Society News



October 2018



The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the October meeting of the Society at 8.10pm welcoming the 55 members in attendance.

Main Feature:

Barrie Wicks introduced Dr Graham Mitchell our guest speaker for this evening. His presentation “40 years in Aviculture” gives an indication as to the number of year’s Graham has been a member of the Society. He is always willing to contribute to discussion at meetings and has on a number of occasions spoken on various interesting topics.

Graham began his presentation by posing a couple of questions to the members suggesting he would return for answers later in the presentation. He commented that he has learnt a great deal over the years and only recently experienced a revelation whilst reading a book written by Ian Fraser suggesting that some feather colour was a “complete fake”.  Graham went on to give an explanation by saying  the colouring is due to air trapped within the feather and we see colours of blue and green for example. Graham showed photos of his recent aviary. He has constructed a number over the years and suggests that he does so each decade. This last aviary was organised over his older aviary because of circumstances and restrictions of space. This aviary comprises a large open space approximately 12m x 6m with four metre wide flights included. Within the fully planted enclosure (Indigenous plants sourced locally where at all possible) he offers the bird’s fresh water and other water is also available from an old Fish Tank. Surprisingly, the birds choose to bath in the fresh water and drink from the water in the tank. The birds roost in a well-protected area and the Finches access all areas of the Aviary whereas the Parrots cannot.

Graham then went on to discuss in detail the species of birds that he has kept over the years. Some of those which he discussed were Princess, Blue-winged, Red-vented Bluebonnet, Elegant, Bourke’s, Rock Parrot, Hooded Parrot, Quail and Peaceful Dove. He included photos of each of the birds and gave an insight, observation or interesting characteristic of each species as he continued. He also spoke of the Finches he has kept…Stars, Diamond Firetail, Double-barred, Emblema, Heck’s grass Finch, Gouldian and Plum-headed Finch to name a few.

Graham concluded by commenting on the changes he has observed in Aviculture over the years suggesting that better Husbandry and Diet have a great deal to do with the improvement he sees in the hobby. He always prefers “what God created” however, appreciates all mutations and thank goodness we are all different with far-ranging philosophies. He spoke about the benefits of Saltbush which initiated comment from the floor regarding some ongoing experimentation.

Graham then requested answers to his initial question…”Which is the first bird you hear of a morning and the last you hear at night?”. The answers initiated more discussion from the floor. He spoke about the worst “lies’ that have been thrown around in Aviculture to the delight of the members. He was then thanked by Lou Dall”Est who took the opportunity the thank Graham for his contributions to the Society over the years. He was then presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for his presentation this evening.

General Business:

  1. Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize a $10 Voucher donated by Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Lyn Bramman. The Lucky Name Badge Prize, a $15 Voucher also from Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Peter Booth. Raffle winners for the evening were: Keith Gamble won a 20kg bag of Seed donated by Dandenong Stock Feed, Ken Weeks the Clock donated by Nigel Devito, Susie Anderson won the Orchard donated by Gael Mizzi, Mark Hill won the Book donated by Graham Mitchell, Peter Booth won Perch Holders donated by Mick Harrison and Ray Everest won the Nest Box donated by Joe Bolyos.
  2. New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending and commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA.
  3. Next Month’s Program:   Warwick Remington…” Aviculture in the UK”
  4. Lost and Found: (TH) None
  5. Service Items: (JP) At the back of the Hall… Bird watching Book by Chris Farrell $35.. Peter Booth discussed some of the recent editions he has read

 

                                                            Other Business:

  1. Committee nominations for the 2019 Committee closed this evening..Lou called for any further Nominations from the floor. There were no nominations from the floor and the Committee for 2019 will be announced at the November General Meeting
  2. Any contributions toward the Christmas Hampers should be given to Lou Dall’Est.
  3. Lou commented that seed prices are set to increase…Be aware
  4. There was discussion regarding Mutations …Be most aware that birds are being offered for sale as Mutations when in fact they have been treated to appear as a Mutation by bleaching the feathers!!!
  5. Michael Johnston from Moonlit Sanctuary gave an update regarding the Orange -bellied Parrot Program and commented that last week both Honeyeater and Barking Owl chicks had successfully hatched at the Sanctuary

                               Meeting closed at 9.45pm and members enjoyed a chat over a coffee.



