President’s Message


I have several points I wanted to touch on, in this issue of the AF A's Watchbird magazine.

First: What a Year, 2008 was Great! Now 2009 will be mighty fine! Look around us, it's not too bad!

Second: I went over to California around Thanksgiving time last year. The 91 Freeway had just opened and the 57 was still closed, both because of fires. The fires had come right up to the freeway's edge leaving charred and smoldering remains of brush and trees in

its wake. I started reflecting on the disasters of the year as I was calling Fred Smith, the AF A's Director of Disaster Relief to report to him and hear the updates. 2008 was a reasonably "Good" year (if you can set a good to bad scale) for devastating natural disasters, i.e.: Hoods, fires, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc ... We have been very fortunate this past year; let us all hope and pray for the same in 2009. That would be a mighty fine thing.

Third: We as a board and an organization have been supporting and attentive to the work ofTexas A&M's research team, headed by Dr. Ian Tizard. Texas A&M has been reciprocal in their support of AFA and we were very excited to announce their breakthroughs in developing a stable, consistent identification, live bird test for Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD), formerly known as "Macaw Wasting Disease". Their research will only contribute more and more support to aviculture in the future and that's might fine as well.

Fourth: The Watchbird magazine is, and has been for many years (over 30), a premier publication containing wonderful and informative articles laced with beautiful photographs. What a treasure trove of information is contained in a complete collection of Watchbird magazines. We, as a board of directors, had the same thought! We need to make this information more readily available by moving into the 21st century-Digitized articles! So, as a board of directors we have been digitally converting the Watchbird magazines. This means that eventually this treasure chest of knowledge and information will be accessible to our membership via the Internet. Wait and keep watching, this project should also be mighty fine in 2009!

Fifth: We have just been informed that AFA has been approved and is being accredited to offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Veterinarians, Vet Techs and others requiring updates or annual certification of their professional licensing and or status. This is going to apply to not only our premier online course "The Fundamentals of Aviculture, level I" but also to the AF A's annual convention with its usual slate of outstanding professionals and informative speakers. What an incredible opportunity for the AFA to assist the professionals who assist us with our birds' health and wellbeing. The education committee...