Dave Nicholson was president of the Auckland Metro Bird Club for more than 10 years and has been a passionate supporter and driver of the hobby for many years.
How did you first get into Birdkeeping?
My Grandad had one Budgie and he noticed I had a strong interest in it, so in an effort to try and keep us kids around the house, he built us an aviary to which we added many birds and began breeding. I then had birds on and off again for many years before getting back into them later in life.
What is it you love about the hobby?
It’s different from your average pet, a different pace and no matter how busy and fast changing the rest of life is, the birds always remain the same and bring a lot of relaxation at the end of a hard week’s work.
What type of birds do you keep?Icurrently have around 60 or 70 birds, mostly canaries including Lizards, Rollers, and Gloucesters.
You had success at the 2017 show, taking away the Champion Lizard Canary and Foreign Finch. What is the key to producing a medal winning bird?
There is no magic formula, but one of they keys is spending time with your birds. I believe in quality over quantity as far as breeding goes and only look to have around 14 breeding pairs per season.
I enjoy observing my birds and spending time with them and keeping the numbers down allows me to do this. Getting reliable stock from a reliable breeder is also important, and from there it is a process of some trial and error to find the right mix.
Nutrition is hugely important with variety being key. I like to feed a lot of natural food such as seeding grasses, Rauriki or Puha (a native green vege),Broccoli, Apple, Chickweed, and of course Topflite seed!
In the end it is not all about winning the awards, what I get real satisfaction from is introducing other people into the hobby and the joy of keeping birds.