September 2018



The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the September meeting of the Society at 8.15pm welcoming the 58 members in attendance.

Main Feature:

Our feature this evening was a presentation from Ashley Herrod who is the Avian Threatened Species Program Coordinator at Moonlit Sanctuary. Ashley’s role at the Sanctuary involves the captive breeding of the Critically Endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP) and his presentation tonight was constructed around this program at the Sanctuary.

Mark Reynolds introduced Ashley to the members with a brief comment regarding his interest in aviculture stating that he began keeping and breeding birds some 30 years ago and currently keeps Caiques and Pyrrhura Conures in his backyard in Frankston. He then spoke specifically about the OBP Ecology with regard to their migratory habits. The parrots use the tail winds to traverse the 200km journey across Bass Strait to reach their breeding location in Melaleuca, Tasmania. The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife authorities carried out an Ecological Burn of 20 hectares of habitat at Melaleuca in March 2018 in an effort to regenerate wild OBP food sources. Unfortunately, the species has been in decline since the 1920’s. The average life span of birds in the wild is approx 3.5 years. Ashley stated that at the beginning of the 2017/18 breeding season, 23 captive-bred birds (7 males and 16 females) were released to boost the wild population and the season yielded 30 fledglings which is the most bred for approximately 10 years. Also, 15 captive-bred juveniles bred at Moonlit and Healesville Sanctuary’s were released at Melaleuca in February 2018. One objective was to determine if young captive bred birds were more capable of integrating into the wild than adult captive-bred birds and better at migration. Ashley commented that the recovery of the species is a collaborative effort between the national recovery team, Zoos Victoria, Adelaide Zoo, PRIAM, Moonlit Sanctuary and the Victorian and Tasmanian State Governments.

Ashley then discussed the Breeding regime of the OBP that Moonlit followed. Last season the Sanctuary had 18 pairs which produced 45 fledglings with a 67% egg fertility rate. The incubation period is approximately 21 days and the young remain in the nest for 30-35 days. The female stops brooding after approximately 10 days and the young are able to flourish due to the heavy covering of down. The young are independent after 3 weeks and are moved to a large flight aviary where they can socialise.

The birds are given fresh food daily. Their Diet consists of Grey/Black Sunflower, Jap and White Millet, White Pannicum and Canary seed, fed dry and sprouted. The sprouted seed is fed when the seed first sprouts. Also included are Apples, Corn, Carrot, Kale, Spinach and Broccoli. A great array of grasses are offered including Coastal Saltbush, New Zealand Spinach, Wireweed, Water Buttons, Veldt Grass, Dock, Chickweed and Fat Hen. The birds are fed Non-Breeding and Breeding season diet.

Some birds are also released on the mainland at the start of autumn and this year this has seen a flock of 11 birds at Werribee at the Western Treatment Plant.

Ashley introduced the term Ranching which involves catching wild OBP’s in Tasmania before they migrate and housing them at Moonlit Sanctuary and Werribee Zoo in specially built flights over the winter period. The birds are then released back in Tasmania for the spring breeding season. The reason for carrying out this “Ranching” is to reduce the mortality rate of birds that fail to successfully migrate. (12 females and 2 males currently ranched at Moonlit and are to be released in Tasmania in October).

Ashley then went on to discuss his recent trip to Melaleuca describing it as a remote beautiful environment suggesting that anyone wishing to visit should do so in the summer as it is a challenging winter exercise. After a number of most interesting questions from the floor Lou Dall’Est presented Ashley with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Society.

General Business:

  1. Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize a $10 Voucher donated by Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Mick Harrison. The Lucky Name Badge Prize, a $15 Voucher also from Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by John Pope. Raffle winners for the evening were: Stephanie Gough won a 20kg bag of Seed donated by Dandenong Stock Feed & Mick Harrison won Nest Box donated by Joe Bolyos. Mark Hill won the Finch Supplements.
  2. New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending and commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA.
  3. Next Month’s Program:   Dr. Graham Mitchell   “40 years in Aviculture”
  4. Lost and Found: (TH) None
  5. Service Items: (JP) At the back of the Hall. Free samples of Softbill food from Vetafarm

                                                         Other Business:

  1. Lou informed members present of the recent passing of 60 year member Bruce Bedwell. Condolences have been forwarded to the Bedwell family on behalf of members of the Society

Meeting closed at 9.30pm and members enjoyed a chat over a coffee.



