Battle of the Birds: The 2018 National Bird Show

Battle of the Birds: The 2018 National Bird Show

Bird breeders may seem like wholesome, solitary souls but the truth comes out at the National Bird Show. Are you ready to see the feathers fly at Timaru’s Caroline Bay Hall on the 28th – 29th of July?

There’s a lot that goes into a beautiful bird, says the president of the New Zealand Federation of Bird Clubs Steve Parry, “husbandry, diet, care and grooming are all important.” But all the effort can be for nothing, he observes.

“The birds are only in the exhibition cage for a very short time but they need to cope with the pressure here. You can have an incredibly beautiful bird that simply doesn’t show well.”

That explains the range of emotions on display on the big day – both within and outside the cage.

Dave Nicholson’s Best Foreign Finch, 2017Dave Nicholson’s Best Foreign Finch, 2017
“Despite thinking you’ve got the best you go along and get knocked off your perch,” says Parry. “Everyone’s only human with their reactions – we’re no different than other competitive events.”

The New Zealand Federation of Bird Clubs was formed in 1932, and sets the rules for the showing and judging of birds around the country. Federation president Steve Parry states that, despite the national show having between 1200 and 1400 birds, there are plenty of opportunities to stand out.

The hobby is obviously great for the recently retired and those with time on their hands but there are still younger entrants coming through the ranks.

“Anyone can exhibit – there are novice and champion categories and, while it varies around the country, we’re seeing a lot of younger people joining up now,” says Parry. “Sure, the national (bird show) can be won by anyone. But only those with experience will consistently do well.”

Topflite has sponsored various regional shows and the national event for 18 years. We see the support is an opportunity to give back to the community. After all, bird breeders were our first customers and were the foundation for our business when we first started growing seed back in 1974.

The national event is the pinnacle of success in the world of bird clubs. However it is costly to run and requires a lot of effort from volunteers.

Some regional shows have struggled recently to find the numbers and had to close. This makes the national show all the more important – it gives people from all over NZ the chance to meet, share their knowledge and share their love for birds.

Like Stephen Parry says, “for sheer colour and splendour nothing comes close to the National Bird Show.”

“You’ll never get a more impressive array of birds under one roof.”

We hope to see you at the 2018 National Bird Show in Timaru, 28-29 July.