the U.S.
Another practice that may result in inbreeding is the deliberate selection for mutations or the breeding of birds with similar traits to accentuate a “desired” trait. The desire of some breeders to increase the size, deepen the red color, or to “fix” a mutation (in the red siskin) is inappropriate for the RSP whose goals include maintaining the genetic diversity that was originally found in the wild state.
There have been a few, if any, color mutations reported in the red siskin. There have been reports of birds with white contour feathers. This trait was documented in 1977 in Germany where a breeder had a female red siskin whose entire gray coloring was replaced by white feathering. Evidently, the female had normal coloring after her first adult moult but became ''white" during her second annual moult. Periodically, red siskins will be found in the U.S. population with white feathering on the head. Two additional mutations have been described that originated in France. These mutations are the brown and isabel color phenotype. These mutations are sex-linked. Coincidentally, in 1907 the same two color mutations were discovered in France, but were mutations in canaries. One would suspect that these color mutations were introduced into the red siskin from canaries, and that the red siskins carrying these color mutations are hybrids and not pure bred red siskins.

Editor’s Note: The following article is also from the September, 2016 issue of the Avicultural Journal.

The Mite Experience  By Jay Bunker

I had recently been asked to contribute to the new AACC Journal. I have been the editor for our clubs newsletter (NACBS.com)

for a number of years and had previously been the editor of the Edmonton Avicultural Association newsletter during the eighties and nineties. As well, I have had articles in the Cage and Aviary and the Cage Bird Keeper in England. I thought I should, as any conscientious aviculturalist would, contribute to the new Journal. In the future I intend to review old cage bird books.
The talk at this time in the cage bird world is regarding mites. I had a phone call from a friend in Ontario, expressing that there appears to be an "EXPLOSION" of mites in eastern Canada. He stated that everyone seems to have them and doesn't know how to handle them.
His next question was, "Where do they come and are they some sort of spore life form?" Some believe that they come into the bird rooms via food stuffs, seed or vegetables. They can be brought into the area on the clothes of visitors but generally they are passed by direct contact, either one bird to another or at shows where they can travel from cage to cage. One has to first determine the type of mite that one is talking about. There are several types of mites that affect cage birds. With the two most common are the “Red spider mite" and the "Northern fowl mite". I have encountered both this past year and they both are difficult to deal with, but they can be beat. They both are small like little specks of pepper. The color varies from white or grey when not having food to red or black after a blood feed.
My first encounter came when an acquaintance asked if I would board his birds for him while he was on holidays. I agreed (anything to help someone in the hobby), and he brought over his two cages of canaries. I placed them in the empty holding cages that I had and placed his empty cages under the holding cages.
All seemed well at first but after three weeks I had two Norwich canaries die that were in the same cage complex. I checked them over and was puzzled by their passing. At that time I just shrugged my shoulders and thought "bad things happen" and carried on. A couple of days later two of his birds passed away and now I am beginning to wonder what is going on. I went through the usual routine of checking body fat to see that they had been eating well and nothing unusual. I checked the water and foods and nothing unusual there either. Because it was a busy time I told myself I would check more closely later on. The next day I lost two more Norwich canaries in my flights. That was the last of my Norwich. When I picked one of them up I noted I had little bugs crawling across my hands. Now I was looking around more carefully and told myself it was time for a major clean up. I reached for some dividers I kept on top of my holding cages and to my horror I found they were covered on the underside with tens of thousands of mites. These were spider mites, one of the vampires of the bird world.
Like most breeders, at this point I took the shot gun approach and threw everything at the situation. I determined they were red spider mites because they were not localized to living on the birds but in dark places in the bird room. All the cages were immediately cleaned out and dusted with Diatomaceous Earth, a powder used in the farming community for mites and parasites. It is made from ground up diatoms, a type of hard shelled algae. The sharp edges cut the body of the mites on contact and they lose their body fluids and die. The birds were all treated with Ivermectin which I purchased from a veterinary supply store. This is applied to the back of the neck of the bird on bare skin. It is a systemic which is absorbed through the skin into the blood. It kills most everything that feeds on fluids from the birds. The birds were also treated with Dusting Powder, a powder that contains 5% Carbaryl. I purchased it from a farm supply store; it is used for poultry and cattle and comes in a 1 kg container. It works by contact; the powder is applied by turning the bird over in one’s hand and dusting the back and rump/vent area. I use a spice seasoning shaker with larger holes as the powder will clog the holes on a salt type shaker. Care must be taken not to get either of these powders in the head area where it can get into the eyes or lungs.
This was the end of part one which was treating the birds. Part two was treating the environment, which again was no easy task. The products of choice to tackle the problem were Ambush, a product made by Wilson and is sold in garden shops to kill bugs on plants. It had been recommended to me by my veterinarian. The active ingredient is permethrin, which is a derivative from marigolds. It has a pleasant rose smell so it is not offensive to the nostrils. It is much more pleasant than spraying with Malathion that smells like a petroleum product. I mix this at a rate of 2 tablespoons to 1gallon of water. I then put it in the spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle so I can spray up close or at a distance. The second product I used was Permectrin 11, which had been given to me to try.
This is also a permethrin product which I believe is of a slightly higher concentration. I also used this at a rate of 2 tablespoons to 1 gallon of water. This product states that it has a 30 day residual effect. I believe this would be against flies and not mites. The other items necessary were soap and water laced with bleach.
Initially I sprayed the birds, walls and cages. Then I moved all the birds into the flight cages and thoroughly cleaned the holding cages and removed them from the room. I washed and sprayed down the walls. The walls were red in some areas from the spray coming in contact with the mites. I noticed the next day that wherever there had previously been screws or nails in the wall, that there was evidence of more mites. After further spraying I filled the holes with drywall mud, sanded the areas and then repainted the walls. I then reset the holding cages and proceeded to move the birds so I could tackle the flight cages. Even though I had been spraying the birds and cages daily, I was amazed to see that the mites still persisted by hiding between the cage framing members or where they were attached to the ceiling. I treated this area the same as the first with the filling of holes, sanding and painting.
It felt great to have the job done. There were no more losses of the birds and everything was in a good balance. I had three weeks still to prepare for the fall shows and to keep an eye on everything to make sure everything was bug free. It was.
My next encounter came after the show season. After our local show in Edmonton, I had shown in two shows in Toronto and one in Vancouver. I had also purchased birds at all three places and all from various breeders. Normally I would powder with Dusting Powder and treat them with Ivermectin as a precaution after the show season. As it was, I was back to work and on the road for the next three week-ends.
One evening I noticed I had a few birds that were looking poorly, and sitting around slightly fluffed up and lethargic in their actions. I decided to look into it more thoroughly the next day. When I came in the morning I found a border hen lying on the ground. She was a clear yellow buff hen that now looked like a cinnamon bird as she had a light brown tinge all over. This is a result of the Northern Fowl Mite, which leaves its host to find a new victim after the first one turns cold. This was somewhat upsetting as I had purchased her for a particular male I had. I suspected that the birds in all wire show cages were most likely to be affected as the mites can fall from cages above into cages below.
Further investigation showed that it was only the birds in the holding cages which were my birds from the show circuit and the purchased type canaries that were infected. I felt that the color bred birds had escaped being infected as they had been kept separate from the type canaries and had been shipped separately. Never the less they all were treated with Ivermectin. I planned to wait a week before powdering them but after losing a male Yorkshire canary two days later and a young border male; I decided to powder them all with the Dusting Powder. This effectively took care of the northern fowl mites. After this it was a matter of being vigilant and checking for any further developments. It seems there is always one or two who somehow end up with a few surviving the treatments mentioned above and if you have two mites you're on the way to thousands. When that is the case, I isolate those few birds and treat them again.
I sometimes use a product called Front Line. This is a product that was developed for ticks and fleas on cats and dogs. The liquid spray bottle form is not available in Alberta so I have had to order it via the internet. I use this product sparingly on the birds. It is not a systemic like the Ivermectin but an oil type of product that I believe spreads across the skin of the bird because of their body heat. It is most effective if applied to the rear of the bird, back of the vent area as this seems to be where the northern fowl mite congregates. I use it reluctantly because of possible side effects that are spoken about but have not been substantiated. Fipronil is the active ingredient in Frontline flea treatment. On animals it collects in the hair follicles and oil producing glands of the skin, where it remains protected from removal by shampooing or swimming.
The main point to remember when planning to treat your birds is to determine what you are treating. Northern fowl mites live on the bird and move on to find a new host. Red spider mites live in the birds' environment and visit them at night for their feeding. Both are deadly to the birds but just an irritant to breeders. I have known breeders who have destroyed their bird-rooms in trying to get rid of a mite infestation and others had left the hobby all together because of the frustration of dealing with these tiny vampires. My experiences have proven that they can be overcome; it just requires persistence and knowledge of what you are dealing with.

Minerals for Avian Nutrition    By J. Paul Stevens

In the January/February, 2017 issue of the LDCBA Newsletter we examined the role of vitamins in avian nutrition. Research over the past century has also shown many inorganic elements are important for the proper nutrition of birds. Studies have shown that in addition to elements making up the organic compounds in the body, there are at least 13 inorganic elements required for adequate nutrition.
The inorganic elements of nutritional importance are commonly referred to as minerals. From a nutritional stand point minerals are often classified into two groups, the macro minerals and the micro minerals. Minerals make up three to five percent of the animal body. Calcium makes up nearly half of the minerals found in the body, phosphorus makes up a quarter and the other quarter is from all other minerals combined. As the terms suggest macro minerals are present in greater quantities in the body and the dietary requirement is usually expressed as a percent of diet. They include: calcium, phosphorus, sodium, chlorine and potassium. The micro minerals or trace elements are minerals present at low levels in the body and the dietary requirement is usually expressed

in ppm. They include: magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, copper, selenium, molybdenum and iodine. These minerals are essential nutrients for birds and although they are essential dietary components and beneficial in small quantities, a whole lot is not better. In large quantities, some minerals may be toxic or may interfere with other nutrients.
The general function of minerals includes skeletal formation and maintenance, protein synthesis, oxygen transport, fluid balance, acid-base balance, the activation of enzymes and cooperation with vitamins.
Calcium and phosphorus are grouped in the macro minerals because they are required in relatively large amounts for the formation and maintenance of the skeleton. This is particularly true in growing birds whereas in adult laying hens the largest quantity of dietary calcium goes to egg shell formation. Even with adequate calcium in the diet, it is a tremendous metabolic accomplishment for the female bird to absorb and transport enough calcium for the production of a hard shelled egg. In some species such as the domestic chicken it is an particular metabolic challenge to production an egg every day. When the supply of calcium from the diet is inadequate, the hen is still able to form an egg shell by mobilizing calcium from medullary bone. If the hen is unable to replace the calcium in bones from the diet, she may develop osteoporosis, a condition also known as cage layer fatigue in layer chickens. Other functions of calcium include muscle function and blood clotting. Most poultry hobbyists and aviculturists appreciate the need for adequate dietary calcium. However, an excess of calcium can interfere with availability of minerals such as manganese and zinc. I received a good lesson many years ago on calcium interrelationships while working at an Australian zoo. We hatched some Emus in an incubator that were subsequently fed a crumble diet formulated to contain adequate calcium and phosphorus for growing birds. The head bird keeper was concerned that the calcium level in the ration might not be adequate to support formation of the leg bones of such large terrestrial birds. He decided to top dress their food with extra calcium. The net result was that the excess calcium interfered with the availability of manganese in the diet. The resulting manganese deficiency caused perosis, a joint malformation which allowed the Achilles tendon to slip out of the condyle causing the leg of the chicks to rotate sideways. It is also essential that calcium and phosphorus are in the right dietary balance. This can be a challenge when formulating rations since only 30 to 40% of the phosphorus from many plant ingredients is available. In addition to being important for bone formation, phosphorus is also required in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Sodium, potassium, and chloride are often referred to as electrolytes. They function with magnesium, phosphates and bicarbonate to maintain the osmotic fluid balance and the acid-base balance or pH in all tissues of the body. The proper balance of these three elements is also important for growth, skeletal development and egg shell formation.
Geographic areas vary in the quantity of the micro minerals or trace elements in the soil. Therefore feedstuffs grown in some areas may be deficient in some of these minerals and diets will require supplementation to ensure an adequate intake. Although iodine is required only in trace amounts, it is essential for the formation of thyroxine hormone necessary for energy metabolism and it is no surprise that a deficiency will reduce both hatchabilty and chick growth. Both copper and iron are needed for adequate hemoglobin production. A deficiency of zinc typically causes abnormal feather and bone growth. Some trace minerals are associated with vitamins. Both selenium and vitamin E are antioxidants and the quantity and availability of one can have a sparing effect on the requirement for the other. Dietary supplementation with trace minerals must be done with caution due to the risk of over supplementation or possible interactions with other minerals causing a deficiency of one of the nutrients. In future articles we can look more specifically at the role of particular minerals and their requirements.

Web Masters Note:

I have found that prevention is 9/10ths of the solution.
When bringing birds hope from a show ( competitors or newly acquired ) they all get a spraying of ivermectin mixed with water before entering the aviary.

The show cages are washed with soap and bleach.
The carrier boxes are tossed in our fire box.
This prevents the mites from getting any type of toe hold.
We also dust all our cage bottoms ( under trays) with Diatomaceous Earth ( d-earth)
before placing birds in for breeding.
All our nests are also lined with d-earth to prevent parasites attacking the hatchling chicks.
These have  worked well in preventing and avoiding mite infestations for decades.     

Great Articles as always.  Thanks Paul 

Was fascinated by the jaspe mutation in canaries and you will be too.

Amazing article on the Red Hooded Siskin A great introduction to thisa amazing bird 

RON ~:>



Jan-Feb 2017


President's Message

Happy New Year !!! I hope everyone enjoyed a great holiday season with family and friends.
I am looking forward to working with our new 2017 executive as we plan our upcoming meetings
and agenda for the coming year. With winter upon us, we will not be meeting until March.
At the March meeting we would like to have a guest speaker. If anyone has any suggestions, please contact

Paul Stevens or myself regarding a guest speaker or any concerns for that matter.
We will have a board meeting in February and a date for our March meeting will be sent out
in our March/April newsletter .
Take Good Care
Mark Tiede

Editors Desk

I hope you enjoy this issue of the LDCBA News. We have included articles on a variety of topics.
I would very much appreciate material for the March/April Newsletter by February 15th . In March there will be a general

meeting of the LDCBA. I hope to send the Newsletter out by March 1st in order to provide notice of the meeting date,

location and speaker.
It is always exciting to start over with a new year. Please offer your suggestions for activities and ways to make

2017 a great year for the London & District Cage Bird Association.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

Looking Back at the London & District Cage Bird Association 2016 Show

The November/December issue of the Newsletter, included a report and some pictures of the London and District Cage Bird Association (LDCBA) 64th Annual Show, October 7-9, 2016. I am sure you have many pleasant memories of the show and below

are a few more photos to help us remember the event. Also check out the January/February, 2017 issue of Feather Fancier for

a report on the LDCBA 2016 Show. As you reminisce about the LDCBA Show, think about what you enjoyed and think about the things that could be done differently or improved. How could the show be made more appealing to members of the public with limited knowledge of birds? How can a cage bird show be used to attract people to the hobby of keeping birds?


Avicultural Advancement Council of Canada
The London & District Cage Bird Association (LDCBA) is an affiliate of the Avicultural Advancement Council of Canada (AACC).

Most LDCBA members will be familiar with AACC as our source of leg bands and sponsor of the National Cage Bird Show. We would like to congratulate Jeremy Faria, Unionville, Ontario on his recent appointment as President of AACC. Past President

Dunstan Browne, Victoria, B.C. will also be the Vice-President (West) and Chris Holoboff, Toronto will continue as

Vice-President (East) .
Jeremy Faria and Deidre Graham have very generously contributed their time and expertise to the LDCBA Show with the computerization of entries and awards. Every weekend throughout the fall in Southern Ontario, they have assisted other

cage bird clubs with their shows. They have also managed the National Cage Bird Show in Richmond Hill. Jeremy and

Deidre have taken on the additional responsibility as Editors of AACC’s Avicultral Journal.
Jeremy is planning numerous projects and activities for the AACC. The following are some of the activities Jeremy is

working on:

  • Avicultural Journal
  • Review of the band (ring) programme for 2018
  • Show Manual Update
  • Manual on Standards of Care for Birds
  • Conservation Projects
  • Increase the Member (Affiliate) Clubs
  • Program of support for Clubs

Jeremy is looking for volunteers to assist with these projects. You can contact Jeremy at Tel: 905-479-1875, Cell: 647-294-9634, E-mail:Jeremy.aacc@gmail.com
Deidre Graham can be contacted at Tel: 416-285-9634. E-mail: graham.aacc@gmail.com
You can also assist AACC through the LDCBA. Kelly Vriesems is the primary LDCBA contact with the AACC. Tel: 519-268-0888

E-mail: ldcba@yahoo.ca. Stop in at Kelly’s Shop, “Ziggy’s Feathered Friends” in Dorchester and have a look at the new

issue of the Avicultural Journal while you shop for your bird supplies. Also contact LDCBA President Mark Tiede, Tel: 519-282-3065 E-mail: marktiede19@hotmail.com to discuss how you can assist both LDCBA and AACC.
To better understand the role of AACC and how this national organization can assist all aviculturists in Canada,

I have included the AACC Objectives below.

AACC Objectives
1. To establish and maintain a national association of interested societies and individuals to promote the advancement of avicultural in Canada.
2. To represent the Canadian avicultural community internationally.
3. To disseminate information on the study and practical application on all aspects of the science of aviculture through the publication of The Avicultural Journal.
4. To support recognized expert aviculturists who are endeavoring to breed rare and endangered species to ensure their future preservation.
5. To foster a greater understanding of the proper care and management of pet bird
6. To act on behalf of all Canadian aviculturists to assist all levels of government in preparing informed legislation and policy, where required, relating to aviculture; and to assist affiliate societies in similar endeavours on a provincial, s among the general public. regional, or municipal level.
7. To establish standards for the exhibition of birds in Canada, ensure their proper implementation through the maintenance of

a national Judges' Panel, and to allocate and sponsor an annual Canadian National Bird Show to provide a large scale

comparison of birds bred to these standards.
8. To provide a national identification leg band registry, coding service, and a Canadian source of supply of such bands for

affiliate societies

Canary Terms
Colourbred canaries fascinate everyone, whether they are seasoned fanciers or a person viewing these beautiful gems for

the first time. The stunning colours are due to a number of factors, including genetics, feeding and management. Hybridization

of the canary with the red siskin of South America introduced the red factor which with the addition of colour feeding made the

creation of beautiful red canaries possible. As more canaries with the red factor were bred, more mutations appeared which broadened the range of potential colours. Some of these mutations were genes which diluted the colour in different ways.

Canary breeders selected terms to describe the vast array of colours and patterns that were created. These terms are used at Shows to differentiate the many mutations and colour forms on exhibit. I am sure few members of the public have any idea

what it means when they read on the cage tag that the canary is an Isabel Opal Mosaic Red or a Satinette Intensive canary. I suspect that few us could properly define many descriptors such as Mosaic, Ivory, Frost, Agate, Isabel. Pastel, Opal, Phaeo, Satinette, Topaz, Eumo,

Onyx or Jaspe. In a future issue of the Newsletter I think it would be interesting to provide a summary of terms used to describe canaries, both colourbred and type. There are many LDCBA members who are better qualified to do this than me. Who would

like to prepare a summary of terms for the Newsletter? Also at the Shows I think it would be of interest to have the canary exhibitors take turns giving guided tours. They could explain what the names mean, the important characteristics of each breed and what


judge is looking for in the various classes. We could advertise this to the public as a feature of the Show.

Captive Breeding and Conservation of St. Vincent Amazon By: Paul Stevens
The St. Vincent Amazon parrot (Amazona guildingii) has a very distinctive coloration. It displays a multitude of colours in its plumage, including bronze-brown, blue, orange, green, black and creamy white. This unusual coloured Amazon parrot is

confined to the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean.

It occurs chiefly in mountain rainforests where it feeds in the treetops on fruits and blossoms. As you would probably expect, this species requires large trees for nesting. The St. Vincent Amazon was first listed as endangered in 1970. It is threatened because it is restricted to the few remaining forests on the island. In the 1970’s there were estimated to be 300 – 500 birds remaining in the


In some years 40 – 50 nestlings were being taken for sale to the pet trade. For many decades birds were trapped and trees cut

down to collect nestlings for the sale to the cage bird trade. Reports suggest that prices for captive birds may be as high $10,000 each,

The St. Vincent Amazon is now fully protected in the wild but there have still been reports of parrots killed by hunters

and some years no young have been raised due to exceptionally heavy rains.

The most recent census found higher numbers of wild birds, approximately 800, and IUCN has upgraded the status of the

species to vulnerable. However, they are still at a high risk of extinction in the wild due to their very restricted range on a single island.
It is important that a sustainable captive population of St. Vincent Amazons be maintained as insurance to the small wild population. A number of zoos and private breeding facilities in Europe and USA have bred the St. Vincent Amazon.

I first saw this species at Houston Zoo when I attended a workshop on techniques for sexing birds. Houston Zoo was one

of the first to use techniques such as C-banding to examine the cells in developing feathers for the female W chromosome.

With monomorphic species such as the St. Vincent it can be challenging to determine if a pair is a male and female.

At Houston Zoo the St. Vincent parrot was first bred in the 1970s. However, the number of captive birds being bred is still very limited.

Institutions with single birds have been very responsible by sending them on breeding loan agreements to other

collections where they could be paired.
Although the St. Vincent Amazon is fully protected in the wild, poaching of nestlings is still occurring and at levels that may

not be sustainable. There are a significant number of captive St. Vincent Amazons on the island and a group of people who

own these birds wanted to sex them for the purpose of breeding. George Amato and Michael Russello of the Wildlife

Conservation Society used DNA analysis to determine the sex of all the captive St. Vincent Amazon parrots living in

St. Vincent and Barbados, a total of 79 birds. They were also able to determine how the individuals in the captive

population were related to one another. Since the genetic make-up of the captive, breeding parrots is now known, it is possible

to use DNA technology to compile a genetic family tree for their offspring. Therefore they have been able to determine that

some birds reported to be captive bred were actually taken from the wild. It is hoped that this DNA technology will not only aid in breeding captive birds, but also curb illegal poaching.
Berry, R.J., 1980. Status of the St. Vincent Amazon Breeding Program at the Houston Zoological Gardens.

In: Conservation of New World Parrots. R.F Pasquier, (ed.). Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C.

BirdLife International (2017) Species factsheet: Amazona guildingii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/01/2017.

Forshaw, J. 1973. Parrots of the World. Doubleday, New York

Graham, S., 2001. Protecting St. Vincent Amazon Parrots. Scientific American.

King, W. B., 1981. Endangered Birds of the World. The ICBP Bird Red Data Book.

Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C.

Bird Poop Helps Cool the Arctic in Summer, New Study Finds
By Priscilla Hwang, CBC News, Posted: Nov 28, 2016

LDCBA member Teresa Banar submitted this CBC story about how seabirds are influencing the Arctic climate.
Thousands of tonnes of seabird feces deposited in the Canadian Arctic help keep the Arctic climate cooler in the summer, according to one of the study's lead authors Greg Wentworth, an atmospheric scientist with Alberta Environment and Parks.
Wentworth said he was surprised when his team measured an unexpectedly high concentration of ammonia in the "pristine, summertime Arctic atmosphere" back in July 2014. "Of course, we were wondering where all this ammonia was coming from," said Wentworth. "We were scratching our heads a little bit." Turns out, it was courtesy of the

tens of millions of seabirds that migrate to the Arctic every summer. Their guano — or poop — produces enough ammonia to affect the atmosphere. "And this is important because no one had actually tried to measure ammonia

in the Canadian Arctic before," said Wentworth.
Ammonia — a prevalent chemical in lower parts of Canada from agriculture and industrial emissions — is an anomaly in the Far North, he said. How does it work?
Seabirds have a very nitrogen-rich diet and their feces, through a breakdown of particles, releases ammonia into

the air.
The ammonia then reacts with other particles and gases and forms "tiny liquid and solid droplets suspended in the atmosphere," said Wentworth.
These particles can grow and affect cloud formation. "Typically, the more of these particles you have, the brighter

the clouds are. And brighter clouds reflect more sunlight," said Wentworth. Wentworth called it a "brighter umbrella" where bird-poop-infused clouds reflect sunlight away from the Arctic.
"So the birds provide this key link that sort of kick starts this poop-to-particle-to-cloud chemistry… and as we found, had a cooling effect on the Arctic."

Small cooling effect
But bird poop won't solve global warming, said Wentworth.
"It's not like it's going to mitigate the warming in the Arctic or solve it," he said. "But it's an important factor and now birds are

in the equation."
The estimated 40,000 tonnes of seabird excrement each summer "in the grand scheme of things, isn't very much,"

said Wentworth. It has an impact of -0.5 watts per square meter; to put that into perspective, the natural greenhouse effect

is +150 watts per

square meter, said Wentworth.
"So it's a small cooling effect, but it's a significant one especially for a region that's experiencing such a rapid warming as the Arctic."
"This [study] goes beyond our previous understanding. This is revolutionary," said Ian L. Jones, a seabird researcher and a professor of biology at Memorial University. "Holy moly. Seriously, holy moly." Jones said although he's lived and worked around seabird colonies for years, this chemical cooling effect has never occurred to him before.
"People, when we visit seabird colonies, are kind of wincing at all the ammonia smell," he said, describing the odour as unpleasant and strong, comparing it to "stale urine."
"This study is mind boggling because it shows that the impact of the birds go beyond biological nature, and affects the climate.

It emphasizes the need to drastically understand Arctic animals and birds."
But Jones warned that this slight cooling effect may be short-lived if rapid warming of the Arctic continues. Seabird populations have adapted to the cold and a warmer Arctic will make the area unsuitable for the birds to live in.
"It's a dire situation," he said.
"They don't have a mechanism for 'Oh, it's warm here so we're going to move.' So they stick it out where they are and they

suffer death by heat exhaustion.
"The birds are in deep trouble. So this effect described in this paper will decline."
The excrement of other Arctic animals like caribou and muskox may or may not contribute to the ammonia levels in the Arctic,

said Wentworth. Further studies must be done to measure their effect on the climate, he said.

International Trade of Wild Caught African Grey Parrots is Banned

The 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) between the 183 countries who have signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was held in Johannesburg,

South Africa from 24 September to 5 October 2016. Through its regulations, CITES attempts to ensure that the international trade of plants and animals won’t negatively affect the long-term survival of the species. CITES

has two listings for rare species, Appendix I and Appendix II. The more endangered species are placed on Appendix I which require both export and import permits for international trade.
The African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is a very popular and common pet bird in many countries including Canada. It is reported that over the past 40 years between two and three million African Greys have been removed from the wild in West and Central Africa. It is further estimated that over half of these birds don’t survive the journey and transition into captivity.
At the conference, the countries voted to increase the African Grey Parrot’s level of protection from Appendix II to Appendix I. The net result of this decision is the international trade of wild-caught African Grey Parrots is banned. However, the trade in captive-bred individuals will still be allowed under permit. This new CITES regulation applies

to both the African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) and the Timneh Grey Parrot (Psittacus timneh). These species are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List; however, they are both also under consideration for Endangered

It is well understood that African Grey Parrots make great companion birds. Although most people with

African Greys are only interested in having a very intelligent and personable pet, this change in CITES regulations emphasizes the need for captive breeding if this species is to remain a popular pet.

The Role of Vitamins in Avian Nutrition By Paul Stevens

Vitamins are organic nutrients distinct from carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. Vitamins are essential for normal metabolic

activity but required in only small amounts. Diets lacking vitamins show specific deficiency symptoms. Most vitamins cannot be synthesized in the animal’s body and therefore are essential components of their diet. There are some exceptions:

Vitamin D can be synthesized under exposure to sunlight, Niacin can sometimes be synthesized from tryptophan (amino acid)

and most animals can synthesize Vitamin C.
Vitamins are necessary for growth and the maintenance of life. They are involved in promoting general health with the ability to combat disease though involvement in antibody synthesis. Proteins provide building blocks for the growth of tissues in the avian body, while carbohydrates and fat provide the necessary energy. It also takes vitamins to make the metabolic reactions happen.
Vitamins are classified into two groups, fat-soluble and water-soluble.
Fat-soluble Vitamins
The fat-soluble vitamins exist in plants in the form of a provitamin that can be converted into an active vitamin in the animal

body. The fat-soluble vitamins consist of vitamins A, D, E and K.
As the name suggests, fat-soluble vitamins accumulate in body fat and are absorbed in the intestine in the presence of fat.

Because these vitamins can be stored in body fat, the quantity in the body increases with intake and can be potentially toxic.

  • Vitamin A, also known as Retinol is synthesized from the plant pigment carotene. Retinol is the precursor of retinal, a
  • visual pigment in eyes. Vitamin A is also important for normal tissue development and growth and for reproduction in poultry.


  • The importance of Vitamin D was first recognized through its ability to prevent rickets. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the active form in birds, required for the proper metabolism of calcium and phosphorus and the formation of the skeleton
  • and eggshells. Vitamin D is obtained both from the diet and is produced in the skin by U.V. light on certain lipids.

Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) is essential for reproduction. It is required for normal fertility in males and reproductive

performance in hens.

  • Vitamin E functions as an anti-oxidant which protects unsaturated fatty acids from oxidation. In chicks a Vitamin E deficiency causes conditions such as nutritional muscular dystrophy, encephalomalacia (damage to brain cells) and exudative diathesis (damage to blood vessel walls).

  • Vitamin K functions in blood clotting and severely deficient chicks can bleed to death following an injury. It is the only
  • fat soluble vitamin that can be synthesized by microorganisms in intestine. The level of microbial synthesis as well as
  • the availability from various feedstuffs and destruction by sulfa drugs, mycotoxins or parasites can affect the requirement for Vitamin K.

Water-soluble Vitamins
Because vitamins in this group are soluble in water, an excess can be eliminated in the urine. They are not stored like

fat-soluble vitamins and toxic levels in the body don’t build up over time. Also in contrast to the fat-soluble vitamins there are no provitamins known for the water-soluble vitamins.
A constant supply of the water-soluble vitamins is needed to avoid deficiencies. The B complex vitamins and Vitamin C are all water-soluble. Although Vitamin C is required by some fruit eating birds and humans for the formation of the structural protein collagen, it is not required by the chicken. An important role of B vitamins is the utilization of energy. Vitamins such as

Riboflavin and Niacin act as coenzymes in energy transfer within cells and as a part of many different enzymes involved in metabolic reactions in the avian body.
Thiamin (B1) prevents polyneuritis in young birds. All aspects of the diet need to be considered since high sulphate water may destroy Thiamin. A common sign of a Riboflavin deficiency is curled toe paralysis in young birds. The importance of Niacin is

well known to poultry breeders for the prevention of enlarged hocks in chicks, turkey poults and ducks. Biotin is required for fat synthesis and growth of chicks and the prevention of dermatitis and pyrosis. Pantothenic acid also is important for the

prevention of dermatitis and normal feathering in chicks. It has also been shown to be important for hatchability of chicken and turkey eggs. Although the nutrients in a poultry diet may be adequate to support egg production, some vitamins are needed in greater

quantity to enable normal embryo development. Embryo death associated with nutritional deficiencies most often occurs

during the middle stage of incubation. Pyridoxine or Vitamin B6 is necessary for protein utilization and amino acid metabolism.

A deficiency of this vitamin results in poor growth and nervous disorders in chicks, reduced egg production and hatchability in breeders. Similarly a deficiency of Vitamin B12 also results in reduced hatchability and growth. A deficiency of Folic acid has

been shown to cause anemia, pyrosis, feathering problems and paralysis in poultry.
The requirements for some vitamins may be met though the natural content of feedstuffs; however, supplementation needs to be provided if sufficient quantities of some vitamins are not available. The requirement for various vitamins varies greatly

according to the species, bird age and stage of production. For example commercial poultry diets are formulated to meet the requirements at particular stages, such as chick starter, layers etc. Formulators do not add extra vitamin supplements to a

ration if they are not necessary to meet the needs of the birds intended to be fed. Therefore bird keepers need to be cautious in feeding rations to their breeding birds that were actually intended for laying hens or growing birds. The diet may not contain adequate levels of some vitamins to maintain good fertility and hatchability over a prolonged period in their breeding

LDCBA 2017 Membership

It is 2017 and time to renew your LDCBA membership if you haven’t already done so. There is an application form with

contact information on the back page of the Newsletter.
You can send Kelly an email about your membership. E-mail address: ldcba@yahoo.ca or you can call her at her store.

The number is: 519-268-0888 regarding renewal of your membership.
Please ensure that you provide any corrections or updates to your contact information. Please also invite other people with an interest in birds to join the LDCBA. Remind them that they don’t need to keep birds to be a LDCBA member. In order to build a strong organization capable of producing quality events and programmes we need to further strengthen our membership.

Many people share an interest in aviculture, companion birds or the conservation of birds in the wild. If we all make an effort to invite someone to join the LDCBA, we can build a stronger organization with greater value and pleasure to all.

LDCBA Archives

In previous issues of the Newsletter I have requested information about the history of the LDCBA. I would like to than Bernie Hansen from Hamilton who provided some older LDCBA Show catalogues.

There are a number of members who have been a part of the LDCBA for several decades.

Any information you can provide about the Club in past years would be greatly appreciated.

Please provide some your personal memories. We would like both written memories and photographs of members,

meetings, shows and other events. If you have any past issues of the Newsletter, please let me know. I suggest that we

could scan them and then return the original to you.

Even if you are a new member, you can assist by offering to interview some of the more senior members about the LDCBA.