August 2018



The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the August meeting of the Society at 8.10pm welcoming the 55 members in attendance.

                                                                 Main Feature:

Our feature this evening was a presentation from long time member Anthony Smircic. Interestingly, when Warwick Remington introduced Anthony he suggested that Anthony spoke to the members at the General Meeting on the 22nd of August exactly 6 years ago. Anthony began keeping birds in Croatia 60 years ago after his father gave him a Goldfinch when he was 13 years old and from there his passion grew. He arrived in Australia 53 years ago and has continued to keep finches over that period. He started out with Goldfinches, Siskins and Greenfinches and over a long period has kept a great array of finches.

His presentation this evening was a little different in that he wanted to have much greater member participation as he compared European finches to Australian finches. He began by posing the question to the group…”What is the difference between the Australian and European finches?” The obvious answer was that the European finches are magnificent songbirds. From here Anthony went on and presented a number of tapes of finches in full song and asked the members to identify each finch.   He presented Goldfinch, Siskin, European Serin, Common Chaffinch, Common Bullfinch, Common Linnet and Greenfinch in full song and included some of the more common crossbreeds. Anthony also gave a description of each finch as they were presented.

As Anthony continued a number of the members began to interact and ask questions and comment about their own experiences with the varieties of finch that Anthony presented. This made the presentation most interesting and gave members the opportunity to interact in a meaningful way.

Anthony was thanked by Tom Hobbs for his presentation this evening and presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Society.

General Business:

  1. Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize a $10 Voucher donated by Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Geoff Arnott. The Lucky Name Badge Prize, a $15 Voucher also from Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Mark Hill. Raffle winners for the evening were: John Bramman won a 20kg bag of Seed donated by Dandenong Stock Feed & John Pope won Nest Boxes donated by Joe Bolyos. Mark Cameron, Kevin Gadson & Joe Bolyos won Meal Worms donated by Jack Hawkins.
  2. New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending and commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA.
  3. Next Month’s Program:   Ashley Herrod…”Orange Bellied Parrots”
  4. Lost and Found: (TH) None
  5. Service Items: (JP) At the back of the Hall.

                                                         Other Business:

Susie Lycett announced the winners of this year’s Photographic completion. She suggested that the Judge commented on the broad range of species photographed and the high standard of the entries received this year. The Photo Competition Subcommittee has decided to include two categories for next year’s competition…Wild & Captive. Get out and about taking photos for next year!!

The winning entries for 2018 were:

First: Warwick Remington: Keel billed Toucan

Second: Warren Palmer: Red rumped Parrot

Third: Dave Newman: Welcome Swallow

 

Meeting closed at 9.25pm and members enjoyed a chat over a coffee.



July 2018



Society News

The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the July meeting of the Society at 8.05pm welcoming the 85 members in attendance.

Main Feature

Our presentation this evening was from Steve Sass of “On The Perch Bird Park” in Tathra, N.S.W. He was ably assisted by his wife and partner, Linda who performed relevant fact checking. Steve was introduced by Mark Hill, who had been to On The Perch about a year earlier and had met Linda and Steve and had been very impressed by both the park and Steve and Linda’s obvious passion for their birds.

Steve spoke about his earliest memories of birds being at the age of three sitting in his Great-Uncle’s aviary, watching the canaries and listening to their song. With the assistance of parents who encouraged his passion, and a converted cubby (against his sister’s wishes) he embarked on the journey that would lead to his and Linda’s bird park so many years later. Steve spoke of the fact that by the age of 16 he had bred all but 2 of the Grass Australian finches, the Beautiful and the Red-eared firetails. An impressive feat many of us would love to be able to claim, at any age!

Once the decision had been made to actually go with the crazy plan of opening a bird park a huge amount of effort was put in to spending time studying other public aviaries and zoos for the time people spent inside, the numbers (both during holidays and non-holiday periods), checking car regos for out-of-state numbers, etc. Then came the task of dealing with local and state governments. On The Perch has the same licencing and regulatory requirements as the Taronga Zoo!

On the Perch currently boasts four large walk-in aviaries, a café and picnic area amongst other facilities. Steve spoke of his happy exasperation of how popular the Chicken exhibit is. With support from the NSW government’s tourism and major events agency “Destination NSW” there are seven new exhibits currently progressing. An extra 20 species are planned to be added to the 100 currently housed there. There are already in excess of 650 birds!

