Are there more joyous creatures on the planet than birds? Listen in the early morning when all is quiet and the sun starts to rise. The nighttime sounds fade away and the day is started with the boisterous songs and calls of the winged wonders of the sky, cheering the end of the night and celebrating the beginning of the new day!
In our aviaries and in our homes the birds still celebrate the new day, another opportunity to face the challenges of life and renew the relationships of yesterday. Aviculturists discover new reasons to celebrate every day with their birds. A pair of birds form a bond, an egg is found in the nest and new life begins. The egg is checked and watched and one day that new life emerges. There is another life to add to the morning celebration, another life to add to the future gene pool to prevent the extinction of the species.
Birds are unique among the creatures of the world in many ways. Their adaptability to new situations allows them to continue their celebration of life even as their habitats are disappearing. Many species have found their way into our aviaries and into our homes. Some retain more of their natural behaviors and thrive in large aviaries with good care. Others have adapted to life in the living room and have become a part of the family. There are many others that are still in their ever-changing natural habitats, adapting as the world around them transforms.
The birds in the living room and the birds in the garden have different challenges and make different adaptations. They celebrate with their owners the joy of sharing their lives and their homes. The interactions between family and flock, the special foods, the opportunities to learn every day for both the feathered and human members of the household are reasons to celebrate the day.
Recently there has been a trend to attribute some less than desirable characteristics to birds. Some believe that the joyful morning calls are more like the crying of an unhappy child. They see depression where there is calmness; they see nervousness where there is energetic play. Often these people seek to stop the keeping of birds in captivity. Their lack of understanding about the body language of birds leads them to treat birds with pity and sadness. Birds everywhere should be celebrated for their lives, for their nature, for their intelligence, for their uniqueness, for being birds!
Celebrate comes from the Latin word celebrare - to frequent, go in great numbers, or to honor. The convention in St. Louis will be such a celebration, a gathering of great numbers of people who want to honor birds in many ways. Some will educate, some will learn, many will do both. Discussions among the experienced aviculturists and those new to aviculture will center on birds and their past, present and future.