Nov-Dec 2016


President's Message

Hello Everyone, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Show Manager Stephen Mycock and all the volunteers for their help at our annual show. A lot of planning goes into putting on a quality show and I feel we achieved that. Plans for next year’s show have already begun. The show hall has been booked as well as all the judges for next year’s show. If you have any positive advice on how to make our show even better please contact me at marktiede19@hotmail.com .
Our Annual General Meeting for members will take place Saturday, November 26 at the Thorndale Library. Doors open at 10 am meeting starts at 10:30. Kelly will have a financial report on the club expenses for 2016. We will also be electing a new executive committee for next year. If you feel in any way the 2016 executive let you down this past year, please come out and run for a spot on the 2017 Board.
Once again, thank you all for supporting our show and other club activities throughout the year. I hope to see you at the meeting
Take good care,
Mark Tiede


Editors Desk

The Show weekend went well but it also went very quickly. I am sure all who attended have some fond memories of the excellent birds on exhibit and the friends they met. The Show is a great place to meet new and old friends who share a love of birds. This issue of the Newsletter is a celebration of the Show and I hope it provides a good reminder.
It has been a busy fall for cage bird fanciers. The LDCBA’s Stephen Mycock has been very supportive of other shows as well as our own. Every weekend from September to November, Stephen attended a cage bird show. We should all strive to support the other clubs when we can. With our own LDCBA Show we should consider how it can be improved and how it can gain greater recognition and public participation.
In addition to the Show there are many ways the LDCBA can support aviculture. Think about how you can be of assistance to your club. Please contact President Mark Tiede or any Board member . Also submit your thoughts on meetings, potential speakers, information for the Newsletter and other activities to any Board member.
One of greatest restrictions to keeping birds is the legislation that is created by our federal, provincial and municipal governments. Please read the update on Bill C-246.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com


The London & District Cage Bird Association 2016 Show

The 64th Annual London & District Cage Bird Association Show was once again held on Thanksgiving weekend at Merrills Hall in London Ontario. Everything went very smoothly, in large part due the excellent organization by Show Manager, Stephen Mycock and President, Mark Tiede. On Friday afternoon, most of the Show set up was completed by Stephen and Mark. The LDCBA has a large collection of very professional metal show stands which Mark Tiede kindly stores in a trailer between shows. Friday evening the birds started arriving, prior to judging on Saturday morning.
The event showcased many beautiful birds in excellent condition. As well as providing an opportunity for competition and evaluation, the Show offered a great opportunity for members of the public to see and learn about different birds. There was very good public attendance this year, in part perhaps due to advertising in a variety of media and the very attractive road signs prepared by Kelly Vriesema. In past years the Show has been open until 4 pm, whereas this year a 2 pm closing time, allowed exhibitors who had travelled a considerable distance to start their drive home a little earlier. Prior to closing on Sunday, a raffle of donated items was held and special thanks go to Kass Arthur for her work in making this a success. A popular aspect of the Show on Sunday is the birds and supplies offered for sale by vendors including Flikkema Aviaries and Ziggy & Friends Pet Store.
Exhibitors at the LDCBA Show come from across southern Ontario. Their participation is important for the quality of the competition and the stimulating Show environment that is created when many bird breeders come together to share experiences. The Show provides a great opportunity to make new acquaintances, see old friends and learn from the experiences of others.
The Show had six divisions, consisting of Type, Lipochrome and Melanin Canaries as well as Finches, Budgerigars and other Parrots. There were five judges for the task of choosing the winners. This year we had two judges from the USA. Jim Hefferman from Brighton, Michigan evaluated the Foreign Birds including Finches and Parrots. Santo Lupo from Shelby, Michigan judged the Melanin Colour Bred Canaries. The other three judges, all from Ontario included Pat Donnelly from Agincourt for the Type Canaries, Aldo Bracco from Stoney Creek on Lipochrome Colour Bred Canaries, and Claudio Elia on Budgerigars. Both the number of exhibitors and number of birds shown was considerably lower than in previous years. There were 279 birds shown compared to 390 last year. There were 35 exhibitors compared to 44 exhibitors at the 2015 Show. A challenge for 2017 will be to increase the number of entries.
The LDCBA Show was again fortunate to have Deirdre Graham and Jeremy & Karen Faria from the Budgerigar & Foreign Bird Society carry out the computer entry of birds in the Show. The computerization of Show entries and award results has been a great improvement for the LDCBA Show.
It isn’t too soon to start thinking about the 2017 LDCBA Show. Consider exhibiting at the Show next year and volunteering to help make a successful show. There are many activities that you can volunteer to assist with at or prior to the Show that will only require a small time commitment. The LDCBA is
always interested in ways to improve the Show. Contact Stephen Mycock, Tel: 519-652-2087, E-mail: dellerrose@gmail.com or Mark Tiede Tel: 519-282-3065, E-mail: marktiede19@hotmail.com your ideas and suggestions.


Canadian National Cage Bird Show & Expo

The Canadian National Cage Bird Show & Expo was hosted by the Budgerigar & Foreign Bird Society and held on October 15-16 at the Richmond Green Sports Centre in Richmond Hill. I was pleased to attend the Show with fellow LDCBA member, Dale Stewart. It was a very large and impressive show with approximately 1380 birds on exhibit. The National Show includes American Singer canaries in addition to the classes at the LDCBA Show. To carry out the major task of judging such a large number of birds, they had nine judges from Canada, USA, Malta and Holland.
In addition to the birds on exhibit in the various classes, the Expo included many commercial and educational displays. There were lots of birds and supplies available for sale.
Jeremy Faria, Deirdre Graham and other members of the BFBS deserve congratulations on the production of such an outstanding show.





The Lively Lavender Finch

The Lavender finch (Estrilda caerulescens) is native to tropical West Africa. They are often found in grassy areas at the edge of the woods. In the wild they can sometimes be found in the company of Cordon Bleu finches. They have been imported for many years and their attractive coloration and lively nature has made them popular with aviculturists. Unfortunately they have not proven easy to breed in captivity. They have been bred in both cages and aviaries; however, small cages used for breeding other finches are usually not suitable. The cage should be large enough to allow flight for these active birds and it should contain some natural or artificial plants to give them both security and things to explore. Some breeders have achieved success using of breeding cage with a minimum size of 1.2 m x 0.6 m x 0.6 m. Bates and Busenbark describe a tendency for Lavender finches to feather pluck; however, this may be overcome by providing a more spacious aviary. Lavender finches are difficult sex, but the females can sometimes be identified as being less vivid in colour compared to the males. However one of the best ways to sex them is by their call. The call the female is quite short and shriller.
Once established they do quite well on seed diets similar to other waxbills and with the addition of egg food. They differ from many species in their requirement for live food particularly for breeding. Rutgers and Norris point out that they resent any interference while nesting. They must have adequate live food such as greenfly and mealworms or most likely the parents will throw the young out of the nest. Rutgers
and Norris refer to experiments by the Marquis of Tavistock who kept Lavender finches outside in controlled freedom. The idea was to allow them to be able to catch insects themselves. In this situation he successfully raised young Lavender finches every year. Soderberg notes that they are especially fond of sprouted seed, but he suggests that the best chance of breeding this species is by fostering the eggs to another Finch species that will take a lot of live food when feeding the young. Hofmann et al. describe a
number of different feeding regimes using egg food in addition to seed mixtures plus live food. Frozen live food such as maggots that have been thawed are readily accepted.
Lavender finches are available in Canada and more aviculturists should make an effort to breed this species in order to establish a sustainable population for the future.

Bates, H. and R. Busenbark, 1970. Finches and Soft-billed Birds. T.F. H. Publications, Neptune City, N.J.
Finch Information Center, 2016. The Lavender Waxbill. Finchinfo.com.
Hofmann, G., F. Scheffer & C. Mettke-Hofmann. 2016 The Lavender Waxbill. www.hofmann-photography.de
Rutgers, A. and K. Norris, 1977. Encyclopedia of Aviculture, Volume 3. Blandford Press, Poole, Dorset.
Soderberg, P.M. , 1963. Waxbills, Weavers and Whydahs – Foreign Birds for Cage and Aviary. Republished by T.F. H. Publications, Jersey City, N.J.



LDCBA Membership

At the recent Show quite a number of members renewed their LDCBA membership for 2017. We are fortunate to have Kelly Vriesema as our Membership Secretary as well as Treasurer. It is important that all of us find new members for the LDCBA. Please think about your bird keeping friends and acquaintances. Invite them to join the LDCBA. There is an application form with contact information on the back page of the Newsletter, if you wish to mail in your renewal. You can mail your membership dues directly to Kelly Vriesema.
You can send Kelly an email about your membership or you can call her at the store. The number is: 519-268-0888 regarding renewal of your membership.
Please ensure that that you provide any corrections or updates to your contact information. Please also invite other people with an interest in birds to join the LDCBA. Remind them that they don’t need to keep birds to be a LDCBA member. In order to build a strong organization capable of producing quality events and programmes we need to further strengthen our membership. Many people share an interest in aviculture, companion birds or the conservation of birds in the wild. If we all make an effort to invite someone to join the LDCBA, we can build a stronger organization with greater value and pleasure to all.


Webmaster Editor's Notes

What a great article on the lavendar finch 

I keep and breed these guys so any tips are greatly appreciated.

Lavenders have amazing tight feathering and the males can be quite stunning with their bright red rumps.

I have had them for 6 yrs now and just enjoy the simplicity of their beauty.

If you have not please renew your membership today.

Great pics of the many breeders anfd people that mak the shows so enjoyable.

Really enjoyed seeing all thosee I appreciate and look up to.


Awesome newsletter!! Thanks Paul

Til Next Newsletter 'Safe Jouney"

Ron ~:>




Sept-Oct 2016

President's Message

Hello Everyone: I hope you had a great summer. I cannot believe how fast it went and that the fall season is fast approaching. Once again our show will be here very soon. In an effort to save the club some money, we will only be mailing out show catalogues to the judges and advertisers. Catalogues will be available at the show but if you wish to have one sooner please contact Paul Stevens and he would be happy to mail one to you. We are always looking for items for our raffle table. As well we would appreciate a salad, pop, water or dessert for lunch and the snack bar. These donations do help reduce the cost of the show and are greatly appreciated!!

HELPING HANDS NEEDED!!!! If you are new to our club or have

been a member for years, your help is needed . This is a good a opportunity to meet new friends. We need help setting up the staging on Friday afternoon, as well as snack bar help and assistance with lunch on Saturday and other tasks that come up. If you can only spare half an hour or so that is fine and appreciated. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call me. Mark 519-282-3065.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the show.

Take good care,


Editors Desk

It might be September, but it is still summer and the very warm temperatures in southern Ontario are a good reminder. The next couple of months are busy times for bird shows and sales. Please check the Upcoming Avicultural Events section in this Newsletter and plan to attend some of the shows for other clubs that are happening throughout southern Ontario. We especially need to be thinking about our own LDCBA Annual Show on Thanksgiving weekend. Consider showing some of your birds and definitely ask how you can assist even for a short time with some of the activities at the Show.

Over 50 years ago President John F. Kennedy told everyone to not ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. This advice can also be applied to not for profit organizations, like the London & District Cage Bird Association. The LDCBA will only be as strong as its members make it. Think about how you can be of assistance to your club. Please contact President Mark Tiede or any Board member . Also submit your thoughts on meetings, potential speakers, information for the Newsletter and other activities to any Board member.

J. Paul Stevens

Tel: 519-461-0348

E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

LDCBA Classifieds

For Sale

Nest boxes for Owl Finches. Presently making nesting boxes for finches, budgies, parakeets, love birds, cockatiels, conures, lorries, lorikeets, large parakeets, ringnecks, rosellas, macaws.

I can also build hospital quarters, shipping containers, carrying cases, moisturizers, and feeders. All are built for security, durability using 3/4 inch pine for its’ insulating value. I will also build using your sample or drawing. I have a small shop where I enjoy keeping busy. My prices are reasonable.

Contact: Jim Symons, 11 Winding Way Cres., London, Ontario, N6G3E8

Cell 519-777-3952 Home: 519-47 1-6412. E-mail: jimbarb@bell.net

The 2016 LADCBA Show

The 64th Annual London & District Cage Bird Association Show is fast approaching. The LDCBA is also fortunate to have a great line-up of judges to evaluate your entries. We are again fortunate that Deirdre Graham and Jeremy Faria from the Budgerigar & Foreign Bird Society have agreed to carry out the computer entry of birds for the Show. The computerization of Show entries and award results has been a great improvement for the LDCBA Show. Printed copies of the Show Catalogue will be available for you to pick up at the Show. The Show Catalogue has been mailed out to judges, advertisers and members who have requested a copy by postal mail. If you wish a printed copy prior to the Show, contact me (Paul Stevens) and I will mail one out to you.

Thanksgiving weekend is the traditional date for the LDCBA Show as well as being a time when families gather together in celebration of the many things we have to be thankful for. I hope you will find time to spend with your family and to schedule some time assisting with some of the tasks necessary to make a successful show. There are many activities that you can volunteer to assist with at or prior to the Show that will only require a small time commitment. The 2016 Show Manager is Stephen Mycock and the Assistant Show Managers are Andrew & Daniel Brilhante. Contact them now to see how you can get involved. There are lots of ways you can assist either before the Show or at the Show.

Stephen Mycock – Tel: 519-652-2087, E-mail: dellerrose@gmail.com

Andrew & Daniel Brilhante – Tel: 226-750-0919.

E-mail: andrew.0420@hotmail.com or daniel0115@live.ca

LDCBA 2016 Show Judges:

Type Canaries: Pat Donnelly Agincourt, ON

Colour Bred Canaries: Aldo Bracco Stoney Creek, ON

Colour Bred Canaries: Santo Lupo Shelby, Michigan

Foreign Birds: Jim Hefferman Brighton, Michigan

Budgerigars: Claudio Elia London, ON


Breeding the Purple Grenadier Finch  By Paul Stevens

Breeding the Purple Grenadier Finch

By Paul Stevens

One of the most admired tropical finches is the Purple Grenadier finch (Uraeginthus ianthinogaster). The striking chestnut colour and purplish-blue breast of the male with a bright red bill show their relationship to the Violet-eared Waxbill and the Cordon Bleu finches which have been placed in the same genus. They are a dimorphic species with the female lacking a brightly coloured breast.

The Purple Grenadier finch has quite an extensive distribution in East Africa, ranging from Somalia and Ethiopia, south through Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. They inhabit very arid parts of these countries with thorny acacia scrub or sometimes open savanna areas. In the 1980s I recall seeing see Purple Grenadier finches in Kenya on the Serengeti plains. Also while working in Somalia, I would sometimes see Purple Grenadier finches roosting in acacia shrubs near the Veterinary College at Somali National University. During the dry season from November to March, trees and shrubs were the only vegetation to be found. However, following the rains, the landscape came to life. A green carpet of vegetation appeared on previously bare soil. It was amazing how fast the countryside came to life. Everywhere there were insects in abundance. It is the rainy season, usually April in Somalia and Kenya when the Purple Grenadiers breed.

Purple Grenadiers can sometimes be found in small flocks feeding on the ground. They form monogamous pairs and courtship also usually takes place on the ground. They generally select acacia shrubs to build their round nest of grasses which they line with feathers. They have a clutch size of 3 to 5 eggs; however, there are sometimes extra eggs in the nest belonging to Fischer’s Whydah (Vidua

fischeri). Fischer’s Whydah parasitizes the nests of Purple Grenadiers and tricks them into foster rearing their young.

For many of our temperate bird species, day length and temperature are important proximate factors for the initiation of breeding. However, Purple Grenadier finches live close to the equator where there is little seasonal variation in day length. For this species, rainfall is undoubtedly one of the most important environmental factors signaling the timing of the breeding season. Although hereditary factors influence many aspects of reproduction such as clutch size and incubation, David Lack noted that food supply is one of the most important factors affecting breeding success. Perrins has also stated that food is an ultimate factor affecting the breeding season. Food supply for the chicks is likely an overriding factor controlling the timing of breeding in most species. Purple Grenadier finches rely heavily on termites to feed their young. During the dry season terminates tend to stay underground but are quite abundant when the rains occur.

Captive Management

It was not until 1928 that Purple Grenadier finches were imported into Europe. The first captive breeding occurred in England in 1957. Although it has been nearly 60 years since Purple Grenadiers were first bred in captivity, they have not become well-established and breeding continues to be a challenge for aviculturists. As expected wild caught birds require careful acclimatization and need to be

provided with a warm dry flight cage. The temperature should be maintained around 22-26 ̊C. Buckley & Calvin report keeping both the temperature and humidity high in their bird room. They also use Vita-Lites placed directly over the cage to provide a broad spectrum light source. At breeding season they mist the plants and birds twice a day as an additional trigger, just as birds in the wild start breeding following the onset of the rains.

Purple Grenadier finches can be aggressive toward closely related species such as the Cordon Bleu. Preferably pairs should be housed in separate cages from other birds. It is also advisable to not to house pairs of Purple Grenadiers in adjacent enclosures in order to avoid any competition or distraction from nesting. Pairs should be housed in indoor flight cages that are a minimum of 4 feet long, 3 feet high and 2 feet wide and provide plenty of privacy. Some breeders include living plants and tall tussocks of grass in the breeding cage to make the environment more naturalistic and private. Here in southern Ontario, London & District Cage Bird Association members Laurene Van Erp and her husband “Peter the Great” have two pair of Purple Grenadier finches. They have housed the two pairs in separate rooms to avoid any competition. The cages are quite large. One pair is in a cage 4 x 4 x 5 ft. high and the other is more spacious, 4 x 8 x 9 ft. high. An artificial tree hanging from the ceiling has also been installed. A variety of nest boxes and wire baskets with dried grass, feathers and coconut fiber as nesting material have been used successfully by breeders. Buckley and Calvin provide small strands of burlap as nesting material. The Van Erps provide coconut fiber which the birds use to build their own nest.

Diet is one of the most important considerations for the maintenance of Purple Grenadier finches in good health and successfully breeding them. Although finches are thought of as seed eaters, a total seed diet will not provide adequate nutrients, especially protein for successful reproduction of most species. In the wild, insects are a very important component of the Purple Grenadier’s diet and absolutely essential for rearing young. Most references on the captive feeding recommend a variety of live foods for Purple Grenadier finches. Rutgers and Norris recommended they receive ant eggs, flies and maggots as well as mealworms cut into pieces. They also recommended feeding small germinated seed and green food. Most aviculturists suggest giving small quantities of live food throughout the year, and then increasing the quantity substantially during breeding. Karl Lieberman kept Purple Grenadiers that successfully raised young on a diet which consisted of a quality finch mix, germinated Japanese millet, daily greens, fresh egg food and live 3- to 4-week old crickets.

The Van Erps are making a strong effort to breed their Purple Grenadier finches. They recognize the need for a nutrient rich diet which will be accepted by wild caught Purple Grenadiers. They offer a specially prepared finch seed mixture containing eight different seeds; however, there are only four the Purple Grenadiers will eat. They are also offered a selection of seven types of fruit 2 to 3 times per week. The finches are given two types of egg food, a dry commercial variety and an egg food mixture they prepare fresh. Mealworms are provided in two forms. Every morning a pair of finches gets 8 to 10 mealworms and they are also offered mealie worms. These are canned mealworms that come in a steel tin. There most certainly would be adequate nutrients available for rearing young from this diet, if the adult birds accept everything being offered. However, just because we calculate something to be good

for a bird doesn’t mean they are going to eat it. Purple Grenadier finches have the reputation of being difficult to breed. Wild caught birds that produce eggs in captivity often fail to rear their own young. The Van Erps have achieved some success in their attempts to breed this species. One pair of Purple Grenadiers has hatched young several times; however, they failed to feed them and instead returned to lay a new clutch of eggs. So why does this pair abandon their newly hatched young? Buckley and Calvin who have had considerable success producing parent reared Purple Grenadier finches offer a number of reasons for nest abandonment. Some stressors that may increase the risk of nest/chick abandonment, include: nest checks or disturbances, a sudden diet change, shortage of live food or rearing food and the administration of medication. They advise that is very important to provide a good variety and supply of live food for parents to rear their young. Buckley and Calvin offer live, baby mealworms, newly molted that are white in colour and soft in texture, not the larger mealworms that are turning yellow and hard. They suggest that the smaller worms more closely simulate the natural food that these wild caught birds are accustomed to. They begin offering mealworms every four hours. And suggest that the common allotment of 7 to 10 mealworms per day is inadequate. They emphasize that the small mealworms must be constantly available. When a pair is feeding young, Buckley and Calvin check every two hours and add more mealworms if the supply is running low. They estimate that they offer “up to the hundreds per day” of these small white mealworms. Randy Taylor was also successful with parent rearing by supplying flightless fruit flies.

Purple Grenadier young have been successfully fostered by Blue-headed Cordon Bleu, Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu, as well as Society Finches. However, Lieberman suggests we should give a pair at least three attempts at rearing their own young before opting to foster them. Buckley and Calvin offer encouragement to other aviculturists. Despite the reputation of Purple Grenadier finches being difficult to breed they suggest this is far from the truth. Purple Grenadiers will raise their own young; however, it is important for the birds to be constantly monitored and supplied with adequate live food during the breeding season.


Bird Life International (2016) Species fact sheet: Uraeginthus ianthinogaster. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/09/2016.

Lack, David. 1968. Ecological Adaptations for Breeding in Birds. Methuen Co., Ltd., London.

Lieberman, Karl. Cross-Fostering Chicks Using Society Finches. Reported in Pin It from a Birdtalk Article.

Perrins, C.M., 1985. Breeding Season. In: A Dictionary of Birds. British Ornithologists Union. Edited by: Bruce Campbell and Elizabeth Lack.

Rutgers, A. and K. Norris. 1977. Encyclopedia of Aviculture, Volume 3. Blandford Press, Poole, Dorset.

Finchinfo.com. The Purple Grenadier.

Buckley, Stash and Carol Anne Calvin. Parent Raised Purple Grenadiers. National Finch & Softbill Society website.

Taylor, Randy. Insect Food for Finches: Flightless Fruit Flies, Freeze-Dried Ants and Bevo. National Finch & Softbill Society website.


An introduction to Soft Billed Birds  by Paul Stevens

The term soft-billed bird is not one you will find in most ornithology texts or in an encyclopedia on birds. Soft-billed bird is a rather subjective term used by aviculturists to describe birds that eat soft food. It is a very diverse group of birds. Although their bills are not actually soft, they do vary tremendously in shape in relation to the type of food they eat. There are no firm rules as to what constitutes a soft-billed bird. Included in the soft-billed birds are insectivores, birds that eat insects; frugivores, birds that eat fruit; insectivores, birds that eat insects; nectivores, birds that eat mostly nectar; carnivores, birds that eat meat and omnivores, birds that eat different types of food. Usually we think of soft-billed birds as being small, flying birds that don’t live primarily on seed. Birds such as hawks that are carnivores are not included in the soft-billed birds, but are described as raptors and although lorikeets eat primarily fruit and nectar, they are usually only included in with the parrots. Another criterion for the soft-billed birds is that they have young that are helpless when they hatch. Although plover species and many gallinaceous birds feed on insects, the young are covered with down, are precocial and therefore not included in the soft-bills. We think of pigeons and doves as being seed eaters; however, there are several genera that are primarily frugivorous and are thus included in the soft-billed birds.

The group of soft-billed birds includes a great diversity of species such as thrushes, bulbuls, tanagers, starlings, honey creepers, hummingbirds, kingfishers, toucans and hornbills. I have had the privilege of caring for a wide variety of soft-bills in zoos; however many species are also well suited as cage or aviary birds for private aviculturists. A number of members of the London and District Cage Bird Association are very experienced in keeping soft-billed birds. John Duits has enjoyed considerable success in keeping and breeding the Pekin Robin and Peter DeGruyter has also kept many soft-billed species such as laughing thrushes and bulbuls. Although there are now more restrictions for the importation of most birds, there are still a considerable number of soft-billed species available and are being kept by aviculturists.

Soft-bills come in a wide variety of sizes and many are well suited to the cages or aviaries that can be provided by a private aviculturist. The required size of cage or aviary will vary dramatically with the species, but most will benefit from the privacy and naturalistic effect of housing with plants. In our temperate climate many can be kept in outdoor aviaries during the summer, but will need to be housed indoors during the winter. Many species are very attractive with bright colours and produce a beautiful natural song. There is much information available on diets for the various types of soft-billed birds. Preparation of diets for insectivorous or frugivorous species is often much more involved than diet preparation for granivorous species. However, the development of a variety of commercial diets has made the feeding and provision of nutritionally sound diets to insectivorous, frugivorous or nectivorous species much easier. Clive Roots, a former Director of Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, considers nutrition to be one of the most important aspects of keeping soft-billed birds. In his book on soft-bills, Roots provides a great deal of information on the nutritional value of various foods including live food. He provides examples of practical diets that work for a variety of soft-billed species. In future articles we can provide more specific information on the management of species suitable for the private aviculturist.


Bates, Henry and Robert Busenbark, 1970. Finches and Soft-billed Birds. T.F.H. Publications Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey.

Campbell, Bruce and Elizabeth Lack, (Eds.). 1985. A Dictionary of Birds. British Ornithologists Union.

Naether, Carl, 1955. Soft-Billed Birds. All-Pet Books Inc., Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Roots, Clive, Softbilled Birds. Arco Publishing Co., Inc., New York.

Vince, Martin, 1996. Softbills, Care, Breeding and Conservation. Hancock House Publishers Ltd., Surrey, B.C.


Biosecurity  by Paul Stevens

One important way to keep birds healthy is through the practice of good biosecurity. Infectious diseases are caused by agents including viruses, bacteria or fungi. These disease agents have to come from somewhere since they are not spontaneously created. It is therefore important to understand the mechanisms for their transmission and how to keep birds free from infection. In addition, there are numerous parasites, both internal and external that can infect birds and jeopardize their well-being. If your birds are free of infectious diseases, don’t provide any opportunity for exposure.

Any bird show or sale where birds from different sources are brought together provides a risk for disease transmission. Shows are important for cage bird breeders to compare the results of their breeding programmes with other breeders and for educating others about keeping and breeding birds. There probably is not as great a risk for disease spread at cage bird shows compared to poultry shows because the birds remain in their own cages, they are not in direct contact with other birds and are not handled by the judges or other individuals. At poultry shows, birds are placed in wire cages and they can often make physical contact with birds in adjoining cages. Birds are often handled by poultry judges, facilitating the transmission of disease agents as the judge moves from cage to cage. Regardless of the type of bird shown, special care should be taken not to exhibit any birds showing any disease symptoms or suspected of carrying a disease. Both cage birds and poultry upon returning from shows should be quarantined before re-introduction to the home flock. Although cage birds at shows don’t come in direct contact with one another there is also a risk that external parasites such as red mites may crawl from one cage to another.

To avoid bringing diseases or parasites into your flock, quarantine any new birds purchased from other breeders at shows or buy, sell & trade days before introducing them to your birds. Do not wear clothing you wear with your birds when visiting other breeders, shows, auctions, etc. Also use caution in

allowing visitors to have contact with your birds. Try to become more familiar with the symptoms of avian infectious diseases and parasites. When you are uncertain about the health of your birds, consult with your veterinarian. Through better biosecurity, surveillance, cooperation and communication we can reduce the risk of disease transmission.

Webmaster Editor's Notes

What an amazing amount of work Paul put into the newsletter.

Great work !!

I was fascinated to read about the purple grenadie as I have some and was wondering how

difficult they may be to breed.

Learned a great deal.


Soft Bill Article was quite captivating

Awesome looking pics


Biosecurity is a major part of breeding We for example close our aviaries to visitors during our breeding season

( November to June) to protect developing chicks from too many unknown pathogens/ viruses

that may be inadvertently carried in by a client / fellow breeder.

Each aviary is different and has its own unique bacterias in the water for example

( we feed well water that is extracted from a well that may have different organisms and bacteria then a

sewage system or filtred water) and as with many animals foreign bacterias can cause illness

in those with compromised immune systems such as chicks.

Ron ~:>




July- August 2016

President's Message
Hi Everyone, I Hope your summer is going well. Before we know it Fall will be here and so will our annual bird show on Thanksgiving weekend. More details regarding the show will be available in the September newsletter.
`Our recent Buy Sell & Trade Day went well. It was nice to see a lot of members again and meet a few new members who joined our club that day. The Wellington Street Sportsman Club has been booked again for next year’s Buy Sell & Trade. Overall I felt the day went well. There were certainly a lot of donated items on the raffle table. Bonnie Wright did a great job organizing the raffle table. Liz Dore was also there to help Bonnie. Thanks Bonnie & Liz for all your help . I would like to also thank Richard Vriesma for his expertise on the BBQ . Everything cooked to perfection!! I also want to thank Stephen Mycock and Bonnie Wright for getting to the hall so early to set up. Thanks to Ziggy's Feathered Friends and Flikkema Aviaries for their continued support.
Have a great summer. Take care
Mark Tiede

Editor's Desks
In previous issues of the Newsletter I requested historical information on the LDCBA. I would like to thank Ron Cloutier for providing some back issues of the Newsletter. If you have any past issues of the Newsletter, please let me know. We would also like both written memories and photographs of members, meetings, shows and other events. I suggest that we could scan them and then return the original to you.
I always enjoy summer; however, I find the heat this year a little difficult to handle when working outside for prolonged periods. I guess because I have been too busy this summer I found myself longing for winter when I can get caught up on work and other activities. I hope you are able to find time to enjoy both summer and your birds.
I hope you will be able to attend the LDCBA meeting on Tuesday July 19th. It is an outdoor meeting behind Ziggy’s Feathered Friends shop in Dorchester. Please see the upcoming activities for further details. The start time of 6 p.m. is in response to some members that have difficulty driving at night. However, please still come even if you can’t be there by 6. Also submit your thoughts on meetings and other activities to any Board member.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348 E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

In Memorium By Mark Tiede
Sadly once again we have lost another member. Rudy Van Denheuval has passed away . Rudy was Bernie and Pete Van Erp's brother in law. I did not know Rudy very well until last year, when Rudy did some work for me . I can tell you he was a kind, hardworking gentleman . I enjoyed working with Rudy and wish I got to know him much sooner. Rudy you will be missed by your friends in the club!!

The LADCBA 2016 Buy, Sell, Trade Day

The LDCBA 2016 Buy, Sell, Trade Day
The London & District Cage Bird Association Buy, Sell, Trade Day was held on June 4th at the Wellington Street Sportsmen’s Club near Dorchester. Although it was a beautiful day, the LDCBA was able to use the hall for the sale and were thus prepared for any weather. The hall at the Wellington Street Sportsmen’s Club is well suited to holding a cage bird sale or show. There was adequate space, washrooms and facilities for the snack bar as well as a patio that was convenient for the barbeque. Considering, this was the first year at this venue, I think the event went very well. There was also adequate space for the display of raffle items. Location is always an important consideration when planning events. The Wellington Street Sportsmen’s Club is close to the 401 and approximately half way between Windsor and Toronto, which should make it convenient for many bird people. Please let President Mark Tiede or any Board members know your thoughts on how the Buy, Sell, Trade Day could be further improved to better serve the LDCBA membership.


Breeding Saffron Finches in S Ontario By Paul Stevens

The very attractive Saffron finch (Sicalis flaveola) is native to South America. It has a very large range, extending from Colombia to northern Argentina. Although numbers have declined in some areas the population is fairly stable and this species is not considered to be threatened at this time. Saffron finches are bright yellow in colour; however, there is some variation among birds from different parts of the range. The hens are often very similar in appearance to the males, such that they are often difficult to distinguish. They became popular as aviary birds in the 1930s when many were imported. Aviculturists often just kept them because of their attractive appearance and most made little effort to breed the Saffron. They are not known to be great singers; however, during the breeding season the males can become quite vocal with a rather repetitive song.
Saffron finches are rather large at approximately five inches in length. Considering the tendency for the males to be rather aggressive, especially during the breeding season, Saffron finches should not be housed with small species such as waxbills. In the wild they can often be found near human habitations and will nest under roofs as well as tree cavities. In captivity they prefer a nest box with a half open front.
Two LDCBA members are currently enjoying the pleasures of keeping Saffron finches. Dr. Orlando DaSilva and Jose Sousa have both kept this species for a number of years. To ensure they had properly paired up males and females, they had their birds sexed using DNA techniques. Jose (Joe) is experiencing tremendous breeding success this summer. Normally in the wild Saffron finches lay four eggs. Joe’s pair laid five eggs this spring and hatched and fledged all five. As the young approach fledging, the male will try to encourage the female to nest again. Joe explains that it is necessary to
remove the young by 30 to 35 days to ensure that the male doesn’t kill the young. This pair nested in a box with a half open front, placed about six feet above the floor. They readily accepted coconut fibre and burlap as nesting material. In June this pair produced four more young. Joe offers his Saffron finches a general finch mix and supplements it with egg food. Joe also grows millet and offers fresh seed heads to the birds. It is a treat they relish. He also offers broccoli to the finches on a regular basis. Broccoli stalks are peeled and then placed on a spike in the aviary for the birds to consume. See the picture below of a canary eagerly consuming the broccoli.
Hopefully more of these attractive finches can be produced. If other LDCBA members also achieve breeding success, a sustainable captive population of Saffron finches can be maintained in Canada.

Update on Spix's Macaw  By Paul Stevens

In 2014 we reported on how aviculture is working to save the rare Spix’s macaw from extinction. There were thought to be only 79 Spix’s macaw surviving. All of these birds are in captivity and Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation in Qatar had 60 of them. Al Wabra purchased the 2400 hectare Concordia farm in Brazil which is within the historic range of Spix’s macaw. Plans are to remove domestic livestock from the farm and allow the natural vegetation to regenerate prior to re-introducing captive bred birds. There are also captive Spix’s macaws in Germany, Switzerland and Brazil.
In 2016 there are currently 127 individuals in captivity. Much of the population increase is a result of 20 young being raised in the past year. There are only four pairs that are breeding naturally. Young raised from other birds has been as a result of artificial insemination. This past year the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP) transported two Spix’s macaws to Brazil as a gift to the government. A new breeding centre is being constructed and the Brazilian government is dedicating a large tract of land as a reserve for the species.
The real surprise this year has been the sighting in the wild of a single Spix’s macaw. It is unlikely that it has been surviving unnoticed in the wild because of the active searching of the range by conservationists. More likely it is was a captive bird previously trapped and the people keeping it were nervous the government might find they had this rare bird.
The increase in population of Spix’s macaws shows that aviculture can play an important role in wildlife conservation. Cooperation with governments and other agencies in the preservation of habitat and reintroduction will hopefully soon result in the re-establishment of this species in the wild.

LADCBA 2016 Mambership

We are fortunate to have Kelly Vriesema as our Membership Secretary as well as Treasurer. However, it is the responsibility of all of us to find new members for the LDCBA. Please think about your bird keeping friends and acquaintances. Invite them to join the LDCBA. Also if you haven’t had an opportunity to renew your LDCBA membership for 2016, please do so today. There is an application form with contact information on the back page of the Newsletter, if you wish to mail in your renewal. You can mail your membership dues directly to Kelly Vriesema.
You can send Kelly an email about your membership. E-mail address: ldcba@yahoo.ca or you can call her at her store. The number is: 519-268-0888 regarding renewal of your membership.
Please ensure that that you provide any corrections or updates to your contact information. Please also invite other people with an interest in birds to join the LDCBA. Remind them that they don’t need to keep birds to be a LDCBA member. In order to build a strong organization capable of producing quality events and programmes we need to further strengthen our membership. Many people share an interest in aviculture, companion birds or the conservation of birds in the wild. If we all make an effort to invite someone to join the LDCBA, we can build a stronger organization with greater value and pleasure to all.

Update on Bill C246 By Paul Stevens

In the last issue of the newsletter, we reported on a new private member’s bill that was introduced into the House of Commons by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine- Smith (Toronto). It is called the Modernizing Animal Protections Act (Bill C-246). If it only addressed the issue of a ban on shark finning, I think everyone would be in support of the bill. However, it is complicated by the inclusion of other animal issues. As previously mentioned, Robert Sopuck, MP for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa in Manitoba has observed that C-246 would take “animal cruelty offences out of the section dealing with offences against “Certain Property” and move to the section of the Criminal Code dealing with offences against persons, giving rise to the suggestion that Animals are no longer a special type of “property” but are beings entitled to rights similar to Persons.”
If you have had a chance to read Bill C-246, you will have noted the section titled “Failing to provide adequate care”. This section will have consequences for people keeping cage and aviary birds. It states: “Everyone commits an offence who (a) negligently causes unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal; (b) being the owner, or the person having the custody or control of an animal, wilfully or recklessly abandons it or negligently fails to provide suitable and adequate food, water, air, shelter and care for it; or © negligently injures an animal while it is being conveyed.” This means that for any bird
in your care that comes to harm, whether as a result of an accident, carelessness or incompetence, you will be considered to have committed a criminal offence.
In May, Bill C-246 received second reading in the House of Commons. There were only a couple of Members of Parliament who spoke against the bill following second reading. Although Private Members’ Bills usually do not pass, there is a significant risk that this bill may receive approval because MPs may focus on the aspect of banning shark finning and overlook the changes to the criminal code regarding animal care. Now that Parliament has recessed for summer, not much will happen until the fall. It is important to contact your Federal Member of Parliament and make them aware of your opposition to Bill C246.

Leg Bands 

The LDCBA is affiliated with the Avicultural Advancement Council of Canada and we are able to offer AACC numbered closed bands, both un-coded and special coded bands are available. These permanent leg bands enable the age of birds to be determined and origins traced.
Kelly Vriesema, the LDCBA Treasurer is also now the Band Secretary. You can order 2016 Leg Bands by calling her store. The number is: 519-268-0888. You can also send Kelly an email about available bands, pricing and placing an order. E-mail address: ldcba@yahoo.ca
Due to the low Canadian dollar, AACC has added an Exchange Rate Surcharge of 10%. Eventually you will be able to order on the website and pay by PayPal. Of course you will still be able to pay by cheque or cash.
Check the following page for suggested sizes and prices for the different band types.

Leg Band Measurements
A 2.16 mm G 3.05 mm N 5.33 mm
B 2.34 mm J 3.30 mm P 5.99 mm
C 2.49 mm K 3.94 mm R 7.04 mm
D 2.67 mm L 4.09 mm S 7.57 mm
E 2.84 mm M 4.34 mm


Webmaster Editor's Notes

Thanks Paul     Glad I could help
If you have any old articles lying around
dated before 2013 why not donate them so that
everyone can enjoy the wit of June Munro and learn so much more about the amazing LADCBA?

I had quite a few ( member from the early 90's) and was glad to pass them on to future members
Paul did an excellent job on the saffron finch article
I found it quite a trove of information.
Such lovely birds.                              
Was very happy to see an update on the spix’s macaw.
They are such a precious rare bird and need everyone’s help if they are to make it in the wild.

Thanks again Paul for all your excellent work. 
Ron ~:>

May- June 2016

 President's Message

Hello Everyone, Spring is finally here, the days are getting longer and our Buy Sell & Trade day is less than a month away. Once again Bonnie is busy organizing and collecting items for the raffle table. Donations are appreciated and needed to help make this day even better. You can bring them the day of the sale.
The BBQ will be fired up; I will look after picking up sausages, hamburgers & buns. Pop, water, donuts and baked goods are always welcome donations.
We are in need of volunteers to help set up, clean up at the end, help in the snack bar and someone to look after the BBQ.
The Wellington Street Sportsman Club is an excellent place to have this event. There is lots parking, it is wheelchair accessible and there are 2 washrooms and a kitchen/snack bar . It’s perfect for our event and will only cost the club $75.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone at this event. Bring a friend or two or three. Lets make this a FUN fund raising event . Funds raised at this event go towards expenses for our fall show Thanksgiving weekend. This Buy Sell & trade day will be our only June meeting.
Kelly Vriesema will be hosting the July meeting. Date and details will be in the newsletter. The August outdoor meeting is still available if anyone wants to host it, just let me know.
See you at our Buy Sell & Trade Mark Tiede

Newsletter Editor's Notes

Editor’s Desk
Please make special note of the upcoming events listed in this issue. The Eastern Canadian Bird Fanciers meeting on May 21st is a great opportunity to meet members from other clubs and learn about plans for upcoming Shows. Plan to bring some birds to the Buy, Sell, Trade Day on June 4th. This should be a very convenient location. Please tell other bird people about this event.
We all keep birds because we enjoy keeping them. Read the information on Bill C246. If it passes it could have important implications for those with birds in their care.

I am still requesting that you provide some historical information on the LDCBA. We would like both written memories and photographs of members, meetings, shows and other events. If you have any past issues of the Newsletter, please let me know. I suggest that we could scan them and then return the original to you. Please submit any items for the next Newsletter by June 15th.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348 E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

In Memoriam    By Mark Tiede

It Is with a heavy heart and much sadness, I must mention that June Munro has passed away. Many of you know June; she was a dedicated member of our club. She was our recording secretary and bulletin editor for many years. June had always tried to keep the newsletter personal and interesting. Over the past 10 years June and I would chat quiet often . In one of our recent conversations June had told me she missed the club and the comradery that had been there in the past.
God Bless you June, you will be missed by your friends in club.

Breeding Techniques - Ron Cloutier’s Presentation       By Paul Stevens

On Saturday, March 19th, the London & District Cage Bird Association was fortunate to have Ron Cloutier as a speaker at its general membership meeting. Mr. Cloutier is a very experienced aviculturist, a longtime member of the LDCBA and webmaster of our website. Ron spoke on breeding techniques for cage birds. His talk included a well-illustrated PowerPoint presentation. During his presentation Ron provided valuable principles for breeding many species, but featured the Gouldian Finch.
He described the importance of light and day length in relation to breeding and practical use of night lights to prevent night fright. With the aid of photos Ron illustrated the construction of suitable breeding cages and the use of appropriate nest boxes, nesting material and other equipment. He discussed the importance of diet for breeding success and the value of various dietary products. Ron also considered the use of techniques such as fostering and undesirable behaviours of some males.

For anyone interested in showing birds, this was a valuable presentation. Ron showed the desirable characteristics of birds for exhibition and faults to look for in your birds. He recommended selecting chicks for type prior to developing their adult coloration.
We greatly appreciate Ron’s generosity in sharing his knowledge and experience. Hopefully LDCBA members will have the opportunity to hear him again in the future.


Saugeen Valley Spring Buy, Sell, Trade Day

On Sunday April 24, the Saugeen Valley Fur & Feather Fanciers Association held their Spring Buy, Sell Trade Day in Mount Forest. This is quite an extraordinary event attracting several thousand people each spring and fall. Although Mount Forest is not in a heavily populated area, sellers and buyers come from all over Ontario and as far away as Quebec. The sale is held at Mount Forest Fair Grounds, where vendors set up their tables or cages around the racetrack. Although the event officially starts at 7 a.m., many vendors arrive before 5 a.m. in order to get their favourite spot to sell. Selling at Mount Forest is attractive to many bird fanciers, partly because it only costs $10.00 to sell, but also because everyone knows there will be a large crowd with lots of potential buyers. There is a great variety of birds for sale, including chickens, waterfowl, turkeys, quail, parrots, canaries and finches. There are also usually many small mammals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Buyers need to educate themselves about the species or variety in which they are interested. There is some very high quality stock for sale; however, there are also some poultry on offer that are cross bred birds.
I was pleased to see some members of the LDCBA and other bird clubs. I didn’t see Murray Perdue; however, I understand from others that he was there promoting the London & District Cage Bird Association. We should provide all LDCBA members with brochures and membership application forms to hand out when they attend bird events like the Saugeen Valley Spring Buy, Sell, Trade Day. The next important bird sale event will be the LDCBA Buy, Sell Trade Day on June 4th. Please come out, whether you are interested to buying, selling or just socializing.

A New Guide to Seeing Birds in London and Area     By Paul Stevens

A few months ago I included a picture of members of the McIlwraith Ornithological Club or “The London Bird Club” as it was also known, on an outing to see birds in the London area. The club is still in existence and thriving, but now called Nature London. Nature London has as its motto, “To preserve and enjoy nature”. A favourite activity of many members is still bird watching. Many members of the London and District Cage Bird Association (LDCBA) also enjoy watching birds in the wild in addition to keeping birds in captivity. Nature London has published a new edition of their nature guide., “A Guide to the Natural Areas of London and Region”, 5th edition, 2015. Edited by Rosyln and James Moorhead. The guide includes descriptions of 104 natural areas to visit that are within 80 km. of the Thames River forks in London. It includes descriptions of birds, plants and other wildlife that can be seen at each site. There are also details on public access and directions to the area. It is available for only $15.00 from Nature London, PO Box 24008, London, Ontario, N6H 5C4. Website: www.naturelondon.ca


Bill C246

A couple of months ago Steve Straub called to alert me to proposed new federal legislation. In addition to being a very knowledgeable and skilled bird keeper, Steve pays close attention to proposed legislation at all levels of government that may impact people keeping birds and other animals. In February a private member’s bill was introduced into the House of Commons by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine- Smith (Toronto). It is titled the Modernizing Animal Protections Act (Bill C-246). Supposedly the purpose of this bill is to ban shark finning in Canadian waters, prevent the importation of dog and cat fur and close other loopholes in animal cruelty. However, it goes well beyond the described purposes. The criminal code already has provisions against cruelty to animals.
Robert Sopuck, MP for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa in Manitoba arranged for a legal analysis of Bill C246. He found that it would take “animal cruelty offences out of the section dealing with offences against “Certain Property” and move to the section of the Criminal Code dealing with offences against persons, giving rise to the suggestion that Animals are no longer a special type of “property” but are beings entitled to rights similar to Persons.”
Under the existing law, a person who willfully causes harm to an animal is committing an offence; however, the proposed legislation adds the word recklessly. Recklessly would mean that even if someone did not intend to cause harm they would be committing a criminal offence if it was considered to be careless. The bill also states that everyone who kills an animal without lawful excuse commits an offence. In another clause it introduces the terms brutally and viciously regarding the killing of animals. There is no definition given for “legal excuse” in this bill. Legal analysis concludes that this may result in hunting and fishing considered to be criminal offences.
A section that will have obvious consequences for people keeping cage and aviary birds is titled, “Failing to provide adequate care”. It states: “Everyone commits an offence who (a) negligently causes unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal; (b) being the owner, or the person having the custody or control of an animal, wilfully or recklessly abandons it or negligently fails to provide suitable and adequate food, water, air, shelter and care for it; or © negligently injures an animal while it is being conveyed.” This means that for any bird in your care that comes to harm, whether as a result of an accident, carelessness or incompetence, you will be considered to have committed a criminal offence.
Although Private Members’ Bills often do not pass, Mr. Erskine-Smith claims to have large support for Bill C246. If you would like further details, you can read the proposed bill on the House of Commons, Canada website. Also see the website of Robert Kopsuck, MP. If you haven’t read the article in the May issue of Feather Fancier by Bill Albers, “Our Hobby at Risk”, please read it. Most importantly contact your Federal Member of Parliament and make them aware of your opposition to Bill C246.

Webmaster Editor's Notes

Very sad days ..I was horrified to hear June had passed her and Rose Van Erp were
very instrumental in getting me to join the LADCBA
way back in the 1990s
Like Rose, June was one of my closest confidants in the club.
I had great time sitting and chatting with both and catching up on all that I had missed
from not attending the meetings.
I was mortified when Rose and Bernie passed and now more mortified that one of the
nicest person I have ever met will not be there with her cheery grin and
amazingly positive outlook on life.
She was someone that was more than a friend.
I am deeply saddened by her passing
and wish her family strength during this terrible time.
You WILL be missed (;)>  <(;)

I was very grateful to have been invited to speak this past month
It was a very good talk and I learned one thing I am much better answering
questions than giving speeches.
I had a great time and really appreciated the questions
Each one incredibly thought out.
Thank you all for that.
Got my grey matter stirring.
It is nice to go somewhere and be so well received.
I was very reluctant to give this talk but when I did was very glad I had.
I have been true to 1 thing since I started breeding / competing over 20 yrs ago,
and that is to help others so that all our fids / avian companions get the best care
they can.
My goal in all of this is to not only produce birds that thrive in my aviary but to
make sure that those who want to can help their birds to get the very best of care
and thrive in theirs as well. 
It was a treat to touch more lives and in the process make lives for some more avian
Thank you Mark Tiede/ LADCBA for giving me that opportunity. 

Ron ~:>


March-April 2016

 President's Message

Hello everyone, with a milder winter almost behind us, it is time to focus on our
next meeting . On Saturday March 19th at the Thorndale library Ron Cloutier
will be our guest speaker.
Ron is a Champion breeder of Gouldian finches Parrot finches and Java mutations.
Ron will be giving a presentation on breeding cage birds,
including Lady Gouldian Finches.
Meeting starts at 10:30 AM, coffee & snacks will be available as always.
Bring a friend or two.
I look forward to seeing you there. You never know,
there might be some birds for sale.
I am pleased to let you know our BUY SELL & TRADE will take place
on Saturday June 4th. Please refer to the poster for more information or
call myself or Kelly for more information. Mike Flikkema of Flikkema Aviaries has told me
he will be there.
Call Mike if you would like him to bring any birds or products to the Buy Sell & Trade Day
If you have any items to donate for the raffle table that would be greatly appreciated.
Bonnie Wright will be organizing the raffle table once again.
Come out and support your club!! I look forward to seeing you at both these events.
Take good care,
Mark Tiede

Newsletter Editor's Notes

Editor’s Desk
If you read the past couple of issues of the Newsletter you will recall that we mentioned
that the London & District Cage Bird Association lacks historical records.
I am still requesting that you provide some your personal memories.
We would like both written memories and photographs of members, meetings, shows and
other events.
If you have any past issues of the Newsletter, please let me know.
I suggest that we could scan them and then return the original to you.
Also please think about interviewing some of the more senior members about the LDCBA.
I hope you enjoy this issue. Give some thought to topics you would like discussed in
the Newsletter.
Also please consider writing something yourself.
Please submit any items for the next Newsletter by April 15th.
Also please give President Mark Tiede or one of the Board members a call with your
suggestions for the Association. The LDCBA will be what you make of it.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348

Four Things You Can’t Recover
• The stone after the throw
• The word after it’s said
• The occasion after it’s missed
• The time after it’s gone
One occasion you do not want to miss is the LDCBA meeting on Saturday, March 19th.
Ron Cloutier will speak on the topic of breeding cage birds. Mark your calendar now.
Ron Cloutier (also known as Mr. Lady Gouldian Finch) will talk about breeding
(this will include: diet, housing, selection of stock
( what a judge is looking for and how to achieve it) as well as some breeding
techniques he has used over the years to minimize runts, curb the need to foster,
pitching because of over amorous males/ birds that get upset over nest checks.
He will be bringing some visual aides to illustrate some facets of the breeding topic.
(products used/nests used /some breeder birds etc..)


In Memory
We were very saddened to learn of the passing of Joe Cacilhas
of Stoney Creek, on February 20, 2016.
He was the husband of Mary for 39 years and father of
Jennifer, Michael (Nicole) and Jeffrey (Sarah).
Joe was a LDCBA member and a long-time exhibitor and supporter of the LDCBA Show.
He was a breeder and exhibitor of type canaries including Border, Gloster, Fife and Norwich

A Visit with Jim and Gerda Smith   By: Paul Stevens
Recently I spent a very pleasant afternoon visiting Jim and Gerda Smith at their home in
Dunnville, Ontario.
After a very enjoyable lunch,
I was pleased to be able to view and talk about their birds.
Jim and Gerda have several decades experience in keeping a wide variety of birds
from finches to chickens and geese.
Over the years they have kept and bred many different species.
Their interest and concern for their birds is apparent by the superb condition of the birds
 and the breeding success they achieve.
Finches such as Gouldians breed freely.
Careful attention is paid to the light, heat and other environmental conditions for the birds
as well as their nutritional requirements.
The picture below of the Shaft-tail finches (Poephila acuticauda) in their aviary provides
an indication of the excellent facilities provided for the birds.
In addition to keeping several species of finches and parrots, they also have both Cape
doves (Oena capensis) and Diamond doves (Geopelia cuneata).
Jim’s skill as an aviculturist is evident through his success in the breeding of Cape doves.
You can contact Jim at Tel: 905-774-5308 or E-mail: benavis@sympatico.ca

The Mulga Parrot    By Paul Stevens
After seeing Jim Smith’s Mulga Parrots I thought I would mention a few details about this
species. The Mulga Parrot or Many-Coloured Parrot (Psephotus varius) is a species endemic
to the dry mulga scrub land of inland Australia.
The genus Psephotus also contains the Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematomotus) , a
very popular cage & aviary bird around the world.
Also in this genus is the beautiful Golden-shouldered Parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius)
and the Hooded Parrot (Psephotus dissimilis).
The Paradise parrot (Psephotus pulcherrimus) is now believed to be extinct.
The alternate name Many-coloured relates to the very bright patches of different colours
found on the Mulga Parrot.
The generic name Psephotus comes from Greek meaning inlaid with mosaic stones or jewels.
My photo above does not show the many colours of the Mulga very well, therefore I have
included the picture below which better illustrates the jewel-like patches of feathers.
The bright red crown is a distinctive characteristic of this species.
The genus Psephotus is thought to form a link between the Rosellas (Platycerus) and the
Grass Parakeets (Neophema)
The Mulga Parrot has quite a large range and although it is still relatively common in the
wild, numbers appear to be declining.
It adapts well to captivity and especially in Australia it is a popular aviary bird.
Mulga Parrots are easy to keep and they are less aggressive than Rosellas or even their
close relative, the Red-rumped. Normally Mulgas do best when kept one pair per aviary.
Although they are fairly flexible in their diet, some breeders have suggested that they
breed most successfully on a seed diet consisting of

  • 2 parts white millet
  • 2 parts canary seed
  • 1 part sunflower seed as well as some hemp and hulled oats and occasional greens.

Breeding success is more likely in an aviary rather than cages.
Suggested aviary size is approximately 6 ft. (1.8 m) x 8 ft. (2.4 m) x 6 ft. (1.8 m).
One of the reasons for reluctance to breed may be the acceptance of the nest box.
There have been some suggestions that a variety of different size boxes and locations
should be offered to the pair.
Like the Red-rumped Parrot, a number of domestic mutations have been produced.
However, when the wild-type is so striking in appearance I am not sure why anyone
would want to change it.

An Afternoon of Film Making    By: Paul Stevens

Recently while browsing through my copy of the first edition of Joseph Forshaw’s book,
“Australian Parrots”, I was reminded of some of the birds I had the privilege of caring for
 many years ago while working at the Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney, Australia.
Forshaw illustrated the book with beautiful photographs, many of them taken of captive
birds. In particular my attention was drawn to the picture of a Red-tailed Black cockatoo,
a resident of Taronga Park Zoo. This photograph was taken by Donald Trounson and
Molly Clampett in the studio they set up in the service area of the zoo.
One day Les Clayton, the Head Bird Keeper at the zoo, informed me that a film crew from
the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) would be coming that afternoon to get some
footage for a film they were making. Les had an appointment away from the zoo during the
afternoon and asked me to assist the film crew.
We set up an empty aviary with fresh eucalyptus branches.
The bright green eucalyptus leaves made a naturalistic setting to photograph the bird.
Les suggested I use a male Red-tailed Black cockatoo that was quite tame and would not be
disturbed by the people or cameras.
This is the same bird shown in the accompanying photograph.
When the ABC crew arrived they were as expected very impressed with the majestic beauty
of the bird and his friendly manner.
After showing them how easy he was to handle, one of the film producers asked if she could
hold him.
This young woman had long hair down past her shoulders.
This cockatoo enjoyed preening whoever was holding him and when I placed him on
the woman’s shoulder he immediately took many strands of hair in his bill and pulled
them through to the end. In retrospect she was very trusting that I knew the bird would
not snip off her hair. She was able to enjoy a very special close-up experience with an
extraordinary bird.
The film crew were able to get some footage of this cockatoo in the naturalistic setting
we had created; however, there was a feeling that a black bird in dark green foliage did
not provide enough contrast.
They also thought it might be nice to get some shots of the bird flying out of the bush
but our Red- tailed Black cockatoo would not oblige with that request.
Just then Les, the Head Bird Keeper, arrived back.
His meeting had ended early and he was interested to see how the filming was progressing.
Les suggested that we could get a lighter coloured bird if they wished to take some
additional footage.
He asked me to go pick up the Major Mitchell’s cockatoo that we had been holding in an
individual cage in the birdhouse service area.
As I drove back across the zoo grounds with this cockatoo in his cage on the seat
beside me, I wondered how cooperative he would be for the film crew.
This particular Major Mitchell’s cockatoo could talk a bit.
He had been donated to the zoo and presumably had been someone’s pet.
Having arrived during cool damp weather, we kept him in the birdhouse for a couple of
This very attractive bird was able to further attract attention
by calling “kiss cocky” to anyone who came near.
Usually the zoo employees from other sections would then say “isn’t he sweet” as they
leaned over to bring their face up close to his cage. This was a big mistake.
In a flash he would hit the side of the cage in an attempt to grab their nose.
The surprised people jumped back in shock.
Those who encountered him only tried to get close once.
When I arrived at the aviary, the film crew were delighted to see this bright
pink cockatoo and having enjoyed the pleasant personality of the Red-tailed Black cockatoo,
 they were eager for this next encounter.
I did mention that he was not as friendly as the last bird.
Les reckoned he would be fine once positioned on the perch among the eucalyptus leaves.
The crew readied themselves for filming and I was relieved that Les offered to take the
bird from its cage.
Les was a very experienced bird keeper and many times I had seen him with lightning speed,
safely catch parrots without injuring either the bird or himself.
However, as fast as Les was, this Major Mitchell’s cockatoo was even faster.
As Les pulled him from the cage, the bird hooked his bill on to Les’s thumb, piercing it
at the base of the nail.
Like a fountain, blood shot out from Les’s thumb in an arc.
The eyes of the filming crew, and probably mine too were as big as saucers.
This immobilized Les, ended filming for the day and ended the film career of the
Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo before it even started.

Silver and Gold  By Paul Stevens

The London and District Cage Bird Association (LDCBA) has been in existence for over
six decades and has been a valuable promoter of aviculture.
Like many other organizations, the LDCBA is dynamic. It is renewed with new members
and has been kept stable and consistent with long-term members.
Like other aviculture organizations, the LDCBA has been a source of information about
keeping, showing and breeding birds.
At a recent LDCBA Board meeting, the topic of friendship was mentioned.
The LDCBA has provided an opportunity for bird fanciers to make friendships with others
who share their interest in birds.
There is a saying that we should make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and
the other is gold.
This certainly applies to the LDCBA where we have the opportunity to meet new friends,
but there is also the reassurance that comes through the familiarity of long-term friends.

LDCBA 2016 Membership
If you haven’t had an opportunity to renew your LDCBA membership for 2016,
please do so today.
There is an application form with contact information on the back page of the Newsletter,
if you wish to mail in your renewal.
You can mail your membership dues directly to our Treasurer, Kelly Vriesema;
however, you can renew your membership in person at the LDCBA meeting on
Saturday, March 19th.
You can send Kelly an email about your membership. E-mail address:
ldcba@yahoo.ca or you can call her at her store. The number is: 519-268-0888 regarding
renewal of your membership.
Please ensure that you provide any corrections or updates to your contact information.
Please also invite other people with an interest in birds to join the LDCBA.
Remind them that they don’t need to keep birds to be a LDCBA member.
In order to build a strong organization capable of producing quality events and programmes
we need to further strengthen our membership.
Many people share an interest in aviculture, companion birds or the conservation of birds
in the wild.
If we all make an effort to invite someone to join the LDCBA, we can build a stronger
organization with greater value and pleasure to all.

Webmaster's Note

What wonderful articles J Paul As always ...Thanks.
I was extremely fascinated by your work in Australia
The tale was very engaging and I would personally love to hear more. 
It must of been paradise to work in such a state of the art facility.
I have always been fascinated by avians in their wild habitats, and when
in Costa Rica was very fortunate to see quetzals in the wild.
It was exhilarating to experience something some majestic and secretive in it's
native habitat.
I was also taken back by how harmoniously the birds and people in the villages
seemed to have co habitated in a very compassionate way.

On another note I think not enough is said in aviculture of the joys we experience with
birds in more natural settings / the wild.
I put up a fountain , a bird bath, hummingbird feeder, as well as finch feeders and am
astounded by the diversity of birds in my own back yard here in the woods.
To maintain this diversity we must all do our part to keep these species from disappearing.
I have been a huge supporter of CWF ( Canadian Wildlife Foundation) for decades.
They have a great appreciation of not only mammals but the many diverse bird species
that make this nation so colourful and full of song.
What can you do to stop this mass extinction?
Create  habitat; let a corner of your yard go feral and or plant local plants away
from trees and other places predators can lurk.
This will encourage natural sources of food like insects/worm and small vertebrates
all ideal food sources.  
Also feed the birds in the hardest time of the year winter / Put a feeder add a baffle
( large disc added to pole supporting feeder to discourage squirrels).
Put burlap or other material under and around pole so that any mess is disposed after
first thaw.
Live where none of this is possible ( condo/ apartment/ rental property) then do the next
best thing and donate time or money to preserving much needed habitat.
As our bird species diminish we must as aviculturists take an active role to help
stem or slow this decline.

Ron ~:>


Nov / Dec 2015

President’s Message

Hello everyone , I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone
for helping make this year’s show run smoothly .
There is a lot of preparation that goes on throughout the year to ensure this happens.
I would like to thank Karen & Jeremy Faria and Deirdre Graham for looking after the entries
at the show.
This year we had 390 birds entered in our show compared to 412 in 2014.
Having the Show results & statistics minutes after the judging was done is awesome,
we will be able to review these results and make changes if needed for next year’s show
in the coming months
Thank you to our show managers Greg Sword, Stephen Mycock, Bonnie Wright & Joanne Miller
for and excellent job on organizing the raffle , selling tickets.
Paul Stevens for helping with the Show catalogue and newsletters throughout the year.
Since joining the club less than 2 years ago Kelly Vriesema has taken on several jobs.
Kelly is our current treasurer , advertising director and now our band secretary.
At the show on Sunday, Kelly was very busy looking after membership renewals, band orders
and keeping track of club expenses not to mention running her own table at the show.
I would also like to thank Kevin Miller for his help at the show, along with Daniel and
Andrew Brilhante.
For the second year in a row Daniel and Andrew were at the show helping set up and take down
the staging and whatever else came up they were there to help out.
On Saturday morning, much to my surprise a young lady introduced herself to me. She said hi my name is Anna and I am here to volunteer. Anna told me that she had been at our show many years ago with her dad. She had shown birds at the show in the past. Anna thanks for your help in the snack bar, it was nice to meet you. I can't forget about the judges, stewards, and secretaries. Thank you all for making things come together.
This year we had a very well built Macaw nest box donated as an item for our silent auction.
This nest box was built by member Jim Symons. Thank you Jim for your hard work and donating
it to the auction .
I had a lot of fun at our show this year. Seeing friends and families I have not seen
since our last show was great to say the least .
For me it was nice to see things come together.
One of my memorable moments of our show was when Charlie Bezzina walked into the show hall.
Charlie has been a long time member of our club and former President.
Charlie has not been too mobile for the last few years.
When I saw the warm reception Charlie received with all his canary friends
and the big smile on his face, it brought tears to my eyes.
The hall has been booked for next year and plans are being made.
Hope to see everyone there again
Take good care,
Mark Tiede

Best Novice Budgie, Shown by Joanne Miller. Photo: Kelly Manson

Editor’s Desk

The 63rd Annual London & District Cage Bird Association Show is now history.
The Show weekend went very quickly and I am sure all who attended have some fond
memories of the excellent birds on exhibit and the friends they met.
The Show is a great place to meet new and old friends who share a love of birds.
Although the Show went well, we should always consider how it can be improved?
How can we gain greater public participation?
A very striking aspect of the Show is the large number of trophies and rosettes
which many exhibitors seem to appreciate and expect.
However, in the picture on page 1 of this Newsletter, the awards are much more prominent
than the birds. Through the Show what messages and information do we wish to convey to

J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348 E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

The London & District Cage Bird Association 2015 Show

The London and District Cage Bird Association (LDCBA) 63rd Annual Show, October 9-11
was once again held at Merrills Hall in London Ontario.
There were many beautiful birds in excellent condition on display at this year’s
Show. On Sunday the Show was open to the public and vendors were able to offer supplies
and birds for sale. The Show provided a great opportunity for members of the public to see
some fine birds whether they were interested in keeping birds themselves or just wanted to
experience them close-up.
The Show had six divisions, consisting of Type, Lipochrome and Melanin Canaries as well as
Finches, Budgerigars and other Parrots.
There were five judges for the task of choosing the winners.
Giuseppe Mannino from New York City evaluated the Lipochrome Canaries.
The other judges, all from Ontario included
Serafino Brutto for the Type Canaries,
Carmelo Taibi on Melanin Canaries,
Claudio Elia on Budgies and
Ricardo Gasken judged the Foreign Birds including Finches and Parrots.
There were 390 birds shown by 44 exhibitors from Windsor to Toronto.
On exhibit were 45 Border and 75 Type Canaries, 72 Lipochrome and 87 Melanin Canaries.
Also there were 55 Finches of several species on exhibit.
There were 30 Budgerigars (Budgies) which was considerably lower than usual.
Additionally there were 26 small and medium sized parrots.
The LDCBA Show was again fortunate to have Deirdre Graham and Jeremy & Karen Faria from
the Budgerigar & Foreign Bird Society carry out the computer entry of birds in the Show.
The computerization of Show entries and award results has been a great improvement
for the LDCBA Show. The Show was a great success, thanks to the organization provided by the
Show Committee, Greg Sword, Mark Tiede, Stephen Mycock and those who volunteered their
Kelly Manson has provided some excellent photographs of the Show.
I hope you enjoy the pictures we have included in this issue and we will share more
in the next Newsletter to help us relive and appreciate the Show.

Best Type Canary, Shown by Vince Turco. Photo by: Kelly Manson

Left: The three canary judges at work: Serafino Brutto, Giuseppe Mannino and Carmelo Taibi.
Right: Many volunteers help the judging process go smoothly.
In the above photo Fred Gatto, left and William VanDeVen assist in recording
the judging results. Photos: Paul Stevens

Catarina & Giuseppe Mannino drove up to the Show from New York City.
Giuseppe was the judge of the Lipochrome Canaries.
Giuseppe has been a canary breeder for many years,
but it is judging that gives him special enjoyment.
He has judged at many shows in both Canada and USA.
Photo: Paul Stevens

This canary appears to have lots to say.
This Cockatiel was Best White–faced Cockatiel for Sue & David Sylvseter.
Photos: Kelly Manason

More photos by Kelly Manson including Teresa Banar (Kelly’s wife)
with Mark Tiede & Stephen Mycock

Another photo from the 2015 Show.
The Show provides an opportunity for friends to gather and share good times.
From the left Tullio Ferri, Joe Larocca, Fred Gatto and Claudio Gatto
on Saturday at the Show. Photo: Paul Stevens

A New Book about Birds and Positive Living

“The Birdy Book” was written by Stephanie Van De Ven, daughter of Bill Van De Ven –
member of the LDCBA.
The main character: “Birdy” was inspired by a bright orange canary gifted to Noah,
Bill’s seven year old grandson.
During the time that Birdy was alive,
Stephanie wrote poems about him to teach and inspire kids & adults
about remaining positive, using affirmations, the power of your choices,
as well as compassion and kindness. This heart-warming book includes reflection sections,
journal practice, and stories that inspire and spark imagination.
It’s spiritual and uplifting too!
Birdy believes in trying his best, Angels, never giving up, using positive words and
affirmations and being a helpful birdy. Kids, grand kids, adults, grandparents
and everyone in between will fall in love with this book!
ORDER FORM TO FOLLOW (minimum 50 book order): Call or e-mail Paul Stevens, 519-461-0348
or any LDCBA Board member to order a copy of this book.
Donation to LDCBA: For every book sold at $25.00 (taxes included)
Stephanie will donate $5.00 to the LDCBA.
Her hope is that the money donated can continue to support the events,
education, preservation and care for birds in the region and teach as well as
inspire little ones and their adults the very same.
Payment: All payments can be made to the LDCBA and a final donation will be made
when all payments have been collected.
For more info you can go to: www.thebirdybooks.com
Want to know more about Stephanie? If you’d like Stephanie to speak at an event,
host a children’s workshop/seminar or
collaborate with her you can book her by emailing: vision@mail.com
Thank you for your support in helping spread positive messages of kindness from Birdy to
your loved ones!
Delivery: All books will be shipped to the LDCBA for pick up.
Deadline for orders: November 23rd – in time for Christmas, and for shipping from the US.

Editor’s Note: The following story from The New York Times describes the terrible tragedy
that is happening on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.
Much has been reported about the contributions of these man-made fires to pollution,
green-house gases and the economy, however, the effect on birds and other wildlife is also
The loss of forests causes fruit-eating birds such as Hornbills and Fruit Doves to starve
to death.

A primary reason for people setting fire to the tropical forests is to create plantations
for palm oil.
Palm oil has become a ubiquitous ingredient, found in many products.
One way to stop the conversion of forests to plantations is to boycott products
containing palm oil.

Indonesia’s Forest Fires Take Toll on Wildlife, Big and Small
By Joe Cochrane, New York Times

Long-awaited heavy rains this week in the Indonesian regions of Sumatra and Kalimantan appeared
to be the beginning of the end of the mass forest fires that have raged since late August,
Indonesia’s worst such disaster in at least 20 years.
While plenty has been written about the economic costs of the fires and the human suffering
they have caused — hundreds of thousands of people sickened by the haze in Indonesia and
Southeast Asia, and a regional price tag that one expert estimated at more than
$14 billion — so far, scientists and environmentalists can only speculate about the extent
of the damage to wildlife, including endangered species like the orangutan.
But orangutans are far from the only species suffering. Indonesia’s fauna is among the
world’s most diverse, and a broad spectrum of wildlife — including elephants, birds, snakes
and even insects —has been severely affected by the fires and choking haze, scientists say.
This month, Indonesia’s Forestry Ministry announced that more than 4.2 million acres of
forest and open land had been destroyed by the fires.
Each year, fires are intentionally set to clear land cheaply — for palm oil plantations,
for pulp and paper mill operations, and for other agricultural uses — but they grew out of
control this year because of prolonged drought and the effects of El Niño, scientists say.
This week, scientific and conservation organizations reported that endangered species like
orangutans, Sumatran tigers and Sumatran elephants, among other wildlife, had fled burning
rain forests and moved toward areas settled by humans.
“There will be a huge impact on endangered species because they need a big habitat,”
said Yuyun Indradi, a campaign team leader for Greenpeace Indonesia.
The western island of Sumatra has had many cases of rural farmers shooting wild elephant
herds that moved onto plantations in search of food, or rampaged through farmlands and villages
in what had once been their habitat.
Sumatran tigers have been trapped and killed after killing farmers and villagers while hunting
at night.
Orangutans have also been shot dead in their dwindling habitats in Sumatra and Kalimantan,
or captured and sold as pets.
Even the tiniest creatures are being affected by the fires, and that could also have
repercussions for people.
During Indonesia’s last severe forest fire crisis, in 1997, the haze significantly reduced
bee populations, which took three years to recover, said Erik Meijaard,
coordinator of Borneo Futures, a conservation project.
That is likely to hurt agricultural production in Indonesia, he said, since bees are crucial
to the pollination of apples, melons, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and other crops.
“Your common fruits and vegetables are bee-pollinated, so without them they won’t grow,”
Mr. Meijaard said.
Scientists and government officials are also waiting anxiously to see the fallout of the crisis
on Indonesia’s plant life, including its shrinking rain forests.
Douglas Sheil, a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, said that large forest
fires in Indonesia were typically preceded by periods of intense drought that left both flora
and fauna vulnerable. While drought can have a bigger impact on primary forests, he said, the
fires that follow destroy seedlings.
“This ‘double punch’ or ‘triple punch’ of drought, fire and smoke is likely to be much more
damaging to the biome than any one of these elements alone, for trees, bees and everything else
,” Mr. Sheil said.
Estimates of how much the crisis will hurt Indonesia’s economy, as well as those of its affected
neighbors, differ, but some say the regional damage could be in the tens of billions of dollars.
Last month, Harry Purnomo, a scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research,
a global scientific organization based in Bogor, Indonesia, estimated that the economic cost
for Southeast Asia would be $14 billion.
That included factors like lost agricultural production and health costs because of
emissions, airport closings, the delayed transportation of goods and missed work days.
Mr. Purnomo was not prepared to issue a revised estimate, but he said the figure would be
considerably higher.
“This doesn’t include social costs, like people dying, and political costs,
which will affect the economy,” he said. “Ultimately, there are many other costs to consider.”

Why Awards are Essential to the Betterment  of Bird Breeding  by:  Ron Cloutier

I was saddened to hear that many want to remove incentives for show breeders.
The awards are essential in maintaining the drive in show breeders young and old
To remove the only oppurtunity these individuals have to exhibit awards not only to
club members but family and friends may do more harm then good.
Many who do not breed for show do not understand that we are extremely proud of the
efforts put into breeding.
We build lines through genetics ( this can include extensive
genealogies going back multiple generations) to get that ideal breeder cockerel and hen for
subsequent years.
We research extremely hard ( genetics, health, housing, etc..) to perfect a healthy ,
happy superb specimen.
These awards represent an acknowlegement of those long hours nursing ill birds,
rescuing chicks, cleaning 10s of cages / flights etc...preparing diets...etc...
As well as training and grooming ...all integral parts of the show
breeders daily life.
On a personal note I was inspired to strive and grow because I had a goal
I wanted to achieve. I wanted to progress from first place ribbons to rosettes / and or trophies.  
Removing that goal will only make it harder for up and comers to reach for
something they can proudly achieve and display to friends / family and those in their
peer group.    
Shows are a difficult balance between: club goals, club finances, and breeders and one that
cannot be to heavy sided on one extreme or another.
Too much emphasis on removing incentives to show breeders will result in one thing
fewer show breeders bothering to attend that particular show.    

I was at the CAS and was shocked that all the best young awards in finches were removed.
The young awards are the ones that should not be removed as this is what the shows are;
like it or not  displays of the best young bred that year by top breeders who pay a fee
to clubs to exhibit their birds.  
We now have an environment where some of the best awards can go to birds
that were bought prior to the shows and exhibited as those of the breeder because awards
are being removed.   
This then takes the whole competition from a breeding to a monetary level ...who can import/
buy from the best lines.  
This new "ideal" that shows should be more about conservation/ companion birds  
then a celebration of a hard year work by some of the best breeders is in a way
disrespectful of those providing sustainable healthy top quality companion birds
to the avian community.
In short why fix something that has worked for well on 70 yrs in Canada?

One way clubs can fix budgetary shortfalls ( most cited reason for removing awards)   
is to raise entry fees from $2 or $2.50 to $5
This serves many purposes:
- it ensures only the top birds are displayed and cuts down on birds being
brought to the bench only to be sold ( avoiding vending costs).    

-it ensures exhibitors will frequent those shows that offer the greatest respect for
their hard work.    

It is time. I have been showing for at least the 20 yrs and the fees have never gone up
Fees need to be raised to accommodate everyone's needs ; those of the club's, the exhibitor's  
and the general public.  JMO

Saturday, November 21st
LDCBA Annual Meeting
10:30 AM, to 12:00 PM
Location: Thorndale Library, 21790 Fairview Rd., Thorndale

January 2016
LDCBA Members Meeting.
Speaker: Ron Cloutier from Lady Gouldian Finch Canada
Details to follow.

Website Editor's Notes

Very glad to see the annual show is still thriving and doing well.
I attended and had a great time; catching up with old friends and talking "turkey"
This years show went smoothly on all accounts and the judges were as awesome as always
The volunteers did a great job at: stewarding, secretarying, clean up, the snack bar,
the doors, and at the raffle tables. Thank you all for your hard work.
As always there was some amazingly beautiful birds on display. 

Great articles and pics   Thanks Everyone who contributed.
Special thanks to J Paul for another great newsletter.
Keep up the great work

Show results will be up very soon.

Ron ~:>

SEPT /OCT 2015

President’s Message

Hello Everyone, I hope your summer was filled with fun and excitement.

It certainly is slipping away far too quickly for me.

With fall fast approaching our annual bird show is getting closer.

We have been preparing for the show for some time now and plans are

starting to fall into place.

In an effort to save some money we will not be mailing out the show catalogue,

however it will be available at the show Friday night.

We are in need of some help with the snack bar and raffle table.

Any help is much appreciated. Please contact Greg Sword 519-949-0404 or myself 519-282-3065

if you want more information on how you can help.

Bonnie Wright is organizing the raffle table and donations are needed.

Please contact Bonnie if you have any items or bring them to the show.

Call Bonnie at 519-495-4148.

There is a lot of planning that goes in to having a successful Show.

Come out and support your club. I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the show.

See you at the show

Take good care,

Mark Tiede

Editor’s Desk

I find it hard to believe that summer is nearly over.

It has gone all too quickly. September and October are traditionally busy times for bird

people with shows and sales happening every weekend. Please plan to attend some of the shows

for other clubs that are happening throughout southern Ontario. Of course we all need to be

thinking about our own LDCBA Annual Show on Thanksgiving weekend. Consider showing some of

your birds and definitely ask how you can assist even for a short time with some of the

activities at the Show.

The avian influenza crisis in Ontario has ended but we still need to be thinking about

biosecurity on an ongoing basis. Please review the information in this issue.

We have included information on new publications that may be of interest to you and an

article on the role of grit. Please give me your thoughts on topics for the Newsletter and

please also consider writing something for the next issue.

J. Paul Stevens

Tel: 519-461-0348 E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

The 2015 LDCBA Show

The 63rd Annual London & District Cage Bird Association Show is fast approaching.

Through the Eastern Bird Fanciers, and in cooperation with other regional clubs a number of

changes have made to the show classes. In addition, our show committee have made some

much-needed changes to the show awards.

The LDCBA is also fortunate to have a great line-up of judges to evaluate your entries.

We are again fortunate that Deirdre Graham and Jeremy Faria from the

Budgerigar & Foreign Bird Society have agreed to carry out the computer entry of birds

for the Show.

The computerization of Show entries and award results has been a great improvement

for the LDCBA Show.

Thanksgiving weekend is the traditional date for the LDCBA Show as well as being a time when

families gather together in celebration of the many things we have to be thankful for.

I hope you will schedule some time to assist the organizers with some of the

tasks necessary to make a

successful show.

There are many activities that you can volunteer to assist with at or prior to the Show

that will only require a small time commitment.

The 2015 Show Manager is Greg Sword and the Assistant Show Manager

is Stephen Mycock. Contact them now to see how you can get involved.

There are lots of ways you can assist either before the Show or at the Show.

Greg Sword - Tel: 519-949-0404, E-mail: swordie35@gmail.com

Stephen Mycock – Tel: 519-652-2087, E-mail: dellerrose@gmail.com

Come to the LDCBA Annual Show. It is a time to see some high quality birds,

to see old friends, make new friends and talk birds!

LDCBA Membership

Show time is when many members choose to renew their membership in the London and District Cage

Bird Association. If you haven’t had an opportunity to renew your 2015 membership,

please do so and consider your 2016 membership as well.

Please ensure that you provide any corrections or updates to your contact

information. Please also invite other people with an interest in birds to join the LDCBA.

Remind them that they don’t need to keep birds to be a LDCBA member.

In order to build a strong organization capable of producing quality events and programmes

we need to further strengthen our membership.

Many people share an interest in aviculture, companion birds or the conservation of birds

in the wild.

If we all make an effort to invite someone to join the LDCBA,

we can build a stronger organization with greater value and pleasure to all.

application form link can be found here  ladcba.org/membership.php

LDCBA Archives

I am also the editor of the Ontario Regional Lily Society (ORLS) Newsletter.

Often I include articles from past issues of the ORLS Newsletter or sometimes photos of events

many years ago or members that are no longer with us.

This is possible due to a complete collection of all of the newsletters

from the last 50 years.

The ORLS Archives also contains photo albums and a scrapbook. There are many articles written

by members several decades ago that are still relevant today and well worth sharing

with today’s membership.

It would be great if I could dip into the archives of the

London and District Cage Bird Association to share articles from past newsletters or to revisit

shows and other events from the past.

Unfortunately information about the history of the LDCBA has not been maintained in archives.

However, it is not too late. There are a number of members who have been a part of the LDCBA

for several decades.

In past issues of the LDCBA Newsletter

I have requested information on the history of the London & District Cage Bird Association.

Any information you can provide about the Club in past years would be greatly appreciated.

Please provide some your personal memories.

We would like both written memories and photographs of members, meetings, shows

and other events.

If you have any past issues of the Newsletter,

please let me know. I suggest that we could scan them and then return the original to you.

Even if you are a new member, you can assist by offering to interview some of the more senior

members about the LDCBA.

The Ontario Avian Influenza Situation

Editor’s Note: The Avian Influenza outbreak had a profound impact on the commercial

poultry industry in Ontario. Although the outbreak was on three commercial poultry farms,

the quarantine and restrictions on the movement of birds also affected hobbyists keeping

poultry and other bird species.

As you will recall the LDCBA Board decided to cancel our Buy, Sell and Trade Day

on May 31st in support of CFIA recommendations to avoid sales, shows and auctions

until the quarantine was lifted.

The press release below provides confirmation and some details concerning the lifting of the


CFIA Removes Final Avian Influenza Control Zone in Ontario

July 29, 2015

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has removed the final Avian Influenza Control


located in the counties of Oxford and Waterloo, Ontario. The quarantine on IP2 has been

removed at the completion of the 21-day waiting period that followed the cleaning and

disinfection process under CFIA oversight.

The information table for infected premises has been updated on the Agency's website.

Permits are no longer required for the movement of birds and bird products in Ontario.

Removal of Avian Influenza Control Zones is a Canadian domestic measure and has no impact on

export of poultry or poultry products.

A 3-month enhanced surveillance period following the cleaning and disinfection of all IPs is

required by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) before a zone will recover

its avian influenza free status.

The cooperation and support of the Province of Ontario, the poultry industry and the owners

of the infected birds were critical to the successful control of this outbreak and the

removal of the control zones.

The CFIA continues to remind poultry owners to take an active role in protecting their flocks

by employing strict biosecurity measures on their property, and immediately reporting any

signs of illness.

For more information on avian influenza and measures poultry farmers can take to protect

their flocks, please visit the CFIA web site at www.inspection.gc.ca.

Editor’s Note: Avian Influenza is of course not the only disease that bird breeders need to

be concerned about.

Appropriate biosecurity measures are important in the prevention of all transmissible diseases

in captive birds,

It is important that we practice good biosecurity measures regardless of the type of birds being kept. The following article from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website provides a good summary of biosecurity principles applicable to all species.

Avian Biosecurity – Protect Poultry, Prevent Disease

Anyone who has contact with birds though commercial farming, backyard flocks or hobby farms,

and/or provides services to poultry producers (e.g. poultry transporters, feed providers,

catching crews, etc.), is encouraged to practice enhanced biosecurity procedures.


The National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard and Producer Guide support the development

of farm-specific biosecurity protocols for sectors that do not participate in a provincial

association or On-Farm Food Safety (OFFS) program.

  • General Producer Guide - National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard
  • National avian on-farm biosecurity standard
  • Basic biosecurity principles for poultry


  • Only obtain new birds from reputable sources.
  • Isolate sick birds from the rest of the flock.
  • Limit the frequency of introducing new birds to the flock.
  • Isolate any new birds or birds returning from shows and exhibits.
  • Use all-in-all-out flock movement where possible.


  •  Routinely clean and disinfect buildings, poultry houses, equipment, clothing and footwear.
  •  Designate a cleaning area for vehicles and equipment.
  •  Promptly dispose of mortalities and damaged eggs.
  •  Use plastic crates to transport birds (easier to clean).

Traffic control:

  • Control visitors' access to the flock.
  • Prevent birds, rodents, pets and other animals from coming into contact with the flock.
  • Require all visitors to wear clean boots, clothing and gloves.
  • Maintain records of the movement of people, animals and equipment on and off the premises.
  • Make sure all suppliers and other farm visitors follow your biosecurity measures.

Flock health management:

  • Monitor flock health daily.
  • Employ veterinary services to help implement flock health programs.
  • Maintain daily health records on your flock, detailing production levels, health concerns and treatments applied.
  • Immediately report any signs of illness to your veterinarian or the nearest CFIA office.
  • Program maintenance:
  • Train all staff in the application of your biosecurity program.
  • Regularly monitor the effectiveness of the program.
  • Be aware of any avian diseases in your area and adjust your biosecurity program to meet specific needs, as required.

Poultry Service Industry

The goal of the Poultry Service Industry Biosecurity Guide is to provide service sector

personnel with a set of guidelines to use, both within their own company's biosecurity

protocols and in collaboration with the producer,

to limit the opportunity for introducing and spreading disease.

Pet bird/backyard flock owners

Pet bird/backyard flock owners are urged to take an active role in protecting their flocks

by employing strict biosecurity measures on their property.

Backyard flocks are at risk of contracting viruses like avian influenza, in particular if they

have access to the outdoors and ponds or bodies of water known to be used by wild birds.

See website for further information on biosecurity for backyard flock and small bird owners

Sources of avian diseases

Disease in poultry and other avian species can be spread in a number of ways, including:

  • through diseased birds or birds carrying disease;
  • through animals other than birds (farm animals, pets, wild birds and other wildlife, vermin and insects);


  • on the clothing and shoes of visitors and employees moving from flock-to-flock;
  • in contaminated feed, water, bedding and litter;
  • from the carcasses of dead birds;
  • on contaminated farm equipment and vehicles;
  • through contact with neighbouring flocks; or
  • in airborne particles and dust blown by the wind.

A Course on Captive Breeding of Birds

I expect most readers will be very familiar with the late Gerald Durrell, renowned author

and wildlife conservationist. Each year the Durrell Conservation Academy offers numerous

courses on topics ranging from wildlife conservation techniques to primate biology.

Of particular interest to aviculturists is a five day course on the Conservation Breeding

and Husbandry of Birds.

This course is designed to provide people with the necessary skills to successfully manage

and breed birds in captivity.

The course is targeted at curators, keepers and veterinarians from zoos and other

institutions (e.g. universities) and private bird keepers involved in the captive management

of birds.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Planning your captive bird collection
  • Bird behaviour and ecology
  • Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust Enclosure design and management
  • Hand rearing and incubation techniques
  • Record keeping and population management
  • Feeding and nutrition

The course will develop a person’s skills in practical bird husbandry and deepen their

understanding of the contribution this work can make to the conservation of threatened

birds in the wild.

The course will be held at the headquarters of the Durrell Conservation Academy in Jersey, U.K.

The course will cost £575. This includes:

  • All course materials
  • Unlimited entry to Durrell Wildlife Park during the course
  • Lunch everyday
  • A data disc containing copies of all course material

Further information is available at: www.durrell.org

Perhaps we could partner with other aviculture organizations to sponsor someone to

participate in the course.

In particular we need to encourage youth interested in aviculture.

Please give some thought to how several clubs might collectively sponsor

a young Canadian aviculturist to participate in this course.

The Function of Insoluble Grit

There has been considerable debate concerning the addition of grit to the diet of different

groups of captive birds.

There are also differing opinions on what constitutes grit.

Generally the term grit is used to describe insoluble stones and rock fragments

ingested by birds. However, other items such as oyster shell are sometimes described

as grit or soluble grit. Granivorous birds consume particulate matter such as sand or gravel

as an aid to digestion.

An important aspect of the avian digestive system is the presence of the gizzard or


The gizzard has a thick muscle structure with a tough lining to enable grinding of food


Ingested food is stored in the crop where it is usually softened with water and then passes

through the proventriculus, glandular stomach, where acid and the enzyme pepsin are added.

Next the softened food moves to the gizzard where the grinding takes place.

Although the inner part of seeds is largely composed of starch, protein and oil which

are highly digestible, the outer hull is composed of cellulose and other complex molecules

that are not digestible.

In order for a bird to digest and absorb the nutrients contained in seeds,

they need to be in contact with the digestive enzymes.

Therefore the gizzard plays an important role in granivorous birds by mechanically breaking

down the seed hull and releasing the digestible nutrients.

Grit acts as an aid to the muscular gizzard by improving the grinding action.

Important characteristics of grit are hardness and insolubility to acid and enzymes;

for example, it has been observed that oyster-shell and ground limestone to do not work well

for grinding in the gizzards of chickens because of their softness and solubility.

The role of grit has been studied extensively in chickens and other gallinaceous birds.

With wild gallinaceous birds or free range chickens consuming whole grain,

they pick up some gravel as they forage.

It is thought that these stones aid the digestion of food materials.

When the gizzard contains both solid food particles and grit a "masticating"

effect takes place. Grain, other seeds, leaves and grass undergo pulverization,

which exposes the nutrients inside cells to digestive juices.

It is therefore generally considered that birds receiving ground or pelletized diets

do not need grit since the hammer mill has already accomplished the grinding for them.

However, there have been some studies showing that the addition of grit to the diet of

chickens receiving ground or pelleted rations had a reduced feed intake, which implies

that birds receiving grit were able to derive more nutrients from their feed compared

to birds receiving no grit.

Grit has also been observed to be quite prominent in the gizzards of some species.

In studies of House and Tree sparrows, Werner Kiel found that more than 50% of their stomach

contents were grit.

These and other species consume a wide variety of seeds.

Generally birds select seed that is a size to which they are best anatomically adapted,

in particular the seeds selected will be related to their bill size.

Seeds are preferred which can be eaten in the shortest possible time.

Although larger seeds may provide more energy, it may take more effort remove the hull.

If birds consume the whole seed, there is a greater need for grinding by the gizzard

with possible aid from grit.

Since the purpose of grit is to remove the outer coatings of whole seeds,

it would seem that only birds which consume intact seeds, such as gallinaceous birds and

doves, require grit in their diet. Parrots and most finches typically remove the hull from

seeds before eating.

Therefore, the digestive juices will be able to contact the nutrients contained within the

seeds and grit for grinding the seed will not provide benefit.


Adeniji, A.A., 2010.

Effects of Dietary Grit Inclusion on the Utilization of Rice Husk by Pullet Chicks.

Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems, 12: 175 – 180.

Blount, W.P. , 1948.

The Relationship between Grit and Digestive Disorders in Poultry. Canadian Poultry.

Buckner, J.D. & J.H. Martin. 1928. The Function of Grit in the Gizzard of the Chicken.

Poultry Sci. 108-113.

Jublin Franzina Bale-Therik, Cytske Sabuna and Kamaruzaman Jusoff. 2012.

Influence of Grit on Performance of Local Chicken under Intensive Management System.

Global Veterinaria 9: 248-251.

Keil, Werner. 1972.

Investigations on Food of House and Tree Sparrows in a Cereal

Growing Area During Winter.

In: Productivity, Population Dynamics and Systematics of Granivorous Birds.

Eds. S.C. Kendeigh & J. Pinowski. Polish Scientific Publishers.

The photo above is from the journal,

Poultry Science in 1958. The photos comparing the gizzard contents of birds

fed grit with one fed no grit is intended to illustrate the effect of grit on

grinding capability of the gizzard and food particle size.

Obviously this advertisement is considering laying hens;

however, grit has the same action in the gizzard of other species as well.

The Exhibitor

In the last issue of the LDCBA Newsletter I mentioned that a new magazine on birds had been

announced. The first issue (September/October) of The Exhibitor has in fact been released.

The publishers are Mark Camilleri and Carolyn Ridler.

They have chosen a magazine style

format with 8 ½ x 11 inch page size. Both the front and back covers are in colour with black

& white photos throughout the magazine. The main emphasis is on poultry; however, they have

also included articles on other species and topics.

As might be expected there were several show reports with photos from poultry shows

in different parts of the country.

There were a couple of articles on cage birds, including the basic care of budgies.

There was also an article by Dave Pauls on training cage birds for show cages.

LDCBA members will recall the informative presentation by Dave on finches at our July meeting

last year. There was also an article on Ne Ne geese and an update on Avian Influenza,

The magazine also includes ads for breeders as well as bird organizations.

Many poultry fanciers have an interest in other types of birds including cage birds.

This issue includes an advertisement for the upcoming LDCBA Annual Show as well as other

shows and events happening this fall in Canada.

You may wish to subscribe to this magazine. The subscription fee is $40.00 plus tax.

I suggest you contact Carolyn for more details.

Contact information: Carolyn Ridler, 111096 11th Line, East Garafraxa, Ontario, L9W 7A4.

Tel: 519-928-5220 E-mail: Carolyn Ridler maplestone@xplornet.com

Mark Camilleri mcamilleri1@gmail.com

Feather Fancier

The Feather Fancier newspaper has been an important means of communication among poultry

fanciers and other bird breeders in Canada since it was started by C.E. Herrington 70 years

ago. Feather Fancier has been a truly national publication with readers and contributors

across the country.

It has been the main source of information about shows and breeder experiences in different

parts of Canada.

Although the primary focus of Feather Fancier has been poultry, there were often articles

about other groups of birds such as doves, pheasants and information on nutrition,

genetics and diseases relevant to all avian species.

Many aviculturists got their start in keeping birds with domestic chickens and pigeons

before expanding to wild species and many continue to have broad interests in birds.

The LDCBA and other cage and aviary bird clubs advertised their events in Feather Fancier.

It was a great loss when Feather Fancier announced earlier this year that it was ceasing


Every week over the past few months, I have received comments from bird people mourning the

loss of Feather Fancier. Although some folks say they can get everything they want to know

off the internet, many people still believe there is a real need for specialized publications

like Feather Fancier to bring bird enthusiasts across the country together.

The announcement this summer that Feather Fancier would resume publication brought

cheers from across the country.

Julie White and her family from Arthur, Ontario have purchased Feather Fancier from

Paul Monteith.

I understand that Julie and her son Jackson will be the publishers.

Julie has the first issue (September/October) prepared and ready to print and it was intended

to be mailed out in early September. However, there has been a short delay as legal and

bureaucratic details are finalized with the government and Canada Post.

We certainly look forward to receiving it shortly. As in previous years,

the LDCBA advertised our upcoming Annual Bird Show in Feather Fancier.

I hope you will consider subscribing and advertising.

Success will depend upon support of subscribers and advertisers.

I understand subscription rates are remaining the same at $25.00/yr. including the HST.

You can contact Julie White at Tel: 519-848-6685 or E-mail: thefeatherfancier@gmail.com

Diary of a Bird Photographer

Ian Montgomery from Australia is a very skilled bird photographer.

Every week since 2002 he has been posting photographs of a different bird.

Ian’s photographs are outstanding and he accompanies the pictures with interesting notes

from his observations in the field.

On August 31st, Ian released an electronic book “Diary of a Bird Photographer”

that is a collection of nearly 1000 photographs and notes from 2002 to 2009.

Ian’s e-book has been released on Apple iTunes Books, Google Books and Kobo Books!

The suggested retail price is only $6.99 USD.

There are more details on pricing and compatibility on the

Birdway website: http://www.birdway.com.au/birdphotographersdiary01.htm.

The following photo of a Horned Parakeet is an example of Ian’s photography,

taken during a recent trip to New Caledonia.

Photograph of Horned Parakeet by Ian Montgomery.


Friday, September 18th
LDCBA Board’ Meeting
7:30 PM,
Location: Thorndale Library, 21790 Fairview Rd., Thorndale

October 9th-11th
63rd Annual LDCBA Show.
Location: Merrills Hall, St. Justins Parrish, London

Hope you've enjoyed this months articles.

I was really enthralled by the bird flu article.

If you are a breeder please take the precautionary notes to heart.

It may just save your flock and tons of expenses.

Great articles as always   Thanks J. Paul 

Ron ~:>

July / August  2015

President’s Message

Hello everyone, now that summer is upon us it’s time for our outdoor meetings. Our first meeting will be held at the home of Peter & Laurene Van Erp's on Saturday July 11. A short meeting starts at 3, followed by our guest speaker Dr. Shawn Tucker. There will be a BBQ pot luck after . Please bring a salad or dessert, your favorite summer beverage and an item for the raffle table. A lawn chair or 2 is never a bad idea.
There is a lot of work that goes in to preparing for these outdoor meetings. Please come out and support your club!! Bring a friend that might be interested in our hobby. Peter & Laurene have a wide range of exotic finches and probably a few for sale!! Hope to see you there.
I was speaking to June Munro a few weeks ago . She informed me that Bob Flanagan and Nan Skinner have passed away .Bob bred budgies and has not been well for a while. Nan had cockatiels and showed them at our fall show in recent times . Both Bob and Nan will be missed by their friends at the LDCBA.
Our August meeting will be held at the home of Mark & Wendy Tiede 2237 Westdel Bourne London Ontario. August 22 meeting starts at 7pm followed by a corn roast and hotdogs!! Once again please bring a lawn chair and an item for the raffle table. I have also extended this invitation to all members of the Canadian Dove Association. Our fall show is fast approaching anyone wishing to advertise in our show catalogue please contact Kelly Vriesma @ 519 691-5544.
Take good care,
Mark Tiede


Newletter Editor's Desk

On May 16th several members of the LDCBA attended the meeting of the Eastern Canadian Bird Fanciers. There were representatives from bird clubs around the province. There was good discussion on a variety of issues concerning bird shows. Also a number of changes to the Show Catalogue were approved. LDCBA Show Chairman, Greg Sword will be incorporating these changes into the new show catalogue.
The threat from avian influenza is still ongoing and we await information from the CFIA regarding a date for the end of the quarantine. We have a variety of articles in this issue on bird behaviour, management and conservation. I hope you find them of interest and value. However, we always need material for the Newsletter. Please consider putting pen to paper or finger tips to keyboard to share your thoughts and experiences.
In the last issue of the LDCBA Newsletter I mentioned the lack of information on the history of the London & District Cage Bird Association. Any information you can provide about the Club in past years would be greatly appreciated. Please provide some your personal memories. We would like both written memories and photographs of members, meetings, shows and other events.
The Newsletter is available both in printed form and by e-mail. Let me know your preference for receiving the newsletter.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com


Although we have just started summer, time passes quickly and we need to be thinking ahead to the LDCBA Show. The Show Committee have been busy planning this year’s Show. They have a great line-up of judges to evaluate your entries. See the list of judges below. The 2015 LDCBA Show will again be on the Thanksgiving weekend, October 10-11.
The Show is a traditional and popular event. The 2015 Show will be the 63rd Annual Show for the London & District Cage Bird Association. The staging of the annual bird show requires a great deal of organization and effort. There is a wide range of things that need to happen in preparing for a Show. There are many activities that you can volunteer to assist with at or prior to the Show that will only requirement a small time commitment. The 2015 Show Manager is Greg Sword and the Assistant Show Manager is Stephen Mycock. Contact them now to see how you can get involved. There are lots of ways you can assist either before the Show or at the Show.
Greg Sword - Tel: 519-949-0404, E-mail: swordie35@gmail.com
Stephen Mycock – Tel: 519-652-2087, E-mail: dellerrose@gmail.com

Newletter Editor's Note

The following article, published in Bird Talk magazine in 2012, provides some simple methods for housing and managing sick birds. The article was written by the late Dr. Kevin Wright. He started a veterinary clinic for birds and other exotic species in Phoenix, Arizona and prior to his death he had a mobile veterinary clinic in the area. He also had many years of experience as a veterinarian and curator in several Zoos, where he specialized on birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Create a Home Hospital Cage for Your Bird By: Kevin Wright, DVM, Dip., ABVP

While you can’t predict if and when your bird will fall ill, you can take precautions beforehand so that your bird has the best chance of recovery. In many instances, it is important that you are able to quickly change your birds housing should its health become compromised. The temperatures that are comfortable for a healthy bird in its cage and play areas are likely to be too cold if your bird becomes ill.
Of course, the first course of action whenever you suspect that your bird is ill is to take it to an avian veterinarian for evaluation. If your bird is unable to be seen by a vet right away, an at-home hospital cage can be the difference between a positive outcome and a negative one.
A sick bird may become very weak and is often unable to fly well. It may be unsteady on its feet and wobble as it tries to stay balanced on a perch. The bird may not be able to climb around to reach its food and water bowls. If it does fall, it may end up with a serious injury.
A sick bird needs warmth, easy to access sources of food and water, and rest. A hospital cage provides all that, and it makes sure that the bird doesn't have to fly, perch above ground or climb for any reason. Make sure that you can quickly put together a hospital cage to help your bird should it ever fall ill.
Get Started
A hospital cage should have smooth sides so that your bird can't climb, ensuring that it remains at the bottom of the cage. Larger birds, such as African greys, Amazons, cockatoos andmacaws, adapt well to deep plastic storage containers. Small birds, such as canaries, parakeets, lovebirds, cockatiels and ring-necked doves, dowel with 20 to 40 quart plastic storage containers. These containers are readily available at general merchandise stores, discount stores, hardware stores and storage supply companies (closet organizing companies).
Opt for a clear to opaque plastic storage container to provide light. Some of the larger containers may come in solid dark colors, but you can usually find those that allow light to enter with a bit of shopping around. Make sure your plastic storage container comes with a tight-fitting lid that snaps into place. You may still need bungee cords or Velcro straps to keep the lid in place.
You'll need to make some modifications in the plastic container to make it a hospital cage. First, drill two rows of ¼ inch holes along the top 2 inches of the container, as well as some about 7 inches above the bottom. Space the holes about 1inch apart. This provides cross-ventilation. If you make the holes much larger than ¼ inch, your bird may be able to hook its beak or toes into them. If you have a translucent container, you can drill rows of ½ inch holes about 2 inches apart in the lid. For a larger bird, cut larger holes, but the holes should always be smaller than your bird's head. If the holes are too large, your bird could end up in a dangerous situation with its head stuck. The other option is to cut a much larger hole, and cover it with screen. Cable ties can hold the screen in place on the lid. Be sure the screen and the ends of the cable ties are on top of the lid, and not poking down where the bird will be.
Aquariums with screen tops also work well for bird hospital cages. The disadvantage of aquariums over plastic storage containers is that they are more expensive, heavier tomove around for cleaning, and they need special care so they don't break in storage. A 30 to 55 gallon aquarium works for larger birds, and a 10-gallon aquarium works well for smaller birds. If you've bought an aquarium and screen top, be sure that the screen top securely fastens to the aquarium. For larger birds, you may need to use Velcro straps or bungee cords to hold the screen top in place.

Design for Easy Access

Furnish the hospital cage so that the bird has all its needs on the floor. Use sturdy, heavy, shallow crocks to provide food and water. Even if your bird is used to drinking from a water bottle, have a shallow bowl of water, too. I have seen sick birds dehydrate sitting next to full water bottles; it seems the effort of drinking from the nozzles are too much for some weak patients. If your bird only needs to be in the cage for one to two days, no other furnishings are needed. If it will be there longer, you need to provide a variety of foot rests so that its feet can curl into more normal perching positions for comfort. Curled lengths of plastic hosework well as perches for smaller birds. The curl keeps the hose from rolling. Larger birds may quickly chew through the plastic hose, so more durable materials are used. Appropriately sized wood dowels or PVC pipe work well, and can have T pieces fastened to each end to prevent rolling. Small, rubbery Nylabones, a dog chew toy, also work well as foot rests for small and large birds. (Make sure the Nylabone you use is soft and flexible but not red rubber, and not the very hard-plastic ones.) The goal of these floor-level perches or "foot rests" is to offer your bird a choice between a flat floor and a rounded perch without placing it at risk of falling and injuring itself.
Make it the Right Temperature
Finally, make sure that the hospital cage is warm.Your bird needs a spot in its hospital cage that is at least 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.With plastic storage containers, I recommend using a thermostatically controlled, flexible heat panel that is placed under 1/3 ofthe cage or attached to the outside wall of thecage. If placed under the cage, slightly elevate the cage so that it does not rest directly on the heat pad. The thermostat prevents over or under heating the cage. If you use an aquarium, heat may be provided by a ceramic heat bulb or a red incandescent light bulb hung over one end of cage and controlled by a thermostat. A 60-watt bulb usually provides enough heat. A smaller aquarium may need a smaller wattage heat source. You may need to adjust the height of the heat source so that the tank is not too hot or too cold. However you heat the cage, use a thermometer to make sure it is not getting too warm or too cold. Watch closely for the first 24 hours to make sure the cage is the right temperature.

There are also many commercially available home incubators for birds needing extra warmth for those who prefer not to go the do-it-yourself route.
Be sure to follow your veterinarian's recommendations for your bird's home care. Generally, your bird should stay in the hospital cage until you're sure it is able to perch, fly, feed and fend for itself in the more complex three-dimensional environment of its regular cage.

photo courtesy of Rob Harvey.com


Avian Influenza Update:  By Paul Stevens

In the last issue of the LDCBA we provided a brief introduction to viruses, avian influenza and the current outbreak. Unfortunately there is not a lot of news to report. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is still monitoring the situation. There have not been any recent news releases: however, it has been suggested that the quarantine will not be lifted before August. As you are aware the LDCBA decided to cancel our Buy, Sell and Trade Day on May 31st in support of CFIA recommendations to avoid sales, shows and auctions until the quarantine is lifted. There have been suggestions for a Buy, Sell & Trade in early September; however, in view of the uncertain situation with the avian flu outbreak, no arrangements haves been made. Some jurisdictions have placed quite severe restrictions on bird events this year. Even though Michigan has not had any cases of avian influenza, it has decided to ban all poultry shows this fall.


Newletter Editor's Note

Particularly for anyone who has kept a parrot as a pet, some of the behaviours described in the following article on bird behaviour will be very familiar. This article was taken from the Newsletter of the Budgerigar & Foreign Bird Society (BFBS). The Editor and President, Deirdre Graham produces a very informative and attractive newsletter. The BFBS with the AACC, hosts the Canadian National Show each year. The LDCBA is most grateful to Deirdre Graham and Jeremy Faria also from the BFBS for their assistance with the computerization of the LDCBA Show entries and results. Deirdre obtained the information for this article on bird behaviour from the Lafeber company website.

