A Convention to Remember


Our bags. are unpacked, the souvenirs are put away, Proceedings are getting dog-earred, aviary routines get back to normal and, for some of us, the SlimFast is chilling in the fridge. Yet the sights and sounds of the 25th AF A Convention still replay and resonate in our minds. We met old friends and made new ones as we were treated to a feast of information and discussion.

The Adams-Mark Hotel was a real treat. An upscale hotel on Denver's 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, it was close to everything a visitor to Denver could want. Restaurants and sidewalk cafes beckoned us to sample fare from around the world, or sit out on balmy evenings and talk birds, or simply watch the world go by. The convention area was airy and spacious, with plenty of room to gather in small groups and chit-chat.

The Convention opened with the House of Delegates meeting on Wednesday morning. Newly-elected AFA President Bob Berry delivered quite a pep talk after business was conducted. By-law changes, primarily of the housekeeping-and-clarity type, were voted on, after which the Delegates heard and approved two proposals. One realigned boundaries in the north central, east, and south central regions to even out the number

)f affiliated clubs being served by the ·egional directors. The north central ·egion, which included only four affiliited clubs, was added to by placing <ansas and Wisconsin in that region. vlr. Berry also showed trends in price ncreases for various AF A services and :\iscovered that club affiliation fees had :10t risen since AFA began in 1974. He asked for a moderate increase in fees and the House of Delegates agreed.

Wednesday afternoon convention attendees toured the Denver Zoo and had a bountiful picnic lunch at the Zoo. Members of the Bird World staff conducted tours into the area, but were upstaged by a pair of romantic rhinos along the way. Nevertheless, they recovered and proceeded to conduct some fascinating tours.

Avian veterinarians Ors. Speer, Dalhausen, and Styles gave us their unique looks at flock management, avian disease, and what a trip to the vet should be about. Natasha Shischakin from the Houston Zoo updated us on plans for the Spix's Macaw, and we were treated to information on recovery for the Socorro Parakeet, the Ultramarine Lory, and Sri Lankan species. Mike Perrin from South Africa covered Ruppell's and Cape Parrots, and speakers from the UK shared the European view of pellets and what constitutes quality avi-


culture. Dr. Alicia Mcwatters was there sharing her thoughts on avian nutrition. Steve Martin spoke, and provoked us into a reality check of our beliefs about avian behavior. Barry Wold updated us on legislative issues.

The exhibit area was crowded with wonderful things for our birds and their well-being. Incubators, cages, feed, toys, manzanita play stands, artwork, holistic medicines, and the AF A booth kept attendees ogling their way through the area. The AF A booth was busy with sales of 25th Anniversary t-shirts (terrific), the new CITES Black Palm Cockatoo pin (gorgeous'), and slices of cheddar cheese brought from Cheddar, England by speaker Daniel Shearing. Notable exhibitors included Gamini Ratnavira's art, everything imaginable to care for your bird at The Birdbrain, a gentleman selling finches and softbills (including blue dacnis, a breathtakingly beautiful little bird), and the raffle, where outstanding bargains were to be had .... if you were a winner! A number of specialty organizations were there sharing information about their species and their societies.

Casino Night was lots of fun as attendees boarded buses for the mountain town of Central City and enjoyed a prime rib dinner upon their arrival. After dinner, folks tried their luck at limited stakes gambling and slots, or roamed about this historical and restored Colorado mining center.

Folks showed up at the Friday night reception buzzing about what they had heard in specialty meetings. The African Parrot Society featured Mike Perrin and the Amazona Society featured Jan Beatrous on bird theft and prevention, to mention but two of the interesting programs provided. The reception, hosted by the Rocky Mountain Society of Aviculture, was held in an airy widowed and mirrored room with understated but effective avian decorations, a cash bar and a munchie buffet designed to please nibblers and the truly hungry alike. Conversation was lively and enjoyable.

The awards banquet featured a preparty hosted by Hagen, a silent auction, and an outstanding menu.