A huge part of the experience is the hands on “Meet the Keepers” designed to interact with visitors of all levels of bird experience. There is an obvious love of interaction borne from the fact that Steve and Linda were already passionate Aviculturists, unlike many zoos that can be stand-off’ish from the hobby. This can be seen in the Mentor system they have adopted, bringing young people into aviculture.

Steve finished with a closer look at the Splendid Fairy-wren and a dramatic presentation on how the Tathra fires recently affected the park. Several new preparational plans have been put into effect as a result.

Steve answered several questions from the floor and was presented a Certificate of Appreciation from Mark Hill who thanked Steve on behalf of the Society. Many people in attendance spoke afterwards of plans to visit the park.

 General Business

  1. Competitions

The lucky door prize was won by Graham Mitchell. The Lucky name Badge prize was won by Ria Pope. The winners received gift vouchers from Nunawading Birds and Pets. Raffle winners for the evening were – Barrie Wicks who won the bag of seed donated by Dandenong Stock Feeds, Graham Mitchell won a Nest Box donated by John Vella and Brian Passsmore who won a book donated by Chris Farrell. Simon Mallinson won a nest box donated by Joe Boylos and Tony Lanigan won a book donated by Chris Farrell.

  1. New Members

Lou welcomed new members and thanked them for attending our meeting and hoped they enjoyed their membership of our Society.

  1. Next Month’s Program

Barry advised that next Month our Guest Speaker will be Anthony Smircic who will speak on Keeping and Breeding European Finches.

  1. Lost/Found

None

  1. Service Items

Service items were available at the rear of the Hall

Other Business

Lou advised members that our Western District Branch was running a day out at the Halls Gap Zoo. Those members interested in attending see details elsewhere in this journal. https://asaust.com/branch-news/

Lou also mentioned that Life members John Buchan and Tom De Graaff were unwell at the moment so he wished then both well for a speedy recovery.

Meeting closed at 9.30 pm and members enjoyed a chat and a delightful Supper

 



June 2018



The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the June meeting of the Society at 8.10pm welcoming the 50 members in attendance.                                      

Main Feature:

Our feature this evening was a presentation from Carlos Macias and his family. Carlos and his three boys were introduced by Lou Dall’Est. Carlos and the boys have spoken previously at a Meeting and Lou suggested that after that presentation the nerves may have settled some this time round.  The boys were born in Australia, the family moved to live in Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula for 5 Years and then returned to Australia becoming more involved in Aviculture with the assistance of member Jim Bennet.

Their presentation “Island of the Birds” focused on the Island of Contoy. Carlos initiated the presentation with some background information about the Island. The Island has been protected by the Mexican government since 1961 and became a National Park in 1998. The Island is jointly run by a Non-Government Organization and the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas. The boys then joined the presentation and gave us more detail about the Island. It is located in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 30kms North of Isla Mujeres. Contoy is only 8.5kms in length, 317 hectares in area, is considered the most important nesting place for sea birds in the Caribbean and is host to migrating and resident bird species. The boys then showed slides of Frigate birds with wing spans of 2-3mtrs, Double-Crested Cormorants and Brown Pelicans. They spoke about the environment and focused on the mangroves and berries that the birds feed upon. The presentation continued with slides and detailed descriptions of Spoonbills, Roseate, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Mangrove Swallow, Altamira Oriole, Summer Tanager and the Yucatan Vireo.

Carlos and the boys then answered questions from the floor and were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Chris Farrell who thanked Carlos, Diego, Mateo and Tomas for their delightful and informative presentation this evening.

 

General Business:

 

  1. Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize a $10 Voucher donated by Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Brian Passmore. The Lucky Name Badge Prize, a $15 Voucher also from Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Ria Pope. Raffle winners for the evening were: John Vella won a 20kg bag of Seed donated by Dandenong Stock Feed, Charlie Mizzi won a bag of Pellets donated by ZuPreem and, Tony Lanigan won a Nest Box donated by Joe Bolyos. The ASA donated prizes went to Chris Farrell who won a Book, John Pope won the Candle Holders and Allie Begley won the Picture Frames.
  2. New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending and commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA.
  3. Next Month’s Program:   Interstate Guest speaker Steve Sass…”Setting up a Bird Park”.. Refer June Australian Aviculture page 163 for profile
  4. Lost and Found: (TH) None
  5. Service Items: (JP) At the back of the Hall.