Some Aspects of Bird Behaviour

Dealing With Plucking :

A bird that is plucking or chewing his feathers has any number of issues that need to be addressed before the behaviour can change. Plucking often has a precipitating incident that causes the behaviour, but it
can also stem from medical causes. In some birds, the plucking becomes an entrenched habit that is difficult, even impossible to change, but it is possible to modify the behaviour once you find the cause. First, you have to get to the root of the plucking, which isn’t always possible. The very first thing that a plucking or chewing bird needs is a complete medical evaluation. The bird may have a skin problem or infection that is causing the behaviour. Also, where the bird is plucking is important. Birds with respiratory infections tend to pluck around the chest, and birds with leg or foot issues pluck in that area. If your bird comes back with a clean bill of health, then it is time to start looking for environmental causes. Is the air very dry in your area? Perhaps the bird needs more baths to keep the skin moist? Has there been a change in environment? Have you moved the bird, or have you moved something “scary” or disturbing into the bird’s immediate area? Birds have been known to start plucking over simple things like the presence of balloons, a new computer monitor or new artwork. Have you painted recently or put down new carpet? Both contribute to poor air quality, which can precipitate plucking. Has the bird recently lost a mate or a birdie friend? Has some one moved into the household who the bird doesn’t like? Poor nutrition can also cause plucking behaviour. Nutrition contributes to a bird’s overall health, and when his health is compromised, so is his behaviour. It is thought that plucking birds may need a protein and vitamin boost, which may stop the behaviour.
Is the bird bored? Perhaps the plucking or chewing behaviour is simply an effort to find something to do. A plucking bird should be offered a lot of toys, especially preening and soft rope toys; ideally, the bird will turn the over preening behaviour onto his toys. Is the bird hormonal? A frustrated bird may turn to plucking behaviour to relieve a little bit of his energy. The bird may also be frustrated that he doesn’t have a mate or another bird to preen with.
Has your routine changed? Is the bird getting enough attention? Is he getting enough sleep?
Remember, birds are creatures of habit, and they like routine. Sometimes the addition of an infant or a new pet to a home causes plucking, because the bird is no longer the center of attention. If you have a plucking bird, try every remedy possible — nutritional, environmental, behavioral — something may work. There has been a lot of success with changing this behaviour simply by offering the plucking bird more nutritional foods and supplementing the diet with appropriate vitamins and minerals.

One-Person Birds:

There’s a phenomenon among captive parrots often called the “one-person bird.” These birds closely bond to one person in the household and may shun the rest, even becoming aggressive to anyone who isn’t “their” person. This is actually quite normal behavior, though it can be heart-breaking to the people who the bird shuns, especially if the bird was supposed to be a certain person’s bird; for example, a wife brings a bird home to be her companion, but the feathered traitor likes the husband instead. To make things even more confusing, alliances can even change over the years. A bird that is closely bonded to the husband may suddenly decide that he prefers the wife. Birds can even shun a beloved owner for a houseguest! There’s no telling what’s in those birdie brains. One theory is that birds are genetically predisposed to eventually move away from family members to find birds that don’t share their genes. So, if a bird is hand-fed by a woman or bonds to a woman as a youngster, it is possible that the bird will grow up to prefer men. You can’t choose which person in the household that your bird is going to prefer, but you can try to prevent this behavior in a very young bird by having lots of different types of people handle the bird, and have all family members offer the bird equal attention. The good news is that not every bird is predestined to become a “one-person bird.” Some birds are naturally friendly to just about everyone.

Your Bird’s Hormones & How They Affect Behavior

Mature birds tend to become hormonal once a year in the spring, when the amount of natural light is longer than the amount of darkness. Birds are “photosensitive,” meaning that are sensitive to light and its cycles. Some birds don’t show much change when the spring comes, and others may become sullen, aggressive, unusually loud and territorial. Some may lay eggs even if there is no mate around, and some will set out to create a nest out of whatever it can find. When your bird is behaving hormonally, it’s important not to handle the bird in a way that can be misconstrued as mating behavior. This includes petting down along the back and encouraging regurgitation behavior. If your bird is in a hormonal phase, remove anything that can be viewed as a nest, including all huts and boxes. Don’t encourage nest building. If you do, the only thing you’ll have on your hands is an aggressive bird that is intent on defending its nest. If the hormonal behavior is out of hand, e.g. your bird won’t allow you near his cage and/or bites you savagely, you can try to temper its hormones by limiting the amount of light he gets per day to less than 12 hours. Ten hours of light per day should help the hormones subside. In any case, once fall comes and the clocks change, your bird’s hormonal behavior should begin to dissipate naturally.
Sudden Fearful Behavior
Sudden fear is an unusual and baffling behavior that startles and concerns bird owners, especially since it seems to come from nowhere, literally overnight. The once gentle or gregarious parrot is now intensely fearful of his people, of being handled, or of being taken to a place where he has been hundreds of times. There is no good explanation for this behavior, so the first thing you have to rule out is a medical condition. The bird may have injured himself or is having pain and will do anything to avoid being handled. Sometimes the onset of fearful behavior comes when the bird reaches sexual maturity. The bird may view the world and its inhabitants differently now, and may become afraid of familiar things. Don’t take this behavior personally. The bird is reacting to some stimuli that probably has little to do with you. Don’t make a fuss and get angry, and don’t coddle the bird either. Most of the time this behavior will work itself out. If it doesn’t, consult a bird behaviorist after you’ve consulted your avian veterinarian.

Night Frights:

Night frights happen when something scares a bird in the darkness, and he thrashes around the cage. This often happens to cockatiels, but it can happen to any kind of bird. Night frights are dangerous because a bird thrashing around a cage can severely injure itself. Most vulnerable are the eyes, blood feathers, feet and beak. If your bird has night frights, first try to determine the cause. Perhaps it is too dark in the bird’s room. If so, plug in a nightlight to see if that helps. Perhaps the room is too light, and the bird can see shadows or other pets moving around? In this case, cover the bird to see if the thrashing stops. Is the room where your bird sleeps peaceful, or are there interruptions and noise in the night? Someone getting up for a midnight snack is enough to prompt night frights, as are the glare of headlights through a window. A bird at night is very vulnerable, so it’s natural that the bird would be on the lookout for danger. If you’ve tried a few remedies and the thrashing continues, consider getting the bird a smaller cage to sleep in at night, which you can keep in a quiet back room. Put only a couple of perches and food and water dishes in the cage, and line it with towels at the beginning.

Newletter Editor's Note

 The Guardian often publishes stories of interest to people around the world. The following story by The Guardian in June 2015 summarizes a study published in the journal “Conservation Biology” on the dramatic decline of the Yellow-breasted Bunting. In 2014 we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. Passenger Pigeons were once so numerous that no one thought the market hunters could have an impact on their numbers. Governments refused to control hunting until it was too late. In Asia, with the Yellow-breasted Bunting we have the making of a modern day Passenger Pigeon story. This emphasizes the need for education about birds to the general public in countries around the world.
Yellow-breasted buntings 'being eaten to extinction by China'

The Guardian- June 2015
Birds once abundant in Europe and Asia could share the same fate as passenger pigeon as they are killed in millions for food

A bird that was once one of the most abundant in Europe and Asia is being hunted to near extinction because of Chinese eating habits, according to a study published on Tuesday.
The population of the yellow-breasted bunting (Emberiza aureola) has plunged by 90% since 1980, all but disappearing from eastern Europe, Japan and large parts of Russia, said the study, published in the Conservation Biology journal. Following initial population declines, China in 1997 banned the hunting of the species, known in the country as the “rice bird”. However, millions of these birds, along with other songbirds, were still being killed for food and sold on the black market as late as 2013, said the study. It said consumption of these birds has increased as a result of economic growth and prosperity in east Asia, with an estimate in 2001 claiming 1m buntings were consumed in China’s southern Guangdong province alone.
The birds breed north of the Himalayas and spend their winters in warmer southeast Asia, passing through eastern China where they have been hunted for more than 2,000 years, according to the conservation group Bird Life International. At their wintering grounds, they gather in huge flocks at night-time roosts, making them easy prey for trappers using nets, the group said. The songbird, which nests on the ground in open scrubs, is distinctive for its yellow underparts.
The paper in Conservation Biology drew parallels between the migratory bird and the North American passenger pigeon, which became extinct in 1914 due to industrial-scale hunting. Passenger pigeons were once the world’s most abundant bird with flocks that darkened skies, but the last one – Martha – died in 1914
“The magnitude and speed of the decline is unprecedented among birds distributed over such a large area, with the exception of the passenger pigeon,” the paper’s lead author, Dr Johannes Kamp from the University of Munster, said in a statement released by Bird Life International.
“High levels of hunting also appear to be responsible for the declines we are seeing in yellow-breasted bunting.”
Yellow-breasted buntings have since 2013 been classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as an “endangered” species due to rapid population decline from trapping outside their breeding grounds.
“To reverse these declines we need to better educate people of the consequences of eating wildlife. We also need a better and more efficient reporting system for law enforcement,” said Bird Life International’s senior conservation officer Samba Chan.

Newletter Editor's Note

Following the loss of the Feather Fancier newspaper there is a lack of communication about poultry and other birds in Canada. Feather Fancier had readers and contributors from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Although Feather Fancier’s main focus was poultry, it did include articles on other groups of birds. The LDCBA and other cage and aviary bird clubs advertised events through Feather Fancier. You may have already seen the letter below from Mark Camilleri and Carolyn Ridler regarding the new magazine they are starting. Please consider subscribing and let The LDCBA Board members know your thoughts on advertising the LDCBA in this new publication.

A New Bird Magazine – The Exhibitor

June 2015
Hello from Mark Camilleri and Carolyn Ridler!
We have jointly decided to try a new venture for the poultry, pigeon, waterfowl, rabbit, cavy, and all other avian species fanciers, and we are extending this invitation to you, so you can be a part of this great new Canadian publication…..”THE EXHIBITOR”….which is a magazine for all fanciers whether he/she exhibits at large shows, small shows, club meets, fairs, or just chooses to love and observe their species in their own backyard!
We are taking a big leap of faith in starting this venture. We have even registered our name! We both feel that there is a big need for a publication of this type in our hobby and we would like the opportunity to fill that void. Apparently, a lot of you feel the same because before we even sent out this official announcement, we started getting excellent feedback. However, it still has to be financially sound.
The subscription rate for six issues within Canada, on a bi-monthly basis, will be $40.00 (+hst/gst from whatever province in which you reside ) and for our U.S. friends, the rate will be $55.00 U.S. funds. We are planning on having a trial period of one year on this basis and, if it is successful, will consider publishing monthly. Our target date for the first issue is September 1st, 2015. It will be printed professionally on good quality 8.5” x 11” (letter size) paper and will be in a magazine type format. If, we decide at any time that it is not a feasible venture financially, we will notify our subscribers and if you have a portion of your subscription fee or advertisement that has not been used, we will refund you accordingly.
It will not be a magazine consisting of just advertisements….yes, ads are very important to its success, but it will also contain things that you will enjoy – educational articles, news articles, youth articles (we hope!), articles from fanciers in our industry, health articles, etc. YOU will decide what it contains as we are relying on YOU to assist us. We already have committed enthusiasts who have volunteered to be a part of it, but we do need more. Interested? Then, get in touch with us. We would also like to add to the coverage birds that have not necessarily been included in the past like wild waterfowl, cage birds, and exotics.
Our advertising rates are as follows: e.g…..Who’s Who in the Fancy, Judges’ Directory, Breeders Directory, Associations and Clubs Directory: $5.00 per column inch (about 25-30 words per inch). The total would be $30.00 + your applicable hst/gst. All other general advertisements will be $5.00 per column inch in increments of 2. Taxes applicable. Would you like to see “yourself” or your birds in living colour….we can do that for you too. Just inquire about pricing.
Would you like to cover one or two shows in your area, as our representative? If so, contact us with your idea. If shows are covered, we will print your major champions’ photos free of charge with limited reports on the actual show. However, we do expect some advertising in return from either the show, the club, or the individual exhibitors. $$ and The Exhibitor have to work hand in hand. We need fanciers who are willing to subscribe, but we also need advertisements from you, your club, your show, and companies who sell you products for your birds. Do you know of any such companies? Please forward this letter to them, or send us their contact information and we will get in touch with them.
We both have a passion for our hobby and we want to be the link from….one fancier to another…from a club to its members…and possibly to new members…from businesses to their customers and future customers. We want to be a link to those who perhaps are not physically involved in the fancy now, but still want to know what’s going on. So, it is imperative that you send in your subscription now….AS SOON AS POSSIBLE..so that we will know if we are at least getting to first base on this project. Getting to second base, will be advertisements.
We are open to suggestions and ideas. However, as a note of good faith, we are asking that you send your subscription to Carolyn right away as she is looking after the financial/office part of The Exhibitor. Thank you in advance for helping YOUR hobby!
Remit to: Carolyn Ridler,
111096 11th Line,
East Garafraxa, Ontario, L9W 7A4
Office is open from 9:00a.m. to 8:00pm 519-928-5220 No answer? Leave a message
Mark Camilleri mcamilleri1@gmail.com Carolyn Ridler maplestone@xplornet.com

LADCBA in the 1990s By:  Ron Cloutier

I remember the first time I became a member in 1993
I was so shy..It was at the annual show I was so welcome by June Munro, Louis De Melo, and Rose Van Erp as well as other members who have been just so gracious that I thought this may be the club for me.  I started to break out of my shell and take a lighter look at life. 
The other club I belonged to had too much in fighting and politics
LADCBA was free of all that drama.
I did not need to go to meetings and hear all the bickering over semantics and cliches who seemed bent on going at each other.
It made me uncomfortable and much more withdrawn.   
LADCBA is and was a club full of polite , understanding people.
There were hiccups but no huge divisions.
I was and am so thrilled to even year see the same welcoming faces and enjoy the hospitality that I received from day 1.
I have been a member now for 13 years and I have not regretted it for 1 minute.
The LADCBA club was and is such a great place to relax and enjoy some very excellent chats/ gossip and watch the most beautiful birds in southern Ontario compete.
Be it : finch, hookbill, softbill, canary ...I just love seeing them all in their most beautiful glory.
The club in the 1990's was very busy with shows and the preparation of them.
Very few members were on the executive and two women Rose and June bore the brunt of the tasks without complaint or hesitation.
The Exec realized the bird shows were not just the economic engine of the club but also the place where a vast majority of club members even out of towners like myself could interact and get to know each other much better.
It was a place where friendships were made and rekindled.
I really will miss Rose she simply was the kindest jovial person I have ever met.

The 1990 Leadership of the Club was Bernie Van Erp and Bernie though stern was always fair with me.

He was one of the many that encouraged me to take up avian judging which I did.

He taught me much in my year of apprenticeship.  Which I greatly thank him. 

So in short the 1990s at LADCBA for me meant a time of growth/ friendship and incredible warmth. 

Please help support LADCBA in its effort to bring us all together and submit your stories of the history of LADCBA 

I'm sure we'd all love to read them


Webmaster's Notes:

Thank you yet again Paul for a very informative newsletter.  
I was really intrigued and enlightened about parrot behaviour.

It was good to learn how to build a hospital cage as I have had mine for quite some time, and it has saved Many of our fids lives. Sometimes all an ill bird needs is probiotics heat and rest and now many more can keep their flock in tip top shape by building one and using it at first signs of illness.
Birds have very fast metabolisms so it is paramount to act quickly when one does seem off.
I was horrified to read of the poor bunting and the plight it faces.
I am one who does not beieve in judging one person's food choice over another but find abusing nature when you could most likely breed them for commercial consumption..Instead of driving them to extinction because it is easier to take then work at making a food source sustainable.  It makes me wonder how people can not realize the harm any loss to the ecosystem is no matter how small.
I try very hard never to eat anything that was not farmed.  If I read wild this or that I simply refuse to purchase it and keep the demand up.
On a happier vein it is good to see a new avian publication starting to fledge.
It has been some time since a bird mag was readily available at the pet shops.
It should give the breeders and birds some positive exposure.
Welcome Exhibitor

Very sorry for the late publications on the web site
I was in minor traffic accident and weigh laid for a week well I got better.
This put everything behind in the aviary...The inability to move caused great difficulties.
The abundance of chicks this year and the increase in orders in Canada and abroad helped very little also ' ) 
So I had very little free time until now.
I hope to be much more prudent in the future.

Thanks for understanding. 

Ron ~:>



 May/ June 2015

 President’s Message

It is great to see the warmer weather here and the spring flowers blooming. It has been a long winter to say the least and I am glad to see it over.
We had a Directors meeting April 25 and have decided to cancel our annual Buy Sell & Trade this May 30th due to the Bird Flu. There is talk of possibly having one in early September with other clubs involved.
The Eastern Canadian Bird Fanciers meeting will be held May 16th, 10 am Thorndale Public Library 21790 Fairview Road Thorndale, Ontario. All members are welcome to attend.
We are still working towards putting on a great show and are looking for donated items for the raffle table.
Take Good Care

Newsletter Editor’s Desk

The meeting on May 16th with the Eastern Canadian Bird Fanciers is a great opportunity to meet aviculturalists from other clubs and to learn more about the Shows being planned in different cities.
The avian influenza outbreak has gained the attention of most bird people in southern Ontario. Although the outbreak is currently confined to three commercial flocks of turkeys and chickens, there is a risk for it to become much more wide spread. Commercial flocks generally have good biosecurity measures in place; however, the same is usually not the case for hobbyists. Many hobbyists attend auction marts where there are birds coming from many sources and they regularly move birds on and off the property without putting the birds through a quarantine. Cage birds are not without risk and we need to cooperate with and follow the advice of the CFIA in combating diseases that may threaten hobbyists as well as the commercial poultry industry.
The London & District Cage Bird Association has been in existence for over 60 years. Although the LDCBA has a long history, its history is largely unknown. There is virtually nothing archived for the Club. Some members have a long association with the LDCBA. Any information you can provide about the Club in past years would be greatly appreciated. Please provide some your personal memories. We would like both written memories and photographs of members, meetings, shows and other events.
The Newsletter is available both in printed form and by e-mail. Let me know your preference for receiving the newsletter.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com


The Show Committee have been busy planning this year’s Show. They have a great line-up of judges to evaluate your entries. See the list of judges below. The 2015 LDCBA Show will again be on the Thanksgiving weekend, October 10-11.
The Show is a traditional and popular event. The 2015 Show will be the 63rd Annual Show for the London & District Cage Bird Association. The staging of the annual bird show requires a great deal of organization and effort. There is a wide range of things that need to happen in preparing for a Show. There are many activities that you can volunteer to assist with at or prior to the Show that will only requirement a small time commitment. The 2015 Show Manager is Greg Sword and the Assistant Show Manager is Stephen Mycock. Contact them now to see how you can get involved.
Greg Sword - Tel: 519-949-0404, E-mail: swordie35@gmail.com
Stephen Mycock – Tel: 519-652-2087, E-mail: dellerrose@gmail.com
LDCBA 2015 Show Judges:
Type Canaries: Serafino Brutto - Etobicoke
Lipochrome: Giuseppe Mannino New York.
Melanin: Carmelo Taibi Toronto
Foreign Birds: Ricardo Gasken Ontario
Budgies: Claudio Elia London

Newsletter Editor’s Note

I think you will find the following poem of interest. The poet is lamenting the devastating effects of development on the prairie flowers, buffalo and First Nations people. We could easily add many species of birds in North America and other countries to the poem. Sustainable development was not the way most countries have been developed. Sustainable development should consider environmental and social issues as well as economics and should strive to leave the next generation the ability to experience and enjoy the resources and opportunities available to the current generation. Over a century ago, it appears Rachel Lindsay recognized problems with the way development was happening.


The flower-fed buffaloes of the spring
In the days of long ago,
Ranged where the locomotives sing
And the prairie flowers lie low:-
The tossing, blooming, perfumed grass
Is swept away by the wheat,

Wheels and wheels and wheels spin by
In the spring that still is sweet.
But the flower-fed buffaloes of the spring Left us, long ago.
They gore no more, they bellow no more
They trundle around the hills no more: With
the Blackfeet, lying low.
With the Pawnees, lying low,

Lying low.

Avian Influenza:   By Paul Stevens

We have all gained first-hand knowledge of viruses through the wide assortment of viral diseases affecting human beings. Viruses are unusual structures in that they are in between life and nonlife. Viruses are lifelike in that they have a complicated structure and they have DNA. However, viruses differ from living organisms in that they lack a cellular structure and they are unable reproduce on their own. Viruses consist of only DNA enclosed in a protein coat. Viruses can only survive by infecting a cell and commandeering the cell’s metabolism to make more viruses.
On everyone’s mind this spring has been the outbreak of avian influenza in commercial poultry flocks, in British Columbia, followed by several American states and now Ontario. There are three influenza genera - A, B and C; however, it is only the influenza A viruses that are known to infect birds. Influenza viruses are further classified based on the antigens they contain. The antigens are made of nucleoproteins consisting of either hemagglutinin (H) or neuraminidase (N) projections on their surfaces. There are 16 hemagglutinin subtypes and 9 neuraminidase subtypes of influenza A viruses. In the news reports, you will have noticed a series of numbers and letters describing the strains of avian influenza. The combination of numbers and letters indicates which subtypes are present in a particular virus. Avian influenza viruses vary in how pathogenic they are based on the assortment of the subtypes. All of the highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses belong to either the H5 or H7 subtypes. The current outbreak in commercial poultry flocks is due to the H5N2 virus.
Various strains of avian influenza virus have been isolated from nearly 100 species of wild birds in many orders from ratites to passerines. There is definitely variation in the susceptibility of different types of birds. However, it is waterfowl that seem to be the most prone to infection. The general thinking is that the current outbreaks of the H5N2 virus in commercial poultry flocks have come from migrating wild waterfowl. Outbreaks of the disease are usually seasonal and correspond to the movement of migratory birds. Initially the domestic poultry flocks are probably becoming infected from wild birds. Most of the strains of avian influenza in wild birds are not highly pathogenic; however, through mutation a more virulent strain may emerge once established in domestic poultry. It is a highly contagious disease and wild birds are no longer needed for the spread of the disease once it gets into a captive flock. Avian influenza is spread by infected birds excreting the virus in their feces and then mechanical transfer of the feces between flocks. The virus can also be spread from nasal discharges. The disease can spread between flocks by direct contact through the movement of infected birds, equipment, feed trucks, service crews etc. Airborne transmission is possible if other birds are close-by. The incubation period for the virus, between infection and a disease outbreak is often only 3 to 5 days, but may be up to 21 days.
Avian influenza has been isolated from cage birds in a number of countries. The virus has not usually been the H5 subtype affecting the commercial poultry flocks, but has mainly been the H4 or H3

subtypes. In most cage bird influenza cases, the viruses have been isolated from passerine species and only rarely are psittacines infected. Birds held in quarantine have been monitored continually in several countries around the world and there have been periods of several years where no isolations of the virus have been found. Although all birds appear to be susceptible to some form of influenza A viruses, most cage birds are not as prone to infection as waterfowl. Despite species differences there is still risk of transfer from other infected birds. Due to the highly infective nature of avian influenza, there is a risk of picking up infected material at locations such as auctions where birds are coming together from a variety of locations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) are monitoring the situation closely and we are well advised to follow their recommendations.

Avian Influenza Advisory for Small Flock Owners and Bird Fanciers
Animal Health and Welfare Branch Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Biosecurity Advisory April 21, 2015

As of April 21, 2015, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of a highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza virus on two commercial poultry farms near Woodstock, Ontario. This virus has been spreading across North America along the migratory pathways of wild waterfowl, so the risk is not confined to Oxford County.
People who raise small flocks or game birds for personal or limited commercial purposes should be aware of the risks of moving or commingling poultry. If infected birds are moved through an auction, or “swap meet”, then the AI virus can be transferred to multiple new locations. Birds that appear to be healthy can be infected and can transmit AI to other birds before exhibiting any signs of disease themselves.
“During an avian influenza outbreak, attending any poultry event can increase the risk of spreading diseases through infected birds, and contaminated people or equipment.” (Dr. Tom Baker, Incident Commander, Feather Board Command Centre)
“ Small flock owners have an important role to play in minimizing the spread of HPAI. If the virus continues to spread within Ontario, the consequences to Ontario poultry owners could be severe, in terms of reduced markets for birds, eggs, poultry products and genetics.” (Dr. Greg Douglas, Chief Veterinarian for Ontario)

At this time, small flock owners are being strongly advised to take the following precautions:
• Do NOT attend shows, sales, and swap meets.
• Do NOT allow people who have recently been in contact with other birds (e.g., their own or attending a bird sale or show) near your birds.
• Do NOT share equipment with other bird owners.
• Do NOT add new birds to your flock until the outbreak has ended since this is the number one means of bringing in disease.
Be extremely diligent in observing your birds. Monitor mortalities and track feed and water consumption. Watch for any signs of disease, such as depression, decreased feed consumption, drop in egg production, swollen wattles, sneezing, gasping, a discharge from the nose or eyes, diarrhea or sudden death.
Early detection is critical. Should you suspect any signs of health concerns in your flock, contact your veterinarian immediately, or call the CFIA Avian Influenza Diagnostic and Surveillance number 519-691- 0615.
Avian influenza (AI) can infect domesticated and
wild birds, including chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quails, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl. HPAI can cause severe illness and death in domestic birds. Birds become infected when they have direct contact with the secretions or feces of infected birds, or with contaminated surfaces or infected food and water supplies.
Additional information is available at:



http://inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/diseases/bird-health- basics/eng/1323643634523/1323644740109

Parrot Finches - An Introduction:    By Paul Stevens

There are approximately 12 species of Parrot Finches in the genus Erythrura, distributed from Burma to western Pacific islands. Some species such as the Pin-tailed Parrot Finch (Erythrura prasina) have a very large range in Southeast Asia. Whereas other species such as the Pink-billed Parrot Finch (Erythrura kleinschmidt) is restricted to the island of Viti Levu in Fiji. Others such as the Red-eared Parrot Finch (Erythrura coloria) which is endemic to Mindanao in the Philippines is becoming rare due to deforestation. The Green-faced Parrot Finch (Erythrura viridifacies), also from the Philippines was captured in very large numbers during the past century for the cage bird trade.
The species most often kept and bred in captivity are the Blue-faced Parrot Finches, (Erythrura trichroa); Red-headed Parrot Finches, (Erythrura cyaneovirens); Tricolor or Forbes Parrot Finches, (Erythrura tricolor) and the Pin-tailed Parrot Finches. They are generally kept in single pairs and bred in either large cages or aviaries. Parrot Finches can be maintained on mixed seed diets plus a supplement of soft food. In past years they have often been quite popular and regularly bred. However, some aviculturalists are reporting that they are having difficulty finding Parrot Finches. Is it true that they are less abundant now? Are fewer people attempting to breed them? It has been observed that Parrot Finches breed more readily as young birds. Is it a problem with the captive population in Canada that many of the birds are older? Parrot Finches are extraordinarily beautiful birds and a concerted effort should be made to ensure that a strong self-sustaining captive population is maintained. In future issues of the LDCBA News we will provide some details of the care and breeding of Parrot Finches.

Webmaster Notes

Very intriguing article on Avian Influenza Thank you Paul
I think it will help members in watching for and noticing the signs
that may be quite detrimental to their flock and other breeders flocks.
I really appreciate when we can talk about how the whole community must not function in a vacuum and how we all must do our part so that we can all enjoy
these wonderful avians for ions to come.

Absolutely loved the introfuction to parrot finches.Think it is a great primer for the beginner Wish it was around when I first started Parrot Finches.
Would save all the confusion 

Thanks yet again Paul for those awesome articles. 


March/ April 2015

President’s Message
I hope everyone has had a good winter so far. I'll sure be glad to see some warmer weather. We had a directors meeting February 21 to discuss club issues and upcoming events. Meeting at the Thorndale Library will be our current meeting place. It does not cost anything to meet there and this will save the club $450 a year. Meeting on Saturday does not work for everyone but it does give members from out of town the opportunity to drive in daylight. After the meeting, Trails End Market is just a short drive. Our next Members’ meeting will be March 21 at 10:30 at the Thorndale Library.
We will continue to make plans for our BUY SELL & TRADE being held at Merril's Hall St Justins Parrish in London Saturday May 30th. We will again be having our outdoor meetings starting in June. If you are interested in hosting an outdoor meeting please contact me. June and August are still available. Hope to see you at the next meeting !!
Take Good Care, Mark Tiede

Newsletter Editor’s Desk

Unfortunately the Groundhogs didn’t forecast an early spring and judging by the cold and blustery weather in February, they appear to have been correct.
An important aspect of aviculture is housing for our birds. I am sure you will find Harry Hardy’s article valuable as you contemplate the construction of cages and aviaries. Also plan to attend the Members’ meeting on March 21st, where Jim Symons will be showing some of the nest boxes, cages etc. that he builds for birds.
Please submit any items for the next Newsletter by April 15th.
Thank you to everyone who has provided their e-mail address. If you use e-mail, please e-mail your address to me or include your e-mail address when renewing your LDCBA 2015 membership. E-mail provides an additional method to contact members with meeting notices etc. Let us know if you would like to receive your Newsletter by e-mail.
Please renew your 2015 membership today.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

The 2015 LDCBA Show

The 2015 LDCBA Show will be October 10-11 this year. Although it is still winter, it is not too soon to be thinking about this year’s show. Not only can we start thinking about showing birds, but also about how we can contribute to the planning of a great event. The staging of the annual bird show requires a great deal of organization and effort. There is a wide array of ways to get involved, from planning to assisting on Show day. Much of the planning for the Show needs to happen well in advance. The 2015 Show Manager is Greg Sword and the Assistant Show Manager is Stephen Mycock. Contact them now to see how you can get involved.
Greg Sword - Tel: 519-949-0404, E-mail: swordie35@gmail.com
Stephen Mycock – Tel: 519-652-2087, E-mail: dellerrose@gmail.com

Saturday March 21
London & District Cage Bird Association - Members Meeting
10:30 AM – 12:00 Noon
Location: Meeting room at Thorndale Library, 21790 Fairview Rd., Thorndale
• A fresh approach is being planned for the LDCBA Buy, Sell & Trade Day. Details will be provided by President, Mark Tiede.
• Show Manager, Greg Sword will be giving an update on plans for the 2015 Show.
• Jim Symons will talk about the construction of cages, nest boxes, shipping containers, feeders, etc. for different types of birds. He will bring some examples to show.

Leg Bands
The LDCBA is affiliated with the Avicultural Advancement Council of Canada and we are able to offer AAC numbered closed bands, both un-coded and special coded bands are available. These permanent leg bands enable the age of birds to be determined and origins traced.
The LDCBA is accepting orders for 2015 Leg Bands. Laura Piper, the Band Administrator has 2015 bands on hand.
Prices for uncoded bands
A to L $6.25 per 10
M to S $7.00 per 10
T to Y $18.00 per 10
Prices for coded bands
A to L $6.50 per 10
M to S $7.00 per 10
T to Y $20.00 per 10
Note: T to Y maybe ordered singly $2.25 each for Uncoded and $2.50 each Coded
A $6, shipping and handling fee applies to all orders
Please contact Laura to place your order or for further details about bands. Laura’s telephone number is 519-659-5723. E-mail address is: danpiper34@yahoo.ca
Cheques can be made out to Laura Piper.
In addition Laura can obtain other types of bands, including Stainless steel bands, Plastic splits. Metal splits.
Note: bands come fairly fast but it is good to order your bands a couple weeks before you need them just to be safe
Thanks if you have any questions feel free to call or email.

Newsletter Editor’s note: The following article by Harry Hardy is a very practical and valuable contribution to the important topic of aviary construction. This article was prepared from the “Technical Aspects of Aviculture”, a CD produced by Harry on many aspects of captive bird management. In 2013 it was published in the Canadian Dove Association Newsletter. Harry, who is now retired and living in Burnaby, B.C., is both an engineer and an aviculturalist with many decades of experience keeping a wide variety of species.
Wire Selection & Application for Aviaries   By Harry J. Hardy
Wire is produced in three basic designs, welded wire (Fig. 1), hexagonal netting (Fig. 2) and hardware cloth (Fig. 3).





Welded Wire
Welded wire can be purchased in 5 sizes. It is strong and rigid and is the best material to use if cost is not a factor. The wire strands are welded at the joints, not woven. It is made in a square and rectangle pattern.
The ½by ½ inch mesh (Fig. 1, 2, &3) should be used for small birds, diamond dove size and smaller. Larger birds cut their nose bridge when they push their bills through the small holes. ½by 1inch mesh (Fig. 4) can be used for all size birds but must be installed with the l inch dimension vertically as shown. The horizontal crossbars should be on the side away from the birds if possible.

1 x 1inch mesh (Fig. 5 & 6) is the maximum size opening that should be considered when enclosing an aviary. Larger meshes are available but allow rats, sparrows, starlings and other birds to dine at your feed hopper and pass their diseases and parasites along to your birds.


Hexagonal Netting
Hexagonal netting is available in three sizes. It is light and flexible and more economical than welded wire. It may be purchased galvanized after weaving (Fig. 2) and galvanized before weaving (Fig. 6). It is made in a woven pattern (Fig. 2) and a twisted pattern (Fig.6).
Netting made from pre galvanized wire will begin rusting in the twisted joints m approximately 3 years (in Vancouver). The rust soon progresses down the strand and in 6 years the 20 gauge wire is too weak to be safe. Netting that has been galvanized after weaving will last many years (11 years to date with no sign of rusting). 20 gauge. is adequate for roofs and enclosed partitions but 17 gauge should be used on exposed sides to keep out predators.
Check hole size before purchasing, some netting is actually 1 1/8 inch across and sparrows can get through this oversize mesh.
Hexagonal netting looks neater with the twisted side horizontal. If you start with the uncut edge at the bottom there will be less sharp wire to tear clothing and cut children’s hands.
Woven netting is usually narrower than the nominal width; i.e. 36" mesh may only be 35" actual. Purchase the wire first and check width before framing your pens.
Do not pull netting too tight, the constant tension on your wooden frame will eventually bow the members and become unsightly.

Hardware Cloth
Hardware cloth is an in-between choice between welded wire and hexagonal netting. It is woven into patterns from ? in square to ? inch square. The galvanizing forms a good bond at each joint and in effect it is almost as good as welded wire. The galvanizing process produces a smooth side and a rough side. When using for floors the smooth side must be up and on the sides and top the smooth side should face the birds. The prickly zinc points can be removed with emery cloth but don't cut through the galvanizing on the wires.
Application Hints
To do an easy and effective wiring or rewiring job you require the right tools:
• A good pair of gloves so you can pull on the netting without cutting your hands.
• A hammer.
• A pair of side cutters, preferably the ones that do not produce sharp ends on the wire.
• A fencing tool to withdraw staples without damaging the wood frame.
• A closing tool and a supply of cage clips or hog rings for joining two widths of wire together. Staples and cage clips are made with two types of coatings. Hot dipped galvanizing and electroplating. Do not use electroplated (very smooth & shiny) as they rust within 2 years. Hot dipped galvanized (grey and flaky looking) do not rust.
• A pair of pliers and a roll of 18 gauge galvanized wire to weave in the seams if you do not have cage clips or cage rings.
• A pair of cage clip removing pliers.

Galvanized staples come in several lengths. A 7/8" staple is ideal for most netting jobs. Place staples at about 12" centers, do not drive all the way in, leave at least 1/16 inch clear above wire for easy removal with fencing tool. All staples on the market today are poorly galvanized and will rust long before the double galvanized netting.
In the Vancouver area, double galvanized netting can be purchased at Ronco Pole and Hometown and is well worth the extra money to avoid the unsightliness of a rusting aviary.
Aviaries higher than 7' allow spooked birds to accelerate to too high a speed before they hit the wire. Replacing the wire top netting with top right net can reduce head and neck injuries resulting from the error of building high pens. When stapling top right net, use new staples, check after one year and replace rusty staples. The roughness created by rusting staples seems to wear the net and may cause failure.
Plasticoated wire may be used around pheasant and ducks but should be avoided near hookbills (parrots).
New galvanized wire is very shiny and hard to see through. A coat of flat black paint applied with a deep nap roller will correct this problem.
When framing your aviary, use only temporary bracing to keep things square and plumb until the netting is applied. Then remove all unsightly bracing. The netting itself is all the bracing you require to keep your frame in shape.
Pick up all wire clippings, staples etc. that you may have dropped. If you don't your birds may pick them up for you and you'll wonder what caused their deaths.
Wiring is not fun, take your time, make your seams straight, level and plumb if possible. Try to flatten out the bulges by pulling on the wire but relieve the tension before stapling to the frame. A good wiring job will be a pleasure to you for many years and is worth the extra time that it takes to do it well.

Preserving the Wild Type   By Paul Stevens

The Domestic canary, Serinus canarius domesticus was developed from the Wild canary, Serinus c. canaries. As early as the 18th century, British and western European breeders selected different colour and type varieties from canary mutations. Hybridization with another species, the Hooded Siskin Spinus cucullatus introduced the red factor into canaries and enabled the production of very striking orange-red canaries. By the early 1920’s, different colour mutations of Zebra finches, Taeniopygia castanotis appeared in Australian aviaries. Among psittacine species, many different colour varieties have been developed from the green & yellow, wild type Budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulatus. However, with most other cage bird species, the only form available has been the wild type. Recently, you have probably noticed that there seems to be more mutations than normal or wild type individuals available. Over the past couple of decades, many new mutations have appeared. Mutations often result in different colour varieties, but they may also affect other features, such as crests, differences in feather structure or size differences.
Mutations occur by chance and represent a change in the DNA or genetic information of an individual. Mutations can happen both in captivity and in the wild. In the wild, birds that are normal in coloration will have a better chance of survival compared to any colour mutations. Mutant individuals will stand out among normal colour birds in a flock and will be more vulnerable to predation. When we see birds that appear to have a normal or wild type coloration, they may not be genetically normal. They may in fact be heterozygous or split for one of the colour mutations. The phenotype may be normal but the genotype may contain genes for a colour mutation.
The pet trade provides a market for some of the birds produced by aviculturalists and demand is often greater for mutations than wild type birds. Many breeders have switched their breeding programmes to exclusively mutant varieties in order to meet the demand. The number of wild type birds of many species in captivity has declined to the point where aviculturalists may have difficulty finding normal individuals for breeding programmes.
Lovebirds are very popular cage birds. The nine species in the genus Agapornis are closely related and will readily hybridize in captivity. For many years only wild type Agapornis species were available. However, today the number of Lovebird varieties is almost limitless as shown in the posters below. Mutants are often very attractive and popular, but the question is how can breeding be encouraged to ensure sustainable captive populations of the wild type of the species. Most Lovebirds are not threatened in the wild; however, the Black-cheeked Lovebird, Agapornis nigrigenis is considered vulnerable due to a small population size and a fragile environment with unstable water supplies. Captive breeding programmes have been recommended for this species as insurance for the wild population. Beyond potential reintroduction programmes, the maintenance of captive populations of wild type birds is important for their own unique attributes and the educational value they provide in relation to nature.



A green wild type and blue mutation Quaker parakeet. Photo: http://bluequakerparrots.blogspot.ca


Photos from http://www.bellsouth.com.au


Lear’s Macaw   By Paul Stevens

Recently while perusing my copy of “Parrots of the World” by Joseph Forshaw (1973), I was drawn to the beautiful illustration of Lear’s macaw, Anodorhynchus leari by William T. Cooper. In his discussion on the species, Forshaw stated that Lear’s macaw was not only rare, but its’ range was still unknown. Lear’s macaw resembles the Glaucous macaw, Anodorhynchus glaucus and the much larger Hyacinth macaw, Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus. In fact there were suggestions that the reason the range of Lear’s macaw in the wild was unknown might be that it was a hybrid between the Hyacinth and Glaucous macaws. However, based on differences between the species, Forshaw didn’t think that to be a possible explanation. Although Lear’s Macaw has been known from captive birds for over 150 years, it wasn’t until 1978 they were rediscovered in a small area of the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil. Surveys found it to be very rare with only 60 birds located in the early 1980’s . Since discovery of their habitat, considerable effort has been made to protect them. Lear’s macaw breeds in colonies on sandstone cliffs and feeds largely on licuri palm nuts. Many licuri palms have been destroyed with the expansion of cattle ranching, resulting in a reduction in food resources for the macaws. Some macaws have apparently been killed in recent years while feeding in corn fields due to a shortage of palm nuts. The species is also threatened by the illegal pet trade. A Brazilian non-profit, non-governmental organization, Fundação Biodiversitas, dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity, has been instrumental in preserving Lear’s macaw. With financial support from the American Bird Conservancy and the Disney Wildlife Fund over 3,000 acres of habitat have been purchased and protected. In another effort to conserve this species, thousands of licuri palm seedlings have been planted in Brazil in order to provide a food source in the future. Also management plans include education and compensation for farmers where Lear’s macaw may impact on crops. In recent years, poaching of birds has been stopped on several occasions. The monitoring and protection of the species has resulted in a dramatic increase in the population size. There are now estimated to be over 750 birds in the wild. In addition there are suggestions to coordinate captive breeding programmes with future releases to supplement the population. Despite a restricted range and small population size, strong conservation programmes have given hope for the long term survival of Lear’s macaw.




What an exciting newsletter this month.
Paul Stevens submits two awesome articles

-The Lear's McCaw and
-Preserving the Wild Type

With all the mutations there are out there today it is vital we as breeders / enthuthiasts maintain some of the wild type birds.
Not only for esthetics but also to boost the mutation's vitality.
When we look at mutations we only see colour but what we do not realize is that the colour is being visually expressed because the bird is deficient in absorbing and utilizing some protein(s) properly.
This lack of ability is expressed in altering the intensity of certain melanins/phaeomelanins and other structural colour genes  
When we combine two like birds we increase the likelihood this weakened gene will become dominant and though it looks unique and ideal it may bring with it a propensity of health issues or breeding issues depending on the mutation.
Very thought provoking informative article which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Last but not least we have cage/aviary building 101 tips
Reminds me of when I started breeding.
I bought plywood cut into 2 or 2 ½ foot squares.
"A" framed these together and used some hardware cloth for the front of the cages.  Cut and sanded holes in the sides for homemade nest boxes. Screwed in eyelets to attach the nests too, cut crude holes and made attaching doors. They functioned but cut my hands up quite a bit.
Had I read this article way back then I doubt that would be the case.
All these articles bring me back to the beginning of breeding at RT Aviaries now LGFC and are in my opinion superb reading for the beginning breeder. 
Please read them and enjoy as much as I did. 

Til Next Month

Ron ~:>


January/ Febuary 2015

President’s Message

I would like to thank everyone for supporting our club this past year . In an effort to improve attendance at our meetings we have changed the day in which we will meet . We will no longer be meeting at the Church of the Epiphany on the second Wednesday of each month. We have decided to hold the meetings on a Saturday.
Our first meeting will be on Saturday January 17, 2015 at the Middlesex County Library, 21790 Fairview Rd Thorndale Ontario. Meeting starts at 10:30 - 12. I am pleased to announce Dr. Paul Stevens will be giving a presentation on “The Role of Aviculture in Conservation”.
We will have the coffee on and we are having a 50/50 draw as well. Please try to come out and support your club !! I am looking forward to fun and successful year ahead as we work together to make this club even better.
In other news we will be having our annual Buy Sell & Trade at Merrils Hall, St Justins Parrish in London this year on Saturday May 30th. There will be more details on this event in the next newsletter.
Take Good Care Mark Tiede

News Letter Editor’s Desk

Happy New Year to you and your birds. Winter has definitely settled into Ontario. Although we have a considerable amount of winter remaining, it is encouraging that the days are already getting longer and there is hope that spring will return.
We can look forward to a great year for the London & District Cage Bird Association in 2015. Take advantage of LDCBA events and consider volunteering to assist with some of the activities this year. President Tiede mentioned the Buy, Sell Trade Day at a new Location on May 30th and there is a possibility for the LDCBA to participate with two other clubs in another Buy, Sell Trade Day. Tentatively this event would happen in early September. We hope to have more details in the next Newsletter.
Please submit any items for the next Newsletter by February 15th.
Thank you to everyone who has provided their e-mail address. If you use e-mail, please e-mail your address to me or include your e-mail address when renewing your LDCBA 2015 membership. E-mail provides an additional method to contact members with meeting notices etc. Let us know if you would like to receive your Newsletter by e-mail. Please renew your 2015 membership today.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

Remembering the Show

The staging of the Annual Bird Show requires a great deal of organization and effort by exhibitors and Committee members. It is certainly worth the effort as shown in the creation of a very enjoyable event for visitors as well as exhibitors. We have included a few more pictures in this issue to remind us of the Show.


For those living in southern Ontario there is a new pet shop dedicated to birds. Ziggy’s Feathered Friends opened in December 2014. It has an emphasis on psittacines; however, there is feed, supplements and other supplies for many groups of birds. The shop, owned by Kelly Vriesema, is in the village of Dorchester, located between Woodstock and London. Kelly is a member of the LDCBA and she is also our new Treasurer. She has been promoting the London & District Cage Bird Association and other avicultural organizations in the shop.
Address: 4221 Hamilton Road, Dorchester, On N0L 1G3. Tel: 519-268-0888
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10-6, Thursday 10-9, Sunday 12-4

E-mail: kelly@ziggysfeatheredfriends.com Web: ziggysfeatheredfriends.com


The Grey-breasted Parakeet  by  Paul Stevens

The Grey-breasted Parakeet (Pyrrhura griseipectus) is a critically endangered species from North-eastern Brazil. It is restricted to the state of Ceara where there are only approximately 250 individuals remaining in the wild. The Grey-breasted Parakeet is considered by the IUCN to be the most threatened species in the Americas. The decline of the species has been attributed to deforestation for the establishment of coffee plantations. Also some birds have been lost due to the illegal pet trade.
In his book, “Parrots of the World” (1973), Joseph Forshaw considered the Grey-breasted Parakeet to be a subspecies of the White Eared Conure (Pyrrhura leucotis). Differences in colour and bill size have resulted in the Grey-breasted Parakeet being considered a distinct species from the White-eared Parakeet.

Chester zoo in the UK is one of the few zoos breeding Grey-breasted Parakeets. This past year, they successfully raised 3 chicks. After hatching, the chicks remained in their nest box for 11 weeks where they were looked after by their parents until they started feeding themselves. The chicks were reared in a new breeding facility built for rare parrots at the zoo. The zoo is also involved in a project in Brazil which is working to protect the species in the wild. Hopefully sufficient habitat can be saved and protected in the future. If the current decline continues in the wild, then captive birds may be required to re-populate the range after protection is assured. Chester zoo has a long history of successfully breeding many other threatened parrot species.


LDCBA is Proud to be Affiliated & Exchange Knowledge with:





2015 Executives as voted by members :

2nd VICE PRESIDENT Stephen Mycock
TREASURER Kelly Vriesema
DIRECTOR Kevin Miller
DIRECTOR Joanne Miller
DIRECTOR Paul Stevens
WEBSITE Ron Cloutier


Please consider volunteering to assist with a Committee or with an LDCBA event. Much of the
organizing for an event needs to happen well in advance. Contact Greg Sword now to see how you
can assist with the 2015 Show. Telephone: 519-949-0404, E-mail: swordie35@gmail.com



he LDCBA is affiliated with the Avicultural Advancement Council of Canada and we are able to offer AAC coded and numbered closed bands. These permanent leg bands enable the age of birds to be determined and origins traced.
The LDCBA is accepting orders for 2015 Leg Bands. Laura Piper, the Band Secretary has 2015 bands on hand. Please contact Laura for pricing and to place your order. Laura’s e-mail address is: danpiper34@yahoo.ca
The following list provides suggested leg band sizes for some species.
A 2.16mm Bicheno Finch, Orange Cheeked, Gold Breasted and other small Waxbills.
B 2.34mm Cordon Bleu, Fire Finch, and Lavender Finch.
C 2.49mm Gouldian Finch and other similar small finches, Silverbills, Star Finch, Heck's Grassfinch, Parson Finch, Cherry Finch, Zebra Finch, &Chestnut-breasted Finch.
D 2.67mm Bengalese Finch, Parrot Finch, Green Singing Finch, European Goldfinch,
and Cut-throat Finch.
E 2.84mm Gloster, Fife, and miniature Canaries, Diamond Sparrow, Greenfinch, Nuns,
G 3.05mm Border, Roller, American Singer, Lizard, and Red Factor Canaries.
J 3.30mm Yorkshire, Norwich and Crested Canaries.
K 3.94mm Java Sparrow, Hawfinch, Saffron Finch, and Peking Robin.
L 4.09mm Budgerigar, Bourkes & Grass Parakeets, Turquoisines, Parrotlets, & Button Quail.
M 4.34mm Redrumps, Manycolours, Lovebirds, Kakarikies, Shrike, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, and Lineolated Parakeets.
N 5.33mm Cockatiels, Mealie, Stanley and Gold-mantled Rosellas, Pileated Parrot,
and Plumheaded Parakeet.
P 5.99mm Cloncurry, Pennant, Quaker, African Ring Neck, and Tippler/Tumbler Pigeons.
R 7.04mm Larger Rosellas, Princess of Wales, and Moustache Parakeets.
S 7.57mm Red Lory, Meyer’s Parrot, and Homing Pigeons


Editor's Note:

Another year has passed, another show has ended and it was a great success thanks to volunteers, show manager and all the great judges.
It was a very fun time and I know I can never miss supporting such a  great club. 
It gives me time to catch up on all the latest breeder news and share a  laugh or two with close friends that I see far too rarely. 
We had a bl;ast this year as always and were very happy to see so many entries on each bench.
It is a good sign that breeding is not a dying hobby.
I personally was very happy to see so many young new faces and the joy the birds brought to all of us. 
Here at our aviary breeding is in full swing as I am sure it is at many others. Fantasies of 2015 show season just begining to blossom as each new chick gives us cause for hope and a chance to chin wag next year ' )

Well another year is just making it's appearance and that can mean only one thing membership renewals are due.
If you have not already please renew at your earliest convenience.
Don't forget to take advantage of our on line sign up after reading the great newletter Paul Stevens has again given us.  Thanks Paul : )

Til Next Month ' )

Ron ~:>



November/ December 2014

President’s Message
I would like to take a moment to thank all those who came out to support our club during our recent show. It was a very busy weekend and I was pleased to see newer members ask me what they could do to help. When we work together we can put on a great show!!
This year we had Jeremy & Karen Faria and Deirdre Graham electronically enter the birds. I feel this was a smooth transition from the way we did it before and we had printed show results shortly after the judging was done. Thank you Jeremy, Karen , Deirdre and all the judges for helping make our show run smoothly!! Our next meeting is a very important one... Your new executives will be voted in for the 2015 year. We have many positions that need to be filled by dedicated members. If you feel you can help please come to the meeting November 12. Hope to see you then. Take good care,
Mark Tiede

News Letter Editor’s Desk
In this issue of the LDCBA Newsletter we will revisit the 62nd Annual LDCBA Show. Thanks to Show Manager, Greg Sword, President, Mark Tiede and everyone who volunteered their assistance, the Show was a great success. For anyone who attended the Show last year, this year’s event looked very familiar. Our new Show Manager, Greg Sword followed the traditions of Louis DeMello, who successfully managed the Show for many years. One visible difference was the computer generated show tags. They were produced on a printer after entries were entered into a computer. I think this is a great use of technology to efficiently handle the registration of entries and tabulation of results. We are very grateful to Deirdre Graham and Jeremy Faria from the Budgerigar & Foreign Bird Society for their expertise in carrying out the registration and analysis of statistics so efficiently. There were some beautiful birds in excellent condition on display at this year’s Show. Please see the list of Show winners provided by Jeremy & Deirdre in this issue.
Despite the Show success, we need to re-evaluate how we conduct the Show in the future. For example, we need to consider whether we need so many trophies. Can we produce the show more efficiently? How can we gain greater public participation? The LDCBA Show provided a great opportunity to meet other bird people and share experiences. I was very pleased to be able to meet many members and exhibitors from other cities for the first time. I hope you enjoy the photos of the Show. Thanks to Kelly Manson and Bonnie Wright we have a good photographic record of the 2014 Show. Does anyone of photos of the Show in past decades?
The year 2014 has gone very quickly. Each year in November the London & District Cage Bird Association holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM). Please see the AGM Notice in this issue for further details.
Thank you to everyone who has provided their e-mail address. If you use e-mail, please e-mail your address to me or include your e-mail address when renewing your LDCBA 2015 membership. E-mail provides an additional method to contact members with meeting notices etc.
J. Paul Stevens
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

Notice of Annual General Meeting for the London & District Cage Bird Association
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the London & District Cage Bird Association will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. It will be held in the hall of the Church of the Epiphany, 11 Briscoe Street West, London. Elections will be held for the LDCBA Executive positions for the coming year.
Annual meetings are an important time to renew the organization. It is a time to take a look at what we are doing and what direction we are headed in the future. Among the greatest strengths of the LDCBA are its members. Non-profit organizations like the LDCBA rely on their members to carry out a host of activities. Consider volunteering to serve as a Director or Committee member or in one of the other Executive positions. Please come out to our Annual Meeting with ideas and suggestions of how you would like to see the LDCBA grow and develop. Help plan our meetings, or any other activity that you would like to see. Can you suggest a topic for a meeting? Do you know of someone that we could contact to speak at one of our meetings? Why not invite a fellow aviculturalist to this meeting. Please bring along an item for our raffle too.

Editor's Notes:

This year's show did not disappoint...Thankfully

What an amazing turn out at the 2014 / 62nd Annual Show
I was quite happy to see some new names on the benches.
It is always nice to know that the hobby is quite alive and vibrant.
Also it provides time to tell old war stories to new faces 
The show was impressive with over 412 of the most glorious birds on display brought by over 45 exhibitors.
Never will you see birds of much finer perfection.  
We have so many pictures from members not just myself to exhibit on this years show page which I am hoping will keep you there long enough to mosey on down and read the triumphs of some of your fellow enthuthiasts /friends/ club mates.  
Also the great group photos should help familiarize future/ current members with our excellent executive.
These are the people that put in all the hard work to make these shows well worth attending year after year.


Please do not forget to peruse the show page and enjoy some of the best
birds in all of Southern Ontario / Canada
Please remember you too can be part of this amazing club by clicking the join link.
I would like to take this time to thank all the: Judges, Volunteers, Show Manager, Exhibitors, Vendors and the Public who came to appreciate the birds as much as we do.
You all made this show a success...Thank You
Now is the time to start breeding and getting ready for the 2015 show circuit... See you on the benches

Ron ~:>


September / October 2014

President’s Message

It's hard to believe summer is on its’ way out and our fall show is fast approaching. There still is some work to be done.
We will be setting up the show stands on Friday October 10.
We are in need of items for the raffle table, salads or desserts for lunch on Saturday and Sunday , even pop , water donations for the snack bar are appreciated.
We do need some volunteers to help out setting up , running the snack bar and at lunch . If you want to help out in anyway please contact Greg Sword or myself .
I would like to wish everyone good luck at the show !!
Come out and have some fun .
Take care
Mark Tiede


News Letter Editor’s Desk

Summer has not been very hot in southern Ontario so far. Although we still have several weeks of summer remaining, autumn will soon be here. In just over one month it will be show time for the London & District Cage Bird Association. You should have received a copy of the Show Catalogue in the mail. Please think about what birds you may be able to show. Greg Sword is the Show Manager for this, the 62nd annual LDCBA Bird Show. Please contact Greg or Mark (see notice for contact details) to discuss how you can assist in making this a successful event. The show will be open to the public on Sunday. Please also think about inviting family and friends to this exciting event.
We have included the presentation by Dave Pauls on Keeping and Breeding Finches for Show. For those unable to attend the July meeting, I hope this article gives you some insight into this interesting topic.
I know some members have an e-mail address. However, I don’t have the addresses for most members. If you use e-mail, please e-mail your address to me. E-mail provides an additional method to contact members with meeting notices etc.
We have several new members and I know the long-time members will be eager to meet any new members and share experiences. There are many members I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet. I look forward to meeting more members at the LDCBA Bird Show.
J. Paul Stevens
17988 Thorndale Road,
R.R. 3, Thorndale, Ontario
N0M 2P0
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

Dave Pauls’ July 12th Presentation:

“Keeping and Breeding Finches for Shows”  By Paul Stevens

Dave Pauls is a very experienced finch breeder and exhibitor. We were fortunate to have him speak to the July LDCBA meeting on  the keeping and breeding  of finches for shows. Finches are a very diverse group and success is dependent on finding the right food, lighting and other environmental requirements. 

Dave started off by pointing out that the common Zebra and Bengalese finches are domesticated. The more domesticated they become; the more they are changed from the wild type. Finches can be described as a slow hobby in that it takes a long time to get some species to breed. 
In considering finches at shows, the judge will need to compare birds from different sections and therefore it is necessary to look at each bird in relation to the standard for each breed. The judge needs to look at the condition and health of the bird, the degree of cage-training and the conformation of each individual. Shows can be stressful for birds and it is important to have them in good condition prior to the show. At shows it is possible to observe some birds that are too fat. These birds often start panting. Dave advises that the condition of these birds can be improved with exercise. Birds need to have a strong immune system.  He pointed out that we also need to have birds adapted to cages. If birds are nervous then they may jump around and injure themselves. Mites and parasites need to be controlled in birds. Dave suggested the use of Ivomectin. The general condition of birds can be improved by housing them outside after June 1st. He pointed out that finches appreciate water for bathing which will help improve feather condition.  Birds can also be sprayed with cold water.  In aviaries, the use of natural branches is preferred. Dave suggested that cedar branches are best.  He suggests keeping birds outside into September or October. Finches are quite gregarious in their social behaviour.

Male and female finches should be placed in adjoining cages to get to know each other before putting together. He also pointed out that finches are photo-sensitive.  When finches are brought inside, nails should be trimmed and treatment given for parasites. Cages should be painted and checked for loose perches.  Birds should be trained for show cages and possibly trained to fly into show cages.  Birds should also be trained to sit on a perch in a show cage and trained to display.  By putting up high, the bird will feel more comfortable in the cage.  You should also get birds used to being in a carrying cage ahead of time.

The conformation of each bird needs to be considered with respect to how it matches the standard. More domesticated birds will look different from wild or breeding birds. The judge will be looking at how balanced the bird is and observe how it sits on the perch.  Check the head, topline, front line and bottom line. They should all be smooth.  A finch needs to be in proper proportion, which is not necessarily the largest.  Conformation is the hardest to change in a bird; you need to change it through breeding. In preparing birds for a show, you need to remember that different species have a different form. Some species like the Star finch stands up high on the perch, whereas species like the Zebra finch sits lower. The last thing the judge considers in finches is colour. Type is more important in Zebra finches than colour. The judge needs to be aware of the different colour mutations and what they look like.  There is a Standard for some species such as Zebra finches. However, unlike the poultry standard of perfection, there is no scale of points.

Dave also spoke about some of the challenges to breeding finches. He pointed out that we need to breed different species to ensure their survival in captivity.  It is difficult or impossible to obtain many species now from the wild.  Due to a failure to breed them in captivity, he noted that there are no White-headed Nuns or Pin-tailed Parrot finches available.  Some species like the Waxbills have been common in the past, but we need to figure out how to make them breed more readily in captivity.  Dave offered a number of tips on the housing and breeding of finches such as putting birds in large groups to reduce aggression and using sufficient sleeping perches with visual barriers along perch so birds can’t see one another.  Aggression can also be reduced by separating sexes. The breeder needs to be aware that some species such as Cuban finches are more aggressive than other species.
Dave also answered questions for the LDCBA members in attendance and provided additional advice on the breeding, conditioning and showing of finches.

Newsletter Editor’s Note:

The following article, submitted by Murray Perdue, is from an article published in the Coloured Canary Breeders Association Newsletter in U.K.

Reproduction and the Egg    By J. S. Cross

The egg, that vital pearl of the avian world. Just how much I wonder does the average fancier understand  or  care  about  the egg itself, apart  from  just  acknowledging  that  it is a means  to an end.
Unlike the mammal which has two functioning ovaries, a female bird, although complemented with two, only the left one functions (apart from certain parrots and bird of prey). The right ovary and oviduct remain only partly developed.
An egg starts life as "ova", microscopic eggs clustered together in the ovary. When the female bird attains all the stimuli necessary to  become  breeding  fit,  one at  a time  the  ova begin to increase in size and become the yolk of  the complete  egg. When sufficiently formed, they then detach from the ovary and pass into the top of the oviduct where fertilization takes place. Once fertilized, the egg travels down the oviduct, a process which can take from twenty four  hours  in  small  passerine  bird (canary) to seven days in some of the larger species of birds.
On its journey through the oviduct, it receives albumen (white), chalazae and the shell membrane. On reaching the uterus, the albumen absorbs water, begins to swell until the two shell membranes are stretched tight and are ready to receive the  shell layers and pigmentation. When the egg has received  its  final coat of shell and its distinctive individual pattern, it is then expelled through the cloaca.
By laying and incubating the egg externally rather than becoming pregnant and  having  a gestation  period,  a bird  is  still  able to flee from its predators and search for food, etc., without any added encumbrance. This is vital in a flying creature where weight to air ratio is an important factor.
Birds  are not  the  only  creatures  adapted  to  this  kind  of  reproduction  cycle  as  it  applies  to  some  fish,  reptiles,  frogs  and insects.  I would  think  the nearest  equivalent in mammals, is the kangaroo,   a  marsupial  where  the  embryo  leaves  the  mother's body  while  in  the  very  early  stages  of  development,  takes  a perilous  journey  up  the  abdomen  of  the  female,  to  eventually clamp  on to a  teat  inside  the pouch and  there  to  develop fully.
The complete bird's egg is a marvel of precision engineering. The yolk (which many people think develops into the youngster), is in fact a rich reservoir of protein food which the developing chick absorbs. Upon the yolk is a minute speck, the germ  cell which  is the beginning of  a new  living  organism.
The yolk is slung in a similar manner to a hammock on two spiral chalazae which are a continuation of the yolk encasing the vitelline membrane whose outer ends are attached to the shell membrane. Being slung thus, the yolk compensates for any movement  of  the  egg, so  keeping  the  germ  cell  uppermost  and  in contact with  the  body  heat  of  the  incubating  bird.  The yolk is surrounded by the albumen which cushions  the shock waves, should the egg be jarred.
Although almost all water in content, the  albumen  does  contain additional proteins. Surrounding the albumen are two  strong membranes on which the  shell  is constructed. They also prevent any harmful bacteria from attacking the germ cell or  egg  contents.
After being laid,  the  egg  shrinks  slightly  which  causes  the two membranes to pull apart at the large end of the egg  and provide a chamber of  air  from  which  the  chick  will  take  its first breath from within the egg.
The shell itself is constructed of layers of calcium  carbonate (lime) built  upon  a  network  of  protein  fibres  and  being  porous, it allows a flow of air to circulate inside the egg. This is made possible by the inner  membranes  being  held   away  from  the interior surface of the egg shell by  hundreds  of  tiny  nodules which  create a cavity  between  shell and  membrane.
Although we regard eggs  as  delicate  and  brittle,  they  are  in fact immensely strong and scientists have proved that the ordinary domestic fowls egg can stand an  even  pressure  of  around  ten tons per square inch. This is made possible because of the shape which can be likened to a bridge where the weight of each stone bearing down upon its neighbour,  keeps  it  strongly  in  position and yet it  is  a  simple  matter  for  the  chick  hatching, to  push up and through from the inside.

courtesy / copyright:  enchantedlearning.com


Conservation of Macaws  By Paul Stevens

In Costa Rica, the populations of Great Green Macaw ( Ara ambiguous) and the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) have greatly declined over several decades due to hunting, capture for the pet trade and habitat loss.  The Ara Project is aiming to ensure their long term survival through captive breeding, release to the wild and conservation measures. The German Embassy in Costa Rica has donated a large aviary measuring 16m x 24m. It has been subdivided into six flights to hold their breeding stock of Scarlet  Macaws. There are only two small populations of Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica and only approximately 25 pairs of Great Green Macaws left in the country.



Open to the public: Sunday October 12th

To assist or to learn more about exhibiting please give our show manager:

Greg Sword a call at: 519-949-0404 or e-mail him at swordie35@gmail.com

or the L.A.D.C.B.A. president at 519-282-0635 or e-mail him at: marktiede19@hotmail.com

Donations needed

  • raffle table items
  • salads
  • desserts

As well as volunteers for all types of tasks


 55th ANNUAL Avicultural Advancement Council of Canada


76th Anniversary of the Budgerigar and Foreign Bird Society Bird Club


Hosted by  The Budgerigar & Foreign Bird Society of Canada

OCTOBER 17 - 19, 2014

Richmond Green Sports Centre

1300 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond  Hill Ontario



 Editor's Note

It is time to order your 2015 bands. These will be issued starting in November.
Please use our
handy sheet to fill out your band order
This can be printed and sent to Laura via snail mail or can be
sent instantly and processed using our on line system.

Please come and support the club by either entering birds ( $2.00 per entry is very affordable) or attending the annual L.A.D.C.B.A show on Sunday October 12th with a few friends.
The birds on display are some of the finest in all of Ontario.
I know I can't wait every year to see all the stunning examples of avian beauty on display. The colours and perfection of type is awe inspiring.  
Look forward to seeing you all there.

We are accepting all types iof avian related articles for our on-line  newletter 

Please send yours or suggestions of articles and topics you would like to discuss to me care of the link below.

Your humblest of editors

Ron ~:>



July/August 2014



President's Message

I would to thank everyone for their support at our recent Buy Sell & Trade
Day. The weather was a bit cool to start off the day but the sun was
I would like to thank Mike Flikkema for his support. Mike and his wife
were up early to bring birds and related supplies. Dave Howorth did a
great job selling raffle and snack tickets as well as memberships. Barb
Duits did a fine job organizing the raffle table. Last but not least thank you
Pete & Laurene for hosting our annual event.
Our next meeting will be held on Saturday July 12 at the home of
Pete & Laurene Van Erp 3258 Egremont drive , Strathroy , Ontario
N7G 3H6. We will be having a Pot Luck BBQ , if you plan to attend
please bring a salad or dessert, a lawn chair and your favorite summer beverage !!
Guest Speaker: Dave Pauls
Meeting starts at 4 p.m. Come early to see Pete's fine array of finches
I hope to see you there.
Take good care.
Mark Tiede

Newsletter Editor's Desk

The recent warm weather in southern Ontario has certainly confirmed that summer is here. We had
another interesting and stimulating talk at our last general meeting in June. Mark Koenig from Exotic
Wings offered thoughts on many aspects of aviculture. I have included a brief summary of Mark's
presentation. Also included is another article from Scott Golden providing additional thoughts on finch
breeding. The subject of genetics is always of interest to aviculturalists breeding different mutations of
bird species. The article we have included on genetics is not intended to be the final word on the
subject; however, hopefully it will prove useful and interesting whether you are interested in canaries or
other species. In future issues we can include other articles on the genetics of different species. Let us
know your thoughts.
I know some members have an e-mail address. However, I don't have the addresses for most members.
If you use e-mail, please e-mail your address to me. E-mail provides an additional method to contact
members with meeting notices etc.
The recent Buy, Sell Trade Day was a very enjoyable event. I especially enjoyed meeting many new
friends. Welcome to all the new members who have recently joined the club. It is encouraging to see the
level of interest in the London & District Cage Bird Association. The combination of new members
with long-time members will help to ensure a vibrant and relevant organization.
J. Paul Stevens
i7988 Thorndale Road,
R.R. 3, Thorndale, Ontario
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail: paul.stevens@usask.ca or somsask@yahoo.com

55th Canadian National Cage Bird Show & Expo
Sponsored by AACC and Hosted by BFBS
October l7-19,20l4
Richmond Green Sports Centre
1300 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill, Ont.



Colorbred Canaries-Melanin Stefano Bianchi, Italy
Colorbred Canaries-Lipochrome Pietro Labatte, Montreal, PO
Borders and Fife Luis Belchior, Massachusetts, USA
Type Canaries Keith Ferry, England
Finches Ken Gunby, Florida, USA
Budgerigars Ray Watson, British Columbia
Hookbills Gary Morgan, Colorado, USA
American Singers Dorothea Ashbery, New York, USA

Registration Friday, Oct. 17th 6-8:00 pm and Saturday 7-9:30 am
Entry Fee. $2.00 per bird $10.00 minimum
www. nationalbirdshow.com

Mark Koenig's Presentation on June llth
By Paul Stevens
Mark Koenig is a very experienced aviculturalist and the owner of Exotic Wings in Kitchener, Ontario.
In his presentation, Mr. Koenig discussed many issues of importance to aviculturalists. He started his
discussion with advice to develop a plan for disposal of your birds upon death. Too often aviculturalists
don't have a plan to assist family or friends in the disposal of their birds. Birds that may be important to the captive population may be lost from the breeding pool if appropriate individuals to accept them are
not found. Mark also spoke about the value of bird clubs and how to grow the organization. Clubs need
to give people reasons to join. Not all people keeping birds are interested in breeding. However, whether
they are interested in breeding and conservation or in pet birds they have many common interests. Mark
pointed out that some bird clubs encourage membership and participation of both breeder and pet bird
people. He suggested that having the two groups participating helps to keep the membership numbers up
and easier to sustain the club. Mr. Koenig spoke about the importance of bird people being proactive
regarding legislation. He suggested that bird people should be open to the idea of licensing and bird
people should approach Municipal councils and get their input on regulations. Mark also suggested that
we should work towards the development of a provincial based law governing bird keeping.
Mark talked about the challenges of breeding birds with sexing often being an important first step to
success. He gave specific examples of services available that use DNA technology to sex birds and
commented on the challenges in getting reliable results from some companies.
In addition to the pleasures of keeping birds, Mark also discussed the risk of Zoonosis, diseases such as Psittacosis and Chlamydia that you can get from birds. On the theme of health, he emphasized the need
for ventilation in a bird room and the value of fans and outside vents compared to air cleaners. The need
for sanitation and use of cleaners was also considered. The importance of proper lighting to encourage
breeding and the use of night lights for birds was discussed. Mark also offered many thoughts on
feeding and nutritional supplements for birds.
LDCBA members had many questions for Mark on a wide range of topics, which he enthusiastically
answered. For those unable to attend this meeting, I hope you have the opportunity to hear Mark speak
at other events and perhaps meet him at Exotic Wings.

Newsletter Editor's Note:
The following article by Scott Golden is the third installment from the article by him. See the previous two newsletters for articles on importation and fostering. Scott has given permission for
publication in our newsletter. In this article Mr. Golden discusses the set-up of breeding facilities

Recommended Finch Breeding Set- Up
By: Scott Golden and submitted by Pete Van Erp

  • One pair per flight or cage is ideal.


  • Indoor breeding is FAR preferable, even in sunny Southern California. Indoors, many variables can be controlled (weather, predators, rodents, etc.)


  • Boxed cages work very well. In a box cage, all sides of a cage, except the front areblocked via cloth or solid panels. This greatly increases the wild-caught birds' sense of security and increases the likelihood of nesting.
  • Provide a variety of nesting sites: wicker baskets with artificial foliage, traditional finch nestboxes, Christmas 'evergreen type garlands, dried grasses and brush are all good examples of what should be offered. 
  • Provide a variety of nesting materials: coconut fiber, soft dried grasses, sisal, jute. white feathers from a pillow (very important for many African species).
  • Artificial lighting, on timers, should be on every cage. My birds' lights go on at 6:00AM and off at 10:40PM.

If all goes well, your wild-caught finches will calm down and become adjusted to

life in captivity. In most cases they will lay fertile eggs, but rarely raise the young
to completion. These young represent the future success of these species in
captivity and must be saved! (Think of the effort the San Diego Zoo made in
establishing the Califonia Condor or New Zealand with the Chatham Island Robin).

"l have fertile eggs. Now what?"
Congratulations, you are halfway there! You must foster these first eggs to insure
that the genetics of your wild-caught finches are not lost if something happens to
the original birds:
(Murphy's Law of Birds:

The birds you can least afford to lose will be the first ones vou
discover upside down. dangling from the tip of one toenail that got caught"on a wire). 

Many finch breeders feel that fostering is wrong or that birds that have been reared by foster
parents will not rear their own young.
This has no scientific basis! None. Zilch.
Our failure to use the strongest tool in our finch-breeding arsenal in the 1990's
(FOSTERING) led to the almost complete disappearance of African finches in the US
until the recent imports of 2007-2008
Fostering fertile eggs enables us to get the first generations of domestically bred finches (F 1
andF2) established. These birds only know life in captivity and are MUCH more likely to rear their own young on the foods you provide.
I use exclusively the old-fashioned, American brown and white society finches for
fostering. I have found that the Euro societies, though very pretty, are vastly inferior
when it comes to fostering.
Younger societies that have never raised their own young are ideal for new
species. They eventually see the new species as 'what their own chicks look like'
and do a fantastic job of raising them.

Newsletter Editor's Note:

The following article, submitted by Murray Perdue, is an article published several years
ago in the Coloured Canary Breeders Association Newsletter in U.K. In mammals, males have two
different sex chromosomes (XY) and females have two identical (XX), whereas in birds the situation is
reversed with the female having different sex chromosomes. Often with birds the sex chromosomes are
described as ZZ for males and ZW for females to note the difference from mammals. Note that Mr.
Watson has used XX for the male canary and XY for the female. It doesn't really matter what letters we
use to describe the sex chromosomes, as long as it is clear to which sex they refer.

Basic Genetics for the Canary Breeder
By Grant Watson
"A subject as involved as genetics?" Certainly genetics is extremely involved, but fortunately for we
canary breeders, we need only concern ourselves with factors that follow two or three set patterns, and
when the basic principles are understood, the whole sequence is quite simple. Fortunately we are only
concerned with the colours respective to the melanins, those dark coloured areas one sees superimposed
on the ground colours of our canaries in both the variegated and self-series. In the canary these melanins
are made up of black and brown so these are the only colours in which we need to be interested. When
working out inheritance pattens, one can use any symbol to denote Black and Brown, but by good
fortune, I came in contact with Mr. George Kroessen of Chicago, a very knowledgeable person, who introduced me to the international method of naming and lay-out of the formula. This method appealed
to me as the easiest to understand.

      BL is the symbol for the gene that produces Black.
      BR is the symbol for the gene that produces Brown.
      + is the symbol for the wild form which means the gene to which this       symbol is attached
      is in its natural form and has not mutated. When the symbol is omitted it means that that particular gene
      has mutated.
      Thus BL + means Black in its normal form.
      BL means that the Black has mutated and altered.

Now the original canary was a yellow ground bird with these dark markings (melanins) over its body.
The fact that these dark markings were evenly spread on top of the yellow underneath colour, made this
bird look predominantly green in colour. Hence the Green Canary! This green canary is what we call
"true breeding"; this means that unless something extraordinary happens, this bird will, when paired to
the opposite sex, within the same species, produce birds like themselves. As far as birds are concerned,
like most other living things, they have two sex chromosomes in which are situated many genes
(possibly hundreds) one of which produces the black and one which produces the brown. The cock canary has two chromosomes which are identical in a sex sense, the hen canary's chromosomes
are different in a sex sense, so we denote a cock bird as a type and a hen as a type.
At the moment an egg is fertilized, one chromosome from the cock unites with one chromosome from
the hen. As we are not in a position to decide which cock chromosome unites with which hen
chromosome, we have to consider all the possibilities.
If we start with the:

canary inheritance chart 1a
Chromosome 1 X Chromosome 3 Y
Chromosome 2 X
Chromosome 4 Y

The possibilities are that  Chromosome 1 will unite with Chromosome 3

Chromosome 1 with Chromosome 4


Chromosome 2 with Chromosome 3


Chromosome 2 with Chromosome 4

It has been proved that the Y chromosome of the hen, as far as canary breeders are concerned, does
not carry any factor except in a recessive way. Over the years, scientists have discovered that some
factors are "sex-1inked", (these factors are only situated on the X chromosome) and some factors are
"recessive" (these factors are situated on both the X and Y chromosomes). If the cock bird has a sex linked
factor on both X chromosomes, then it will show that factor on its plumage. If it has this same
factor on only one X chromosome, then it is said to "carry" this factor. In the case of a hen canary, if she has this sex-linked factor on her one X chromosome she will show this factor, and as the sex-linked
factor is only carried on the X chromosome we say the Y chromosome is empty. With the recessive

factor, we find that it is situated on both the X and Y chromosomes, and only shows in the bird's
plumage when the factor is present on both X chromosomes in the cock bird and on both X and Y chromosomes in the hen. So when dealing with recessive factors, the Y chromosome of the hen is
not empty for it can "carry" a recessive factor.
The "green" canary will then in genetic form look like:

Cockerel                                                                                   Hen  

Chromosome 1 (X) BL+BR+ Chromosome 3 (X)  BL+BR+
Chromosome 2 (X) BL+BR+
Chromosome 4 (Y) empty

The probable offspring from this pairing are as stated before.

Ch. l united with Ch.3 (1 (X)BL+BR + &3 (X) BL+BR+ ) is green and is a cock because it has
two X chromosomes.

Ch. 2. united with Ch. 3 (2 6) BL + BR + &3 (X) BL + BR +)which is green and a cock because
it has two X chromosomes.

Ch. 1. united with Ch. 4 (1 (X) BL + BR + & 4 (Y) empty ) which is green and a hen because it
has one X and one Y chromosome.

Lastly, Ch.2. united with Ch. 4. (2 (X) BL + BR + & 4 ()f) empty) again this is a green hen
because it has one X chromosome and one y chromosome.
This is the basic inheritance pattern of all our canaries, and all the different mutations and factors are
simply added to, or re- moved from, this basic principle.
We have amongst our birds what we term "classic" canaries.
These are the green, the agate (dilute
green), the Brown (cinnamon) and the isabel (dilute brown). The genetic formula for the green you
already know. For the agate it is:

Cockerel                                                                                   Hen  

Chromosome 1 (X) BL + BR Chromosome 3 (X)  BL + BR
Chromosome 2 (X) BL + BR
Chromosome 4 (Y) empty

You will notice the BR (Brown) has dropped the "+" . this is because in the agate the Brown gene has mutated or "altered" in such a way that it cannot express brown, with the result that this bird can only show black in it's melanins.

The next bird to consider is the Brown or cinnamon

The formula for this is :

Cockerel                                                                                   Hen  

Chromosome 1 (X) BL BR+ Chromosome 3 (X)  BL+BR+
Chromosome 2 (X) BL BR+
Chromosome 4 (Y) empty

In this case the BL ( Black has lost the "+")  Here we find the gene for black has mutated and altered in such a way that it has converted from black to brown.

The remaining bird of the classic canaries is the isabel ( silute Brown), which has very faint brown markings on it's body and whose formula is:

Cockerel                                                                                   Hen  

Chromosome 1 (X) BL BR Chromosome 3 (X)  BL BR
Chromosome 2 (X) BL BR
Chromosome 4 (Y) empty

This time both the Black and the Brown genes have lost the '+ ". This means the black has turned to
brown and the brown has been diluted. Actually it is a combination of two mutated half genes, achieved
by what is known as the "crossing over" of genes.
How this happens, I think, would only add confusion,
Suffice, at the moment, to say that it does happen and the practical results of this phenomenon are as

We get the probability of the BL + changing places with the BL and /or the BR + changing places
with the BR, leaving us with two different sets of chromosomes.
3 (X)BL BR+ and 5 (X)BL+BR
4(X)BL+ BR   6(X)BL    BR+
which are in fact the same combination so one can be dispensed with.
Depending on the genetic makeup
of the hen used in a particular pairing, there could be in the offspring four birds that one might not
For example: if we paired:
Green cock carrying isabel X Green hen

Cockerel                                                                                   Hen  

Chromosome 1 (X) BL + BR + Chromosome 3 (X)  BL + BR +
Chromosome 2 (X) BL    BR
Chromosome 4 (Y) empty

The probable results would be:

Ch. l united with Ch.3 (1 (X)BL +  BR  + &3 (X) BL  +  BR + ) is green and is a cock because it has
two X chromosomes.

Ch. 2 united with Ch.4 (1 (X)BL   BR  + &3 (X) BL  +  BR + ) is a green cock carrying isabel 

Ch. l united with Ch.4 (1 (X)BL +  BR  + & 4 (Y)  empty) is green hen because it has
one X and one Y chromosome.

Ch. 2 united with Ch.4 (2 (X)BL   BR   & 4 (Y) empty) is an isabel hen

By crossing over we have two further chromosomes:-
5 (X)BL  BR+
6(X)BL +  BR

Ch. 5 united with Ch.3 (5 (X)BL   BR  + &3 (X) BL  +  BR + ) is green and carrying brown it is a cock because it has
two X chromosomes.

Ch. 6 united with Ch.3 (6 (X)BL +  BR  + &3 (X) BL  +  BR + ) is green cock carrying agate

Ch. 5 united with Ch.4 (5 (X)BL   BR  + &4 (Y) empty  ) is a Brown hen

Ch. 6 united with Ch.4 (6 (X)BL +  BR  + &4 (X) empty) is an agate hen

These inheritance patterns are all for sex-linked varieties, when the mutated gene is situated on the male
(X) chromosome. The important point to remember is that when you have worked out the probable
offspring from any pairing, one must take notice of the "t " symbols, for these are the dominant factors
which in fact decide what a bird's melanins look like. It does not matter which chromosome the "* "
symbols are on-if the black has a "+ " and the brown has a "+ " then the bird will be green. If only the
black has the "+" the bird will be agate. If the brown has the "+" then the bird will be brown. If neither
has a "+" then the bird will be isabel. I should mention here that all these birds can be produced in all three ground colours, that is, yellow, orange, and white. They then have slightly different names and are
listed below:

Yellow Ground Orange Ground White Ground
Green Bronze Blue
Yellow Red/Orange Blue
Agate Agate/Red Agate
Yellow Isabel Red/Orange Isabel Fawn Isabel

In conclusion, I hope more new fanciers will be able to better understand the inheritance pattens of our
new colour canaries. They can carry so many hidden factors that the importance of knowing a bird's
genetic make-up becomes essential.

Editor's Note: 

Very informative genetics article.  Really got me thinking about genetics as more approachable

and easier to understand.

Thank you Grant Watson for your informative article explaining genetics I really 

appreciated all it had to offer. : )

Stay tuned for Sept / October newletter where  we talk :

  • Reproduction and the Egg
  • Preparing Finches / Birds for shows

Ron ~:>


May/June 2014

President's Message

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Stephen Mycock for his talk
on type canaries. It was very interesting and he brought many different
canaries for all to see. Thanks Stephen!! Once again we will be having a
Dutch auction at the May meeting. For those of you that are not sure what
this is I will do my best to explain. Members are asked to bring an item
to the meeting.
Donated items are placed on the auction table and members
buy tickets 3 tickets for a $ 1. Members then place tickets in a container
in front of the item they wish to win. First ticket pulled from each
container wins that prize.
In the past members have donated plants from their garden that need to be
divided this time of year, bird related items books, birds and even baked
Any items are greatly appreciated. This is meant to
be a fun fund-raiser for the club.
Our first outdoor meeting will be held Wednesday June 11 at my home 2237
Westdel Bourne London, Ontario.
I am pleased to announce Mark Koenig, owner of Exotic Wings &. Pet Things
will be our guest speaker.
Please call Mark ahead of time and he will bring any supplies you may
need. 519-699-5656.
This is your club please come out and support it!! .
We will be making plans for our Buy Sell & Trade at the next meeting. Mike
Flikkema, will be coming to our Buy Sell & Trade on June 14.
Mike has a great variety of birds and supplies. Please call Mike
ahead of time and he would be happy to bring your order.
Flikkema Aviaries 905-386-6384.
Congratulations go out to Kevin Miller and Joanne Musgrave.
Kevin and Joanne are getting married May 24th.
Take good care.
Mark Tiede

Newletter Editor's Message

The level of interest in the London & District cage Bird Association over
the past couple of months has been very encouraging. There is a strong desire to see the LDCBA improve, promote aviculture and
encourage better fellowship and the sharing of knowledge among membership'
The next few months will be very exciting with many events to enjoy. The majority of members do not live in London and it
is difficult for many to attend monthly meetings. we hope everyone will be
able to attend some of the summer outdoor meetings as well as the upcoming Buy, Sell Trade Day.

Please also plan to participate in the LDCBA show this fall.
A brief summary of Stephen Mycock's presentation has been included in
this issue for those unable to attend the April meeting.
It was a pleasure to see Murray Perdue who drove
in from Clinton.
Thank you to Murray for the articles he provided for use
in the Newsletters' Please see the article on bird health
included in this issue.
Please also read the article by Scott Golden on aviculture
and the establishment of self-sustaining captive populations and offer
your thoughts on the role of aviculturalists and avicultural organizations.
Your thoughts on this and other topics for the Newsletter
would be greatly appreciated'
J. Paul Stevens
17988 Thomdale Road,
R.R. 3, Thorndale, Ontario
Tel: 519-461-0348

Stephen Mycock's Presentation on April9th
By Paul Stevens

We were very privileged to have Stephen Mycock as the speaker at our April
meeting. Mr. Mycock is avery experienced breeder and exhibitor of canaries.
Through his presentation Stephen provided an excellent introduction to "Type" canaries. To illustrate his talk, he displayed six different
canary breedsin exhibit cages.
Stephen showed the members Northern Dutch, Yorkshire, Norwich, Lizard, Gloucester and Fife Border canaries.
The characteristics of each breed were described
and some aspects of canary colour genetics explained.
ln discussing the breeds he also provided tips
on their breeding management such as the use of foster parents
for some varieties.
Breeding success for any type of birds can be greatly influenced by
feeding and nutrition.
Like many experienced breeders, Stephen
has developed diets including a significant number of soft food
ingredients to supplement a basic rapeseed and canary seed mixture.
Soft foods include ingredients such
as wheat germ, cream of wheat, rolled oats, carrot, apple,
egg as well as bee pollen for breeding.
The use of a wide variety of supplemental foods helps to ensure that the birds have adequate micronutrients such as vitamins.
Vitamins are not usually added to the birds' water, other
than vitamin E during breeding.
The use of other supplements such as vita grit, oyster shell and
fine grit were described to ensure
adequate digestion and good egg shell quality.
The benefits of other techniques such as mixing wheat
germ oil with ground canary seed to start breeding were also explained.
Also the use and benefits of sprouted seed containing a
greater vitamin content was suggested for breeding birds.
The importance of proper light regimes for success in breeding canaries
was emphasized. He provided
examples of lighting regimes starting with 9 hours of "daylight" and increasing by 15 minute increments up to a maximum of 15 hours "daylight".
He advised caution to not exceed 15 hours or birds may be
induced to moult. Other environmental factors were described.
He explained that the canaries don't like their
environment too hot and a temperature of 18 -20 C.
is appropriate with a relative humidity of approximately 40 o/o.
Too dry an environment can increase the incidence of
dead-in-shell embryos.
Stephen also shared many other management tips to keep birds healthy. A
regime for the treatment of mites was described using lvomectin.
The use of antibiotics was also described for sick
birds and the importance of providing probiotics
following treatment to reintroduce beneficial bacteria important for
Stephen also explained some of the principles of showing "Type" canaries.
He explained the need for training birds to assume a position.
For example a Yorkshire should stand like a Guardsman.
He described techniques for spraying birds and the use of
materials such as wheat germ oil to give the birds shine.
For anyone who was unable to attend this presentation, I encourage you to
take advantage of any future opportunities you may have to meet
Stephen or hear him speak.
Stephen Mycock is a very experienced  and knowledgeable breeder
who is very open and generous in sharing his knowledge.


Agriculture's Future is Now
By: Scott Golden and submitted by Pete Van Rep.

In the early 1990's, the African country of Ghana placed every bird that
was endemic or migratory through its lands on Appendix of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
of Wild Flora and Fauna).
Appendix III species are listed after one member country has asked
other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling trade in a species.
The listed species are not necessarily threatened with
extinction globally.
In all member countries, trade in these species is only permitted
with an appropriate export permit and a certificate of origin.
In North America, the Ghana Appendix meant the virtually
complete shutdown of importation of wild-caught African finches.
By l995 almost all African finches had disappeared in the United States, with the exception of perhaps a few: blue caps, fire finches
and gold breasted waxbills, which occasionally were still brought in via quarantine stations or through Canadian importers.
During the years, 1993-2006, many European aviculturists, who were
still receiving the finches that had been banned in the
United States under CITES Appendix III worked hard toward establishing many African estrildid species.
However, with the advent of widespread outbreaks of bird flu
during the last few years, Europe now has a complete ban on the importation of birds.
Yet, because of the work of serious breeders, they still retain many African finch species in Europe.
In the United States, due to a change in Ghanian politics, 2007 brought
the lifting of the Ghana Appendix of CITES.
This has meant the sudden availability of finches that we have not
seen in this country for at least 14 years!:
Western Bluebills, Goldbreasted Waxbills, Red-Cheeked Cordon Blues,
Pytilia, Green, Brown and Rosy Twinspots, Senegal, Kulikoro and
Black-Faced Fire Finches, as well as many other species are now
available in the US.
Soon, without question, imports of wild-caught birds will cease.
One case of bird flu and imports are done.
Pressure on airlines from animal rights groups already makes it
almost impossible to fly birds out of Africa.
Some wise man (or woman) once said, "A people who do not know their
history are doomed to repeat it"...or something like that.
If we have not learnt to employ other agricultural techniques to propagate these short-lived birds, we will lose them again (and probably for the final time).
While parent-rearing is a fantastic goal, we must first get
the numbers of domestically reared finches WAY up before really
allowing ourselves to squander eggs or chicks in the effort to develop
parent-rearing strains.
The time to establish these finches is now!
We must look at the various species with organizations that
work with endangered animals (i.e. zoos and species recovery efforts) and
employ every imaginable technique to produce the next generation of offspring and preserve genetic diversity.
Giant pandas are artificially inseminated. Orangutans are pulled from their mothers and human-raised when there is a problem with the natural mother's parenting skills.
California condor eggs are systematically pulled; hatches are human-assisted and chicks are human-raised from day 1.
The goal of these organizations is in the short term, to get the numbers of these species up.
Secondly, every effort is made to keep the genetic diversity of these species by getting offspring from every available individual.
The long-term goal is to see a future where many of these animals remain present.
Perhaps there will be enough natural habitats restored for re-introductions.
However, with the exponential growth of humans and the
concomitant increase in natural resource use/destruction,
the real hope for many species lies in the hands of humans who are
willing to propagate them for the long-haul.
Our situation with finches is very similar to that of zoos.
We have a limited amount of wild- caught birds that have a great deal of genetic diversity.
We have the ability to establish them in captivity if we are willing
to take some exceptional measures to reproduce them.
Once we get offspring that are used to captive conditions and foods,
we have a greater chance of parent rearing.
Life in the cage is normal for them.
A tray of egg food is perfectly acceptable as food for chicks. It is
all that they have ever known, unlike their wild-caught parents or grandparents.
The Europeans (Belgians, Dutch and Germans) provide a good example of the
successful cage breeding of many estrildids.
Europeans tend to cage breed 1 pair per flight, foster the first couple of generations and they have made monumental progress in establishing many species.
We even have these same people to thank for most of the
established Australian species and most certainly their mutations.
It was the Europeans who did the tough work. We just imported them from Holland and Belgium after they were established there.
Have you tried getting birds out of Europe lately?
It is almost impossible.
We must turn to our own abilities if we are to continue growing this hobby.
So I ask many of you who have been content to see clutch after
clutch of  chicks tossed to begin thinking outside of the box.
We must use other techniques, such as fostering, to get our Fl and,F2 generations.
IMPORTS WILL STOP, either tomorrow or sometime down the road. What we do
NOW will determine what types of finches we have in the future. Personally, I want to still have: Western Bluebills, Rosy,
Brown, Green and Dybowski Twinspots. What do you want?

How Can We Recognize Disease or Ill Health in Cage Birds?:By Maurice Smith

There me several problems which must initially be recognized. Firstly
birds are normally very ill by the time they begin to show obvious abnormality. This is perhaps related to  their perching habits.
Because of this, treatment is frequently unsuccessful and one must approach ill health in birds on the basis of preventive medicine rather than treatment  once ill health has occurred.
Even when treatment is considered the stress of handling a sick bird can
frequently kill it. Similarly stress can precipitate cardiac racing syndrome which can kill a bird in 20-30 seconds especially if handled by strangers.
If illness is suspected one should therefore keep noise levels to
a minimum and maintain even environmental conditions.
Illness in birds shows itself in a number of ways which can be grouped in
under several headingsincluding:

  • changes in attitudes

These include listlessness, sleeplessness, reduced activity,
lameness or reduced flying and constant grooming or preening.

  • changes in appearances

abnormal faeces, pasted vent, ruffled feathers, prolonged moulting,
poor feathering, exudation around the eyes and nose or mouth.

  • changes in response

This group includes persistent tail bobbing, wheezing, gasping and laboured breathing.

  • changes in shape and conformation

This may be expressed in loss of weight, overweight, swollen abdomen,
swelling of the crop, skin swellings, thickened legs
and toes and swollen feet.

Many of the medications necessary to treat sick birds can only be obtained
on a veterinary prescription and it is strongly suggested that a commonsense approach to ill health must include a good relationship with your local veterinary surgeon.

Kea Parrots:By J. Paul Stevens

When one thinks of the habitat of parrots, visions of a tropical or
sub-tropical environment often come to mind. However, the Kea Nestor notabilis) is an alpine bird. Keas live in the mountains of New Zealand at elevations of 600 to 2000 m.
In summer they are often found above the tree-line and descend
to lower elevations in winter.
The photo below was taken recently by Caitlin Hubbert,
a Canadian naturalist travelling in New Zealand.
Although Keas feed on a wide variety of foods including: buds, flowers,
roots and seeds, they became known as predators of sheep.
In fact there was even a bounty placed on Keas during the 1940's.
Although Keas have been known to feed on dead carcasses and to kill
animals injured or trapped in snow, they don't deserve the reputation
as a significant predator of sheep.
Being large bodied birds with a very large beak, they are able to accomplish many extraordinary feats.
When I cared for the Keas at Taronga Park Zoo in Australia, it was always interesting each morning to see what they had done overnight excavating and rearranging their aviary;
often moving quite large rocks into their pool.
Taronga Park only had five male Keas since the government would not
allow any females for fear they might escape, breed and threaten
the Australian sheep industry.
Keas are very clever and inquisitive birds. In the wild they often will
come down to investigate hikers.
There are many stories of people leaving their cars parked while they
went off hiking and returning to
find the Kea parrots had ripped chrome strips
off their vehicle.
Keas have been known to gain access to cabins through the
chimney and then cause considerable damage to the
interior of the cabin.
Many parrot species are credited with being smart
and Keas are definitely one of the world's most intelligent birds.

kea parrots
keaparrot-caitlinhubbert keaparrot-paulstevens

Keeping Birds in New Zealand: by J Paul Stevens

As Summer approaches in Southern Ontario, we can again think about
moving indoor birds to outdoor aviaries.
In Mew Zealand the more moderate climate enables aviculturalists to keep
many passerine and psittacine species outdoors throughout the year.

Caitlin Hubbert took the following photos at the aviary of May McKenna in New Zealand.  Where Mrs McKenna lives in Foxton, they don't usually get any snow; however they do get frosts.
May, 82 has been keeping birds for about 20 yrs. The two aviaries shown below are used to house canaries, finches, and Bourke's parrots.
The one aviary is 4'X 8' X 8'tall and the second is 6' X 8' X 8' tall.
In the moderate climate the birds stay outside in the avairies all year long.  
Canaries in May McKenna's aviaries, Foxton, N.Z. Photo-Caitlin Hubbert

A Letter from Louis DeMelo

The letter provides an indication of the sound financial position of the

London & District Cage Bird Association and the Executive will
be providing a more detailed accounting of club finances in the future.

March 2014
Dear Fellow members :
After 20 years of serving this Club as treasurer and Show Manager, I have
decided to resign from these positions.
When I was elected as treasurer in 1994, there was $2300 in the Club's
bank account.
Over the years, Thanks to the support of our members Our bank account
grew.  We were able to purchase a Club trailer($6,000); a copy machine plus many repair costs ($2,000); new show stands($6,000); produced 20 quality shows plus the many expenses that it takes to run a Club
(hal1 rentals, meat for events, toner, paper, stamps, envelopes,
show catalogues, $200 deposit for the show hall, insurance and  many other small expenses).
As Show Manager, I tried to keep the show expenses down but still put on
a nice show.
Our shows were always well organized and well-attended by our
For 35 years I attended and exhibited at most of the bird shows in
and out of our area... at these shows, I always promoted The London Show.
I feel bad about resigning but I can't continue to be on the Executive at this time.
I enjoyed working for The Club, but not any more.
I am resigning with over $15,700 in the Clubs' bank account---
part of this money was in a reserve fund.
I will continue to be a member.  

Editor's Note

Very sad to lose his expertise in bringing these show's together.
I always really enjoyed attending the shows.
Now it will be very interesting to see if the new show manager can live up
to that expertise.
Louis Demelo gave us an amazing dedication that will be very missed by all

Louis :
You were an excellent show manager.
I enjoyed attending, exhibiting, stewarding, secretarying at
at many of them.
The show was the highlight of my year.
A time to see good friends, shoot the breeze and see some of the
most beautiful winged gems I have ever seen.
I hope to see you at the shows and say thanks for all you
have done to make my and countless others' show experiences
something we will not soon forget.
Thanks Heaps LOUIS !!!!
Take care.
See you on the bench

Ron ~:>





January-February 2014

Editor's Desk

The London & District Cage Bird Association has a long history of promoting aviculture and
encouraging the sharing of knowledge and fellowship among its members. I look forward to
working with the members of LDCBA to build the Newsletter and strengthen the club. In any
organization there are many jobs that need to be done to keep it running smoothly and as Editor I
hope that I can be of assistance and service to the club. In many organizations, when individuals
are doing a good job in a particular executive position there is a tendency to leave them in that
position for many years. This has certainly been the approach of the LDCBA. Louis and June
deserve tremendous thanks for their dedicated service and contributions to the club. However,
they now deserve a break and it is time for the rest of us to share the responsibilities of running
the club. Please consider offering to help, even on an occasional basis. Contact our dedicated
President, Mark Tiede (519-657-3065) and offer your assistance.
I have been back in southern Ontario for quite a while now after working at the University of
Saskatchewan. I look forward to meeting more of the LDCBA members and working with
everyone to build a stronger organization. In order to help make the Newsletter an informative
one, we are requesting articles, news, and letters from the membership. Many of you have
tremendous knowledge of birds, aviculture and natural history that you can share with your
fellow bird fanciers. You can contact me by e-mail at paul.stevens@usask.ca or by regular mail
at the address shown below. Please get some of your thoughts on paper so we can share and
enjoy your experiences.
J. Paul Stevens
17988 Thorndale Road,
R.R. 3, Thomdale, Ontario
Tel: 519-461-0348
E-mail : paul.stevens@usask.ca  or somsask@yahoo.com

Using Society Finches as Foster Parents
By: Scott Golden and submitted by Pete Van Erp

When starting with a pair of difficult to breed finches or especially with wild-caught finches, you
should foster the first eggs so that they are not lost if something happens to the original birds.
Many finch breeders feel that fostering is wrong or that birds that have been reared by foster
parents will not rear their own young. This has no scientific basis! None. Zilch. Our failure to use
the strongest tool in our finch-breeding arsenal in the 1990's (FOSTERING) led to the almost
complete disappearance of African finches in the US until the recent imports of 2007-2008
Fostering fertile eggs enables us to get the first generations of domestically bred finches (Fl and
F2) established. These birds only know life in captivity and are MUCH more likely to rear their
own young on the foods you provide. I use exclusively the old-fashioned, American brown and
white society finches for fostering. I have found that the Euro societies, though very pretty, are
vastly inferior when it comes to fostering. Younger societies that have never raised their own
young are ideal for new species. They eventually see the new species as "what their own chicks
look like" and do a fantastic job of raising them.

How to Set Up Societies as Fosters
Note: Societies are really worth their weight in gold. They are extremely dependable as foster
parents for most species of estrildid finches. However, societies may harbor some bacteria or
protozoa to which they are completely immune and the fostered species 'chicks are susceptible. It
may be wise to put your societies on a thorough antibiotic-antifungal-probiotic regimen before
setting them up as fosters. To be very careful against possible chick-killing pathogens, put your
societies on a l0-day cycle of Amphotericin-B. Amphotericin-B is a powerful
anti-protazoa, ameobal /fungal agent. Some Societies harbor something called 'mega-bacteria,'
which, as I understand it, is a misnomer as mega-bacteria isn't even a bacteria. The organism is
actually a powerful and difficult to eradicate yeast. Mega-bacteria causes few problems with
Societies, but many other species of finch, and especially their chicks, have a difficult time with it
and often die upon exposure through feeding by foster parents. As far as I know, the only effective
way to eradicate it is through the use of Amphotericin-B.
Small, divided breeding cages work well for society finches. Wicker baskets or externally
mounted nest boxes (my new favourite) work well. It doesn't matter what sexes your societies are: 2
males, 2 females, trios of males or females, or any combination of the 2 sexes are just fine! Really!
Personally, I prefer 2-3 males as fosters, as it is easier to regulate their incubation.)
Synchronize your societies' incubation to match that of the eggs to be fostered by the use of the
blue plastic canary eggs. Societies do not care about the colour. Put one a day in the societies' nest
until you have a clutch of 5 or so canary eggs. 99Yo of the time, the societies will begin brooding
these fake eggs. If they bury them in nesting material, dig them out and do it again! It works.
Trust me. By the way ...interested in some swamp land in Florida?
When it is obvious the societies are brooding, remove the nest box and fake eggs. Make a small
mark on the eggs to be fostered using a Sharpie marker first in case the societies start to lay their
own clutch, you can remove unmarked eggs). Use a plastic spoon to put the fostered eggs in the
nest ...carefully! Put nest back in the society cage. Societies should begin brooding new eggs
Often, I place a  small utility towel on the bottom of the societies' cage as sometimes societies
accidentally take an egg with them if they quickly exit the nest. If a towel is on the bottom of the
cage, most eggs land, unbroken, and can be placed back in the nest.
On an index card, write the information about the parents of the eggs being fostered (i.e.: species,
which cage if you have more than one pair of that species, and hatch date, generally l4 days from
the start of incubation).

FOSTERING;  Ethics & Opinions

By: Ron Cloutier

I have through the 20+ years I have been breeding read everything there is on fostering but this latest article ( Using Society Finches as Foster Parents By: Scott Golden) is much more antagonistic on parent rearing aviaries then any before.  When it comes to the choice of fostering we have no argument that fostering to establish a species is necessary...However we do feel that "well established breeds" have been exploited through this technique unnecessarily.

Well established species are those that have been established in aviculture since the 19th and early 20th  centuries and are in no danger of shortages in stock.

In my case I breed very well established breeds and have used fostering only when absolutely neccessary ( less than 8% of my stock was fostered last year for example) and hope to decrease that further through selection and time.

Parent rearing aviaries try to breed well established birds to raise their own through selection and a technique called parent rearing.

This is where the chick is left in well after weaning to witness it's parents:

  •         court
  •         couple
  •         lay
  •         brood
  •         feed it's younger siblings from a later clutch ( usually left in a day or so after younger brood hatches).  This strengthens their instincts through experience and makes them much more aware of what is involved in raising young.

This means fostering in these parent reared aviaries of "well established species" is less needed as the parents mostly rear their own.  Which increases the health of the chick as it receives species specific immunities foster bred birds do not have.  This decreases prophylactic antibiotic use in these aviaries to maintain a modicum of these potentially harmful drugs.

Fostered well established species chicks that mingle with parent reared chicks are more likely to die from benign infection that parent reared birds are naturally immune too.

This means keeping the two together can compromise the immunologically challenged foster reared bird.

There are many things wrong with the tone of those that see ethical parent rearing aviaries of established species as anti fostering..full stop.  However:

  •             breeders that parent rear do not admonish all fostering as bad only fostering well established birds where shortages of breeder birds, pet birds, fatality or illness of parent(s) are not an issue.


  •          breeders that parent rear are not concerned with imprinting but high use of prophylactic ( just because) dosing of harsh antibiotics ( Amphotericin B, as suggested by the a fore mentioned  author) which can cause sterility in some birds and is counter productive in creating viable breeder stock to maintain a new unestablished breed.  Over use of medication in small doses also  increases the bacteria / pathogen  resistance to the medication in the long run creating "super bugs" like the ones many hospitals are facing now ( which are resistant to all forms of antibiotics). This practice threatens all stock of well established breeds as once a bacteria / pathogen becomes unstoppable it can kill whole communities of breeder stock in large quantities. Putting all birds at risk not just in a single aviary.

Now as a breeder of 20+ years I do not object to fostering for wholly scientific reasons..there are good reasons to do so..Nor do I object when tragedy befalls the parent(s) of a well established breed and fostering is used to save a chick / clutch. If used properly and ethically it does increase the amount of bird's not removed from the wild to supply the pet trade and it's desire to have the newest avian companion without fully depleting wild stock.  I do not however believe that fostering well established breeds in large numbers is a proper use of this tool. It is used too often and too frequently to increase an individuals stock of  well established breeds without benefit, which increases the amount of prophylactic dosing of harsh antibiotics and more chances of pathogen / bacterial  resistance.    Many outsiders see the contention and antagonism ( as the article above highlights)  of fostering as controversial / unethical and they miss the nuisance and scientific validity in fostering endangered or threatened birds to decrease wild harvesting to feed the pet trade as a result.

Those that foster to establish new breeds should be well trained in:

  • genetics
  • behaviour
  • pharmacology
  • and biology.

It is not for the lay person to undertake unprepared.  Articles that suggest this are irresponsible as they fail to see the benefits of establishing a sustainable colony.  Establishing a  new breed is vital and should be left to those that will do so responsibly.. ethically and with a much better chance at success through a myriad of tools and experience.

Like all tools in aviculture fostering is best utilized when absolutely necessary by those that know how to do so, and when it benefits the entire avian community.  Breeders must realize that our moral / ethical obligation is to provide birds that can be sustainable and protect wild populations.

If we over use fostering then those well established breeds may become too fragile, pathogens immune through excessive use  and more stock birds will be needed from the wild to maintain these staple breeds and our objective of breeding to decrease wild harvesting exploitation may be in vain.

These are my opinions and do not reflect the club or it's executive 

Good News in The Middle East
By: Paul Stevens

In many countries around the world, wildlife populations are under threat. It is encouraging
when we can find hope instead of desperation. The Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation in Qatar has
been successful in breeding many endangered species of wildlife such as the Somali Wild Ass
(Equus africanus somaliensis) and Beira Antelope (Dorcatragus megalotis). Al Wabra is a 2.5
square kilometre private breeding centre in central Qatar, owned by Sheikh Saoud Bin
Mohammed Bin Ali Al Thani. Recently they were able to breed Bulwer's Wattled Pheasant
(Lophura bulweri) from Borneo. In addition to being rare, Bulwer's Wattled Pheasant is very
difficult to breed in captivity.
They are also playing a very significant role in the preservation of Spix's Macaw (Cyanopsitta
spixii) Spix Macaw or Little Blue Macaw from Brazil is considered to be the rarest parrot in the world. It has not been seen in the wild since 2000. Typical of many large parrots, Spix's
Macaws declined in the wild due to habitat destruction and the capture of birds for the pet trade.
There are only approximately 79 Spix's Macaw surviving. All of these birds are in captivity and
Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation has 60 individuals. Although Spix's Macaw is extinct in the
wild, Al Wabra has plans to re-introduce them to their former range. They have purchased the
2400 hectare Concordia farm in Brazil which is within the historic range of Spix's Macaw and
the location of the last known sighting of the species in the wild. Plans are to remove domestic
livestock from the farm and allow the natural vegetation to regenerate. It is hoped that the
Concordia farm will provide a  suitable site for re-introduction into the wild and that a self sustaining
wild population of Spix's Macaw can be established.


Carbohydrates and Nutrition by: J Paul Stevens

In order for life to be maintained, organisms require energy for their metabolism (chemical
reactions in the body). Plants are able to harvest energy from the sun by converting solar energy
into chemical energy in the form of carbohydrates through photosynthesis. Animals of course
can't do this and depend on plants to provide them with energy. Carbohydrates are important
sources of energy for birds and other animals.
Carbohydrates vary greatly in size and structure; however, they are all made from carbon,
hydrogen and oxygen. An important difference from protein is that the amino acids forming
Protein also contain nitrogen. Carbohydrates are structural components of plants but little is
stored in animals. They include sugars, starch, cellulose and gums.
Glucose is a single sugar molecule which is referred to as a monosaccharide. All living cells
contain glucose which is produced by photosynthesis in plants. Plants can convert glucose into
other simple sugars such as fructose and galactose and into larger, more complex carbohydrates.
When two single sugars are linked together, they form a disaccharide. Sucrose (cane sugar) is
formed from one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule. One glucose plus one galactose
forms lactose (milk sugar), found in the milk. Milk is the source of nutrition for young mammals
and young mammals all have the ability to digest lactose, but in older mammals this capacity is
often reduced . Maltose is formed from two glucose molecules and is only1/4 as sweet as sucrose.
Fruits contain a variety of different sugars and in particular they contain a considerable amount
of fructose.
Much larger carbohydrate molecules are referred to as polysaccharides. A very important
polysaccharide for the nutrition of humans as well as many bird species is starch. Starch is
simply many glucose molecules linked together. Plants form starch and store it in seeds as a
source of energy to start the next generation of plants. Starch is also stored in the roots and stems
of many plants to provide an energy reserve for regrowth after a dry season or winter. Starch is
highly digestible because the linkages between the glucose molecules can be easily separated by
enzymes (amylase). Starch is a primary energy source for poultry and many other avian species
such as finches, doves, parrots and pheasants. Carbohydrates such as starch must be broken
down to monosaccharides for absorption. Digestion requires enzymes for splitting complex
carbohydrates into monosaccharides (E.g. sucrase splits sucrose to fructose and glucose). Some
polysaccharides are difficult for birds to digest because they lack the appropriate enzymes for
digestion. Beta glucans are complex polysaccharides found in barley and other cereals. Although
older birds can handle barley in their diet, young chicks consuming barley develop very viscous
intestinal contents because of an inability to digest the beta glucans. In commercial diets,
enzymes are sometimes added to barley based diets to make them more digestible by chicks.
Other complex carbohydrates such as cellulose and hemi-cellulose are important structural
components of plants and commonly found in fibrous feeds that are low in digestibility.
Cellulose is digested fairly well by ruminants such as cattle but very little by monograstics such
as birds. When we grind grains for granivorous birds the complex indigestible polysaccharide
hull is broken up, making the highly digestible starch available for digestion by the bird.
The body uses energy continuously. Therefore animals must store energy for use between meals.
Unlike plants, animals don't store starch in their bodies. Birds and other animals store
carbohydrate as glycogen for the short term. Glycogen is produced in the liver and can easily be
broken down to glucose when energy is required. Glycogen not required in the short term can be
converted to fat. First glycogen reserves are built up, then carbohydrates, fat and any surplus
dietary protein is converted to body fat for long term storage.


2013 Annual SHOW RESULTS

President's Message:
It is with a heavy heart I announce Louis DeMelo has resigned as treasurer. June Munro has also resigned as secretary and ring registrar.
Both Louis and June have worked hard for the club over the last 30+ years. We certainly appreciate all your hard work throughout the years.
Both Louis and June will remain members and I look forward to seeing them at future events. Moving forward Paul Stevens has taken over as editor and will also look after mailing out the newsletter. Thank you Paul !!
I look forward to the outdoor meetings and our annual Buy, Sell & Trade Day. We will have more on these events in the next newsletter.
Hope to see you at the next meeting. Take care.

Mark Tiede

Show Results:



December 2013


Basics of Protein Nutrition
By J. Paul Stevens, ph.D.

Protein is a nutrient essential for the well-being of different species. The importance evident of protein is when we consider the function of protein in the avian body. The roles of protein include:

  • A principle component of organs and soft tissues of the body
  • Important component of membranes and cell organelles
  • Structural proteins of skin, bones, tendons, feathers
  • Enzymes are composed of protein and are catalysts for most chemical reactions in cells
  • Immunoglobulins or antibodies are proteins which provide protection for the body against foreign invaders

Protein Structure
Proteins are composed of amino acids. A distinguishing feature of amino acids is the presence of an amino group (NH2)containing nitrogen Neither carbohydrates nor fat contain nitrogen. This is why a simple analysis for nitrogen can be used when measuring the crude protein content in a diet.
There are tremendous differences in proteins, in part due to the order and amount of different amino acids in a particular protein. Proteins also vary in their level of complexity from a simple chain of amino acids to large coiled and folded molecules or several molecules linked together to  form a complex protein. The composition and shape of proteins affect their properties and function.
Birds have the ability to synthesize some of their amino acids (A.A.) by transferring the carbon skeletons to amino groups (NH2) from existing A.A. However, a very important fact is that some A.A. cannot be synthesized, therefore they must be obtained from food. They are called essential amino acids (E..A.A.)

Protein Digestion
Although birds and other animals obtain protein from their diet, large macromolecules such as protein cannot be absorbed intact through the plasma membrane into the body. They must first digest the protein and then absorb the individual amino acids. The breakdown of proteins is accomplished by enzymes including pepsin in the stomach and trypsin in the small intestine. The free amino acids can then be absorbed through the lining of the small intestine. After absorption the amino acids are resynthesised into proteins. However, the protein formed will not be the same as the proteins in the diet. lnstead they will synthesize proteins specific to their own species' The DNA of the bird programs the synthesis of proteins typical for the species to which it belongs.

The proteins in food items such as muscle are quite easily digested by carnivorous  birds. However some proteins are less available to digestion.  The seed coat makes many seeds resistant to digestion- when granivorous birds grind grain in their ventriculus (gizzard) or we mechanically grind the feed for them, the nutrients including protein are more available to the digestive enzymes. The complex structure of some proteins make them difficult to digest and unsuitable as food ingredients. Processing can sometimes improve availability. For example cooking may improve the digestibility of some proteins such as keratin in feather meal giving them some value in commercial diets.
Some potential feed ingredients have inhibitors that can interfere with protein digestion. Although soybeans are a good source of protein, raw soybeans also have a trypsin inhibitor which lowers digestibility. cooking can-destroy the trypsin inhibitor found in soybeans. soybean meal with the oil removed-and heat treated is very high in protein and a common ingredient in diets for poultry and other avian species.

Protein Requirements
Birds require protein for maintenance, growth and production. The requirements for protein will vary depending on species, age and production levels. Rapidly growing young birds require high levels of good quality protein to build muscle, connective tissue, feathers etc. Protein deficiency is the most common deficiency resulting in reduced growth and production. A protein deficiency can result in a negative nitrogen balance where urinary losses are greater than food  intake.  When dietary intake of protein is inadequate then essential functions are maintained by tissue breakdown, However, excess protein above requirement does not  improve performance. Animals do not store protein. Although not an efficient use of resources, amino acids from excess protein can be converted and used for energy or stored as fat after the excess nitrogen is excreted.
It isn't just the quantity of protein in a bird's diet that is important, but also the protein quality. Protein quality relates to the amino acid composition of dietary protein. A high quality protein is high in essential amino acids. As previously stated, some amino acids can be-synthesized, but essential amino acids-must be provided in the diet. The requirement of a species for essential amino acids reflects their tissue amino acid composition. Id intake of an E.A.A. is below the requirement for a species then protein synthesis will be impaired. Essential amino acids are ranked according to need. when considering dietary effect of protein on birds, there will not be
any response  (ex: growth) until the first limiting amino acid is added to the diet. once the first a.a. is added, no further response is obtained until the second most limiting a.a. is added. sulfur amino acids such as methionine are commonly the first limiting in many birds. Generally animal protein is a better protein than plant protein because it provides a better balance of essential amino acids. Rather than simply increasing the protein level to meet the requirements for individual amino acids it is possible to add limiting a.a, in a synthetic form. Other strategies for improving protein quality include combining ingredients from different sources such as oilseeds with cereals that have different amino acid-compositions. Balanced diets providing good quality protein are important to ensure the well-being and productivity of domestic birds as well as captive wild species.

President's Message:

Let me start by saying I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season !
Here's to an exciting 2014!
As we move into the new year in order to reduce costs we will be changing the frequency of our monthly news letter. It will be published every other month starting in January.

Exciting News Paul Stevens will be giving a presentation on "An invitation to Avian Genetics" at our January meeting.
We will also be making plans for the 2014 meeting locations / presentation topics.
Please plan to attend.
Remember that we would like to increase our meeting attendance and club support so we are looking at having more guest speakers in the coming year.
If you have any sufggestions or ideas plaese get in touch with me.

For those of you who knew Bernie and Rose Van Erp here are the details regarding their church service.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Parkhill, Ont.

Visitation: January 10th 2014 from 5-8 p.m.
Funeral: January 11 2014 11:00 a.m.

Till Next Month


Next Meeting

Wed January 8th at 7:30 p.m.
Wed February 12th at 7:30 p.m.
Place: The Church of The Epiphany
11 Briscoe Street, London  



November 2013

Successful Breeding of the Javan Banded Pitta ( pitta guajana)  by J. Paul Stevens, Ph.D.

Pittas are very colourful passerine birds from south-east Asia, Australia and Africa. Although
their plumage makes them especially attractive, pittas are also distinctive due to their long legs,
plump body and shorl tail. Unlike most passerine or perching birds, they are quite terrestrial.
The bright colouration has stimulated many descriptors such as 'Jeweled thrushes". Interestingly
it is their underside that is most brightly coloured, their upper side has more cryptic colouration
providing camouflage on the forest floor against potential predators from above.
Pittas inhabit rainforests, mangroves and dense secondary scrub woodlands. They forage on the
forest floor where they feed on ground dwelling insects, land snails, worms and even small
lizards. However, not all pittas are entirely carnivorous, there are records of some species also
consuming seeds and other vegetable matter. Birds generally do not have a very good sense of
smell. However, pttas have a very large olfactory system for their size. It has been suggested
that pittas are able to locate prey by smell, thus increasing their chances of success when they
plunge their bill into the litter and soil of the forest floor.
Pittas are quite shy and territorial and normally are found singly or in pairs. Pittas are
monogamous. Both sexes participate in incubation of the eggs for 16 to 18 days and rearing of
the young. They are known for the very distinctive domed nest they build out of grass, leaves
and sticks. The nest is usually located close to the ground, sometimes on stumps or buttresses of
large trees and often covered with moss to disguise it.
It is now generally considered that there are 30 Pitta species in the family Pittidae. The Javan
banded pitta (pitta guajana) is found in Java and Bali. Formerly it was grouped as one species
with the Malaysian banded pitta ( P. irena) and the Bornean banded pitta (P. schwaneri).
Although pittas have been kept in both zoos and private collections they are not often bred in
captivity. They need quite a large aviary due to their territorial nature. They won't tolerate
several individuals in the same aviary. In fact pairs often can only be housed together when in
breeding condition. A conservatory where soft soil can be provided makes suitable
accommodation. Clive Roots observed that they cannot be kept on a hard surface. They develop
cracks on their toes when kept on hard flooring; however, returning the birds to a moist peat soil
will restore the condition of their feet. They do well on a varied diet including insectivorous
food, carnivore mix, hard-boiled egg and live food such as mealworms, grasshoppers and snails.
It was exciting news to hear that the Javan banded pitta has recently been bred at Waddesdon
Manor Aviary in the United Kingdom. Waddesdon Manor Aviary is on the estate established by
Baron Rothschild n 1874. Although the Javan banded pitta has been bred before, this was the
first captive breeding in the UK. At Waddesdon there have been numerous failed breeding
attempts, but a chick hatched in August of 2013 was successfully hand-reared.

They attribute much of the success to feeding a highly digestible, high energy diet and increasing the time
between feedings. Waddesdon alternates between attempts by the parent birds and the bird
keepers to rear the chicks. Their goal is to have the parents rear the chicks. Every successful
breeding provides an increased understanding of their requirements and is a step towards the
establishment of a self-sustaining captive population.
The wild populations of the Javan Banded pitta and other species in south-east Asia are declining
due to habitat destruction and to some extent hunting for food and for the cage bird trade. There
is a need for the establishment of more wildlife preserves to secure pitta habitat and protect them
ilom conllicts with the increasing human population in the region.
. Cage & Aviary Birds, 2013.Issue 5774 , page 4.
. Camfield, A. 2004. "Pittidae". animaldiversity.unmz.umich.edu.
. Campbell, B., E. Lack. 1985. A Dictionary of Birds. T & A D Poyser Ltd., Staffordshire,
. Howard, R., A.Moore. 1984. A Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World.
Macmillan, London, UK.
. Robson, C. 2005. Birds of Southeast Asia. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
. Roots, C. 1970. Softbilled Birds. Arco Publishing Ltd., New York.
. Waddesdon Manor 2013. www.waddesdon.org.uk
. Woolham "F . 1974. Aviary Birds in Color. Pitman Publishing , New York.






 President's Message:

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season-
As our new year approaches l am looking forward to working with everyone involved
with our club.
Looking ahead, Paul Stevens will be speaking at our January meeting about "An
Introduction about Avian Genetics". You won't want to miss this meeting! ln an effort to
increase our meeting attendance and ciub support, we would like to have more guest
speakers attend. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please get in touch with me.
Till next month
Mark Tiede - President


October 2013

An Introduction to Nutrition  by J. Paul Stevens, Ph.D.

One of the most important factors for the well-being of birds and other animals is nutrition.
There are many aspects to consider regarding avian nutrition and certainly malnutrition is a
major factor responsible for the inadequate performance and death of many species in captivity.
Although the dietary requirements of birds vary greatly, all avian species like mammals require
the same basic components from their food. Later we can discuss specific requirements;
however, first I thought it useful to review the general principles of nutition. Basically nutrition
is the way an animal provides its cells with the chemicals needed for the metabolic reactions
necessary for growth, maintenance, work, production and reproduction. A nutrient is a dietary
component essential for one or more species of animals. Nutrients consist of the following
categories: protein, carbohydrates, lipids, minerals, vitamins and water.
Not all animals require the same nutrients. Species vary in their ability to synthesize compounds
necessary for their metabolism. Ruminant animals such as cattle with their multiple chambered
stomachs are able synthesize some nutrients like vitamins and proteins, whereas monogastrics
such as birds and humans with a single stomach require many of these nutrients to be supplied in
their diet. When we provide food to an animal, it is necessary to supply nutrients in the food both
as precursors for compounds that the animal can synthesize and also in ready to use form for
compounds the animal is incapable of synthesizing. Nutrients that animais can't synthesize are
called essential nutrients.
Nutrients have a variety of purposes in the animal body.
Functions of Nutrients:
1. Structural material for building and maintaining the body such as muscle; cell membranes;
connective tissue; bone.
2. Regulation of body processes such as cellular metabolism, fluid balance, cofactors & erzyme
3. As a source of energy for production, work or fat deposition.
Energy is the major nutritional need. An important principle to remember is that animals eat to
satisfy their need for energy. At least 80% of total feed intake of most animals consists of
sources of energy. The components of food that provide energy are fats, carbohydrates and
proteins. Fat is especially valuable as an energy source since it provides twice as much energy as
the same weight of carbohydrates or protein.

The body uses energy continuously; therefore animals must store energy for use between meals.
To enable a continuous supply of energy, carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in the liver and
muscle short term. Once sufficient glycogen has been stored to meet short term needs, then extra
carbohydrates, fat and protein are converted to body fat for long term requirements. When an
animal requires energy, it first uses the stored glycogen and then fat. If starvation continues after
using fat stores then the body uses its own protein for energy.
Usually protein represents a smaller portion of the diet than sources of energy. The protein
requirement varles with species, stage of growth and type of production and is usually less than
20%. The requirement for minerais is usually only 3 to 4 % including, calcium phosphorus, salt
and trace minerals. Vitamins are only required in trace amounts and represent less than 1% of the
Nutrient requirements and the manner that different species obtain their nutrition vary greatly. In
future articles we can examine requirements for specific nutrients and the types of diets used to
meet the needs of different species.

The American Singer Canary  by Darren Walker

The American Singer Canary is hailed by many to be the best canary bird to be kept as a pets.


Because they are bred not only to be great singers but to have an awesome appearance too.

A cross between the Border Canary (Type Canary) and a German Roller (Song Canary) created the...

American Singer Canary.

The plan was to create a canary that is 2/3 Roller and 1/3 Border--The Roller being a well respected singer from Germany and the Border a beautiful Type canary from Great Britain.

The idea was to create an American canary that was BOTH considered pleasing to the eye as well as the ear. These canaries use both rolled and chopped notes giving them a reputation for a WIDE variety of song. The breed was dreamed up in the 1930's by group of women who became known as...

"The Eight Boston Housewives"

These women began and organized the breeding program for the American Singer Canary.  Known as the "North American" canary, eventually a club formed and their creation became the most widely spread canaries in America...AND the only popular canary developed in America.

Most "common" or "kitchen" canaries in the USA are descendants of the American Singer and are often called "American Singer" by mistake. A true American Singer will have a leg band noting that it is a pure-bred American Singer.

The American Singer is hardy and strong making it a good choice for a beginner keeping canaries and he is easy to breed. This canary comes in a variety of...


  •     green
  •     buff
  •     yellow
  •     white
  •     "blue" (slate grey)
  •     orange
  •     bronze
  •     brown
  •     fawn
  •     or variegated.

But a true registered American Singer may not be color fed or crested if it is going

to be entered in a show. However, you can certainly color feed your pet home canary bird.

The American Singer Canaries are of the few canary's that are judged BOTH for appearance and song. They are of average size...about 5 3/4 inches long.

Blue Variegated American Singer
Photo copyright © 1998 by James Tirado. All rights reserved.


President's Message:
I would like to start off by saying thanks to all who came out and supported our show.

It was very much a success! It was nice to see so many bird entries.
Thanks to Maria De Melo for looking after the kitchen and Imelda Bezzinafor looking
after the snack bar-

Thanks also go to everyone who donated salads and drinks or helped
set up or take down the staging.

Brenda Smart, June Munro and Dave Howorth did a
great job collecting entry fees, selling raffle tickets and door admissions.

Last but not
least, I would like to thank our show manager Louis De Melo your dedication and hard
work organizingthe show was very much appreciated.
Till next month
Mark Tiede - President



September 2013

Reintroduction of Scarlet Macaws to Mexico - J. Paul Stevens

The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) has the widest distribution of species in the genus Ara. Its
range is from southern Mexico, through Central America to South America. In South America it
is widespread from Peru to Colombi4 Brazil and Trinidad. Scarlet Macaws are considered by the
IUCN as being a species of "Least Concern" due to its wide range in South America.
unfortunately, the Scarlet Macaw's habitat has become fragmented through much of its range
in Central America due to deforestation. In southern Mexico the Scarlet Macaw has almost
totally disappeared. In his monograph on the Parrots of the World, Joseph Forshaw (1973) tells
of the Scarlet Macaw being quite common in low humid forests of southern Mexico earlier in the
century. However, they have disappeared due to over-collection for the pet hade and habitat
destruction. CITES has listed the Scarlet Macaw on Appendix I in order to discourage the
illegal capture and transport for the pet trade. The population in southern Mexico has been
described as a separate subspecies (A. macao cyanoptera) endemic to Mexico. This new
subspecies differs in having yellow wing covert feathers tipped with blue, but with no green band
separating the yellow from the blue. This race is also larger than South American birds.
In April of 2013, 17 Scarlet Macaws were released into the jungle near Palenque National park
in Chiapas, Mexico. This reintroduction programme was undertaken through the collaboration
of the University of Mexico, Aluxes Ecopark and the Mexican Environment Agency. The
release of the 17 birds was the first of three planned annual releases. The goal is to have a
population of 250 birds living in the habitat where they were formerly found. The timing was
considered to be appropriate to attempt a reintroduction in the area due to forest restoration
projects, protection of Palenque National Park, public awareness and a reduction in the trade in
wild birds.
Captive raised birds were assessed to ensure that they genetically represented the subspecies
from the region and were in good health prior to release. Further releases of 10 to 12 birds will
be made until about 60 or 70 birds have been released for the year. Further releases are intended
for two more years. In order to ensure a successful reintroduction, the birds need to be taught
how to survive in the wild. They started by housing the macaws in groups to encourage them to
form flocks. Also they need to be taught to recognize wild foods. One of the difficult aspects of
reintroducing any species is training them to recognize and avoid predators.
The macaws will be housed in aviaries in the habitat during the adaptation period prior to release
(see photo below). Following release, the macaws will be given food to supplement their diets as
they adapt to foraging for wild food. The idea is that once the first birds have adapted to life in
the wild, they will be able to teach other newly released birds how to find food and avoid
predators. To encourage nesting, artificial nest boxes will be erected in the area.
Fragmentation of populations of Scarlet Macaws due to habitat destruction is an additional threat
to long term sustainability of the species. Researchers have suggested establishing habitat
corridors to reconnect the remnant populations with the introduced macaws, thus increasing the
exchange of genes within the population and ensuring long term survivability. There have also been successful reintroductions of Scarlet Macaws into Costa Rica. Aviculturists and avicultural
organizations can contribute to the long term survivability of the Macaw species through captive
breeding of pure bred birds, education of the public about these magnificent birds and supporting
programmes to preserve their habitat in the wild.


From the Members

President's Message:

It was nice to see so many young faces at our meeting in August!!
Our 61tt annual show is fast approaching as we contir.rue to finalize plans. We will be
setting up for the show Friday afternoon, October 1lth at 2pm. Volunteers are needed to
help assemble the staging. The new show stands take very little time to set up, if you can
assist, please give me a call.
I would like to thank Paul Stevens for his article on Gouldian finches. I have included a
copy, please take some time to read this interesting article. Thanks paul!
Till next month
Mark Tiede


August 2013

 Saving the Gouldian Finch - J. paul Stevens

The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) is one of the most beautiful and popular cage
birds. Unfortunately the Gouldian finch is extremely endangered in the wild. In the recent
past there were thousands of these birds from Western Australia to Queensland.
However, individuals are now mostly restricted to small, isolated populations in the
Northern Territory and Western Australia. Dr. Sarah Pryke from Macquarie University
in Sydney has been studying the Gouldian finch for the past 30 years in an effort to
determine the reasons for the decline of the wild population. ln order to develop
management plans to help the species, it is important to gather information on population
numbers and breeding success. Determining the number of birds living in remote regions
is often a difficult task. However, through the "save the Gouldian Fund,,, people have
been volunteering each year to participate in a count of Gouldian finches near Wyndham
in Western Australia. A conservation research centre has been established in Wyndham,
the northern-most town in Western Australia for the study of wild Gouldian finches. ln
addition over 1000 aviary bred birds are housed in a captive research facility in eastern
Australia. These birds will soon be moved to a new high-tech facility under construction
in Canberra.
Through the annual census, the numbers of Gouldian finches have been monitored in the
northern part of Western Australia. Banding programmes along with the census have
helped to track birds. However, a surprising result of the census has been the lack of adult
and banded birds and presence of juvenile birds. The census has raised many questions
about whether the banded birds have died or dispersed to other regions. In an effort to
answer these questions the research has been expanded to a wider area, however, this
makes the use of volunteers to manually census the birds impractical. September 2013
will be the final census conducted with volunteers. Instead Dr. Pryke and the ..Save the
Gouldian Fund" are taking a technological approach to the census. Finches will be fitted
with tiny sensors in order to remotely track their movements. It should be possible to
determine the distances travelled by individuals, where they go and to also learn about
their survival.
Recent research indicates that an important factor in population dynamics is habitat
change- Historically in the natural environment the fires were mainly low intensity, early
season grass fires which didn't affect the Eucalyptus trees. Trees were able to age and
eventually form cavities. However, the increase in pastures has resulted in more high
intensity, late season fires that often destroy trees. Eucalyptus tree cavities are essential
for nesting since Gouldian finches do not build their own nests and rely on tree cavities.
There is competition for the limited nesting sites among Gouldian finches and with other
species such as the Long-tailed Finch (Poephila acuticauda). Since it will take many
decades to grow trees large enough to produce cavities, the problem has been dealt with by building artificial nest boxes. A natural hollow log is attached to an artificial nest box
and hung in trees to increase the number of available nest sites. So far they have erected
over 2000 nest boxes. The aim is to make nesting sites available throughout the range. So
far the results of the artificial nest box programme have been extraordinary. The number
of breeding pairs has increased and the number of offspring produced per pair has often
doubled. As aviculturists we enjoy the pleasure of keeping this beautiful species in
captivity. How can you help with the conservation of Gouldian finches in the wild? A
simple way to assist is that we can provide funds as individuals or organizations to help
build more artificial nest boxes. contact www.savethegouldian.org




From the Members


President's Message:
Terry Van Erp announced that Bernie and Rose sold the farm and are moving to a 700
acre ranch near Orillia. They will still remain members of the club but will no longer be
able to participate at club functions as they have in the past. Bernie and Rose have been
very active members of the club for over 50 years; Bernie as president for many years
and Rose as band secretary for as long as I can remember. They have been great
supporters of the club, participating at meetings, shows and hosting our annual buy sell &
trade held every June. Thank you for your hard work and dedication You will fefinitely
be missed.
In addition, Terry announced that he and his wife Barb will also be heading to Orillia.
Terry held the vice president's position for the past several years. With Barb's help, he
has been producing the rnonthly new letter. Thank you both for your contributions to the
club. We will miss your quite nature Terry!! (ha ha)
Bernie, Rose, Terry and Barb, on behalf of the club we wish you all the best on yogr new
adventure. Keep in touch!
Mark Tiede



December 2012

 Ethoxyquin  by Terry Van Erp

 Remember this name  Ethoxyquin is a food preservative put in many of our pet's foods.
I have seen it in bird seed, dog food, and fish food.  Some of our most popular brands have it
included in their list of ingredients.  Before I learnt about it I had many if my fish die.

Then I learnt about this, ethoxyquin ; looked on the fish food label, and there it was.
I stopped using it and my fish stopped dying.  I then started researching this more,

and was surprised how few people knew of this, ethoxyquin.
I talked to one vet  who knew nothing about it until I told her.  
I met a  man who lost  both of his doves and informed me that he suspected cancer

was the cause.
Then I asked about his feed , sure enough it was in the food given to his doves.
He told his vet about ethoxyquin, as before his vet never heard of ethoxyquin.
Another person lost a dove again to cancer, when the vet opened it up
he noted that it was so bad that the blood vessels were fused together.
Again the feed contained ethoxyquin.

If you love your pets whatever animal it be: bird, dog, etc then please read the ingredients on
the package before you buy the product. It can save their lives.
I had spoken to a vet who had done research on this. She saif it was so bad it turned the
workers skin chalk white.  

Ethoxyquin is also used in pesticides.

I do not know about you but I do not want any of my pets eating something like ethoxyquin.
I have had some people say " oh it is not enough in the product to hurt your pets"
Friends; if there is any of it in my pet's food it is enough to hurt.

You can read more on ethoxyquin here




From the Members

A belated happy anniversary to the Bezzinas, The DeMelos : )

Charles and Imelda Bezzina have been married 56 years !!!

Luis and Maria enjoyed their 46th anniversary not long ago.

Congratulations!! We all wish both families ,any more years of happiness.

Keep up the good work !!

Mark Tiede's daughter ; Emma, had some extra excitement over the holidays ...

Thanks to her "carpenter" dad they all had the pleasure of meeting

Champion Canadian Figure Skaters Terese Virtue and Scott Moire

Though they train and live in Michigan, both have a permanent residence in

London Ont.  On a visit home for the holidays the pair took time out to meet with

an up and coming young figure skater. It is something Emma will never forget.

I hope she got an autograph ' )

-UPDATE:  Marrianne Schrum ( of Kitchener) is now back home after a  life threatening

surgery. She spent 3 months in hospital ( sadly most of it was intensive care).

Marrianne is still weak but slowly recovering with support from her daughters and their

families.  We all wish her well and look forward to seeing her as soon as possible.

As most know Charles Bezzina suffered a stroke , spent time in hospital, and then

went to Parkwood for rehab ..Luckily the stroke was mild .  He is now recovering at home.

We all are thinking of you and cannot wait to see you at some upcoming meeting

I know you are being excellently cared for by your loving wife Imelda, family, and loved ones.


Bernie is doing much better.  He is now walking with a  cane  and his vision is much better.

When Terry visted with him shortly after Bernie's stroke , Terry felt things did not look promising

he was amazed at how quickly he is seeming to bounce back.  Bernie accomplished this with the

loving support and care of his family and friends. Bernie, You area  fighter!!

Keep up the good fight.  As Terry notes "You can't keep a good man down"

We all wish you the best.

I particularly wish to see that great mentor I looked up too

back on his game real soon ... God's Blessings

Sorry for lapse in newsletters... these will be updated as soon as is possible  


November 2012


Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

-Soft or thin shelled eggs, eggs with a chalky texture are also included

-Egg binding: bones fail to provide enough calcium for the egg , when the nerves run

low on calcium they stop working properly

-Poor nerve and muscle function, your bird cannot fly well, it's wings droop and the legs are apart 

-Fear : bird can start biting,  can becone quite aggressive and can self mutilate

-Poor Co-Ordination: Flying and perching is quite difficult. It is common for the bird to fall off the perch

in the middle of  the night; caused by, the birds inability to grip properly.

These birds have trouble landing and in extreme cases can lead to "fits" which are often incorrectly

diagnosed as epilepsy, or stroke. 

Parrots often clench the claws when in one of these "fits"

Canaries and Finches often land up on their backs and twirl

Budgies simply have trouble getting off the ground.

Lack of Vitality: The bird may be too tired and simply roost way too long , and may not when

suffering calcium deficiency exhibit any of these signs.

If your bird(s) exhibits these signs try giving them a calcium supplement and see if this improves them.

If it does seem to be helping, continue until their calcium stores are re-stocked in the avians body and \

it is back to it's normal behaviours.

Keep plenty of calcium available to the birds to prevent this.


Product Recall 

There has been a voluntary recall of two lots of zupreem  Medium /Large  Fruitblend with Natural Fruit Flavours and Maintenance Blend because of elevated levels of calcium. 

Recalled products are identified by the following:

-use by 11/30/13 and best  by 11/13

-only ML and L sized food

-lot numbers: 598405052 and 598405072

If you have these products please dispose of any remaining food and return the package to the store

where it was purchased for replacement or refund. 

Consuming highly elevated levels of calcium can make birds ill and in some cases cause death.


Symptoms of over calcification include:


-decreased activity level or appetite

-increase in water consumption

-loose of watery droppings 

If your bird exhibits any of these symptoms and is being fed the recalled product contact

your vet immediately.



From the Members


Elections were held and  here are the results

May I present your 2013 Executive:

President: Mark Tiede  ( returning) 

1st Vice President: Terry Van Erp   ( returning) 

2nd Vice President: George Smallman  ( new post)

Treasurer: Louis De Melo   ( returning) 

Recording Secretary: June Munro   ( returning)

Ring Secretary: Rose Van Erp   ( returning) 

Show Manager:   Louis DeMelo  ( returning)

Assistant Show Manager:  Joe Mendonea

Show Catalogue :  open

Bulletin Editor: Terry Van Erp   ( returning) 

Membership Secretary: George Smallman

Social Convener: Brenda Smart

Directors (4): Stephen Mycock, Rae Smart, Bernie Van Erp, Frank Jambaz

 Webmaster: Ron Cloutier

Congratulations All !!!


 October 2012



Bird Talk Magazine has ceased publication as of Sept 2012. The "Bird Talk" has been on the shelf for

30 yrs-at one point , it was seen as the bird keepers bible.

They will now continue to publish on the internet at www.birdchannel.com and an annual magazine called

Birds U.S.A.


From the Members


-oops we goofed Bonnie Wright's ad in the show catalogue.. "Nikko Bird Supplies" has the wrong

phone number it should have been : 519-494-4148...sorry  : # (


Bird Bazaar was a proud supportor of  this years show.  Thank You

September 2012



2012 October Show

We need someone to collect bird entry money and I think this year it will be Dave Haworth...Thanks Dave !!!

We also need secretaries for Budgies,  Type Canaries, Red Factor Canaries, & Foreign Birds

Charlie and his wife are going to look after the snack booth.  Maria Demelo is going to be looking after the meal. 

Any member willing to make:  salad, dessert or bring pop would be deeply appreciated.

If all members who can, do bring something this would really help out the club.

Concession and Hall Fees


Meal is $7 , Pop and drinks $1  Admission to public : $2


Dinner for Saturday night will once again be held at the Fireside Restaurant. 


Sunday  Door will be looked after by Dave Haworth.  Clean up crew needed. Please help if you can so we can get done as quickly as possible.

A Cry For Help

Anybody willing to donate items for the raffle table would be greatly appreciated.  As you know the raffle usually makes or breaks a show so please give generously. 

Show Cancellations

Following Shows are cancelled:

-CAOM : Montreal Cage Bird Show

-OBFS: Ottawa Bird Fancirs Society

-CFSS: Canadian Finch and Softbill Society