I just received the July/ August Watchhird and would like to proffer some points of clarification regarding items found therein.
The article by Rae Anderson was very interesting. However, there was one point, prohahly inconsequential, which could he clarified. I helieve the journal of the Avicultural Society has always heen Avicultural Magazine whilst that of the Avicultural Society of America was originally entitled Aviculture. There was some sort of liaison hetween the two hodies many years ago although I do not know all the details. There was also collaboration hetween the Avicultural Magazine and L 'Oiseau in producing a work entitled "Aviculture."
Turning to the correspondence concerning Caiques, I can concur with Fran Gonzalez regarding the so-called Limethighed Caiques, in that Foreign Birds here in the UK published an Anglicized version of her paper given in New Orleans in 1995. In that, the passage is reproduced as quoted except that the word "offshoot" is used instead of hyhrid. However, the meaning of that passage is totally unamhiguous and the production of Lime-thighed Caiques is not condoned.
I suppose the foregoing could be construed as the pedantic ramblings of a hypercritical Englishman. So he it. Then I looked across the page to the letter from Ms. Heere.
Dear me, Ms. Heere1 It certainly is pleasing to know that I and many thousands of my compatriots have suddenly heen elevated in stature. Does this mean a Peerage for all hird keepers' I hope so, hut only if we all suddenly have the wherewithal to go with it. I was never aware hefore that aviculture is solely the preserve of the rich. As in all things, a person with greater financial means can afford more expensive chattels. That does not mean that a rich person is necessarily a hetter aviculturist than one with more modest means. Why, even our ex-prime minister, Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher and her socialistic government would agree with that. But then again, I suspect that even Ghengis Khan was a hit of a softy according to Ms. Heere.
Regarding the comments directed at Rosemary Low and John Stoodley, let me make it clear that I don't agree with everything they say-and indeed why should I? Neither am I on anything other than passing terms with them hath. In
the case of Mr. Stoodley, my only conversation with him was in passing at the AFA convention in New Orleans in 1995, while my only meeting with Miss Low was nearly 30 years ago. I doubt either remembers me. That being said, surely the accumulated avicultural experience of nearly a century (and with results to back that up) can hardly be dismissed as a means of "bashing U.S. bird breeders."
It may well be, that by listening to and digesting what they have to say, Ms. Heere may just realize that there is a connection with what they say and the tale of the goose that laid the golden eggs. I believe that neither Miss Low nor Mr. Stoodley would ever wish people to stop selling birds. Indeed, what they preach can lead to birds being sold not only by this generation but by our children and our children's children. What will ever he the long term good of birds that for generations have been propagated with regard only to the numbers produced rather than to the "quality" of those birds and the quality of the life they enjoy.
I can imagine the scenario in Monmouth, Oregon (my apologies now to those good people) whereby human babies are taken from their parents as they are horn and taken to a communal feeding station where they are fed perfectly nutritious formula.This formula, because of its added nutrients, allows these babies to grow faster and better and to reach puberty at a much earlier age than other children. Of course this gives them a much shorter time to do the things that children do but then again, they have an important job to do. That's right-to produce children continuously from the onset of puberty until the menopause. As soon as one baby is born then another one is conceived. There is no need for parental bonding nor parental care on the part of these parents because all these babies, too, would be taken away immediately to the communal feeding station. At the end of a productive lifetime each mother is sent off to another community as being "Proven."
Finally, there is one suggestion submitted by Ms. Heere which would certainly meet with my approval-that being to move the AFA offices (including officers?) to Europe. We can certainly do with as many hard working, devoted aviculturists as we can get over here'
Daniel Shearing Cheddar, Somerset United Kingdom