 

                                                            Other Business:

 

  1. The Committee require assistance with the organization and arrangement of supper at the General Meeting. Any member who feels that they could assist should contact John Pope.
  2. Lou advised members that there was an Aviary for Sale and that any member wanting further details should contact Lou or Graeme
  3. Question/Discussion from the floor regarding proposed Brimbank Council Animal by laws dealing with numbers of animals allowed to be kept

 

Meeting closed at 9.15pm and members enjoyed a chat over a coffee.

 



May 2018



The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the May meeting of the Society at 8.16pm welcoming the 65 members in attendance.                                      

Main Feature:

Our main feature this evening was just a little different to the usual presentation. Committee person Chris Farrell introduced Brett Jarrett to the members. Brett’s presentation “Life’s passion…Painting Wildlife” was developed from an appreciation of wildlife, birds in particular, from an artist’s perspective. Brett hails from Portland in Western Victoria and paints from his home Gallery. He has been painting for 27 years, however, suggested that his interest/passion for birds in the wild and their Taxidermy was initiated from the early days in Primary School. He displays work from his home Gallery rather than exhibit in large Commercial Galleries. The Gallery is approximately 13 x 7metres and Brett spends an average of 4/5 hours per day painting.

Brett began by relating his experiences and his travels to the Arctic and Antarctic where he worked as a guide (interestingly, he is a Pastry Cook by trade). He observed and photographed a great variety of Sea Birds and Mammals which he uses as a basis to paint some very beautiful paintings of birds in the wild. Over the years he has painted using Watercolours, Acrylics and Oils.

Brett gave a brief explanation of the method he uses to produce his paintings. He endeavours to paint hem as lifelike and as interesting as possible. He then displayed a number of delightful paintings including Penguins, Eagles, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Crimson Rosellas, Gouldian Finches, Geese, Shell Ducks, Peacock, a compilation of Pigeons, to name a few. The final painting Brett displayed, which won a prize in the United States, was a magnificent painting of a pair of Yellow Tail Black Cockatoos at a nest log.

Brett then answered questions from the floor and was thanked by Chris for his presentation this evening. He was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Society.

 

General Business:

  1. Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize a $10 Voucher donated by Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Frank Johnston. The Lucky Name Badge Prize, a $15 Voucher also from Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Mick Harrison. Raffle winners for the evening were: Mark Cameron won a 20kg bag of Seed donated by Dandenong Stock Feed, Jim Bennet won a 20 kg bag of Seed donated by Select Seed Growers, Charlie Mizzi won a bag of Pellets donated by Zu Preem, Brian Passmore won a Nest Box donated by Mick Harrison and Mark Reynolds won a Small Seed Hopper.
  2. New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending and commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA.
  3. Next Month’s Program:     Carlos Macias   “Island of the Birds”
  4. Lost and Found: (TH) Rainbow Lorikeet…Melton area.
  5. Service Items: (JP) At the back of the Hall.

 

                                                            Other Business:

  1. Lou spoke about the Society Bird Sale which was held on Sunday 6th May at Dole Reserve in Keon Park. He thanked all the helpers and supporters that assisted on the day. Once again it was a successful sale and we look forward to the 2019 Bird Sale.
  2. The Committee require assistance with the organization and arrangement of supper at the General Meeting. Any member who feels that they could assist should contact either Lou or Graeme.
  3. Warwick Remington gave members a reminder that the Photographic Competition is now receiving entries. All enquiries regarding entry to Susie Lycett…Phone 040 778 7205

Meeting closed at 9.25pm and members enjoyed a chat over a coffee.



April 2018



The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the April meeting of the Society at 8.09pm welcoming the 70 members in attendance.

Main Feature:

Our International guest speaker for the evening was Eric Antheunisse from the United States. Eric, who lives in Lodi, California owns Cedar Hill Birds and was introduced by Committee person Matt Baird. Cedar Hill Birds services the Pet Trade in the United States and Eric currently has anything between 5000-7000 birds in his flights at any given time.

He began his presentation by suggesting that his interest in birds was from an early age when he kept Budgies and Finches. As is almost inevitable the interest in larger parrots etc. followed over the years. He continued and spoke about the…

(a) Facility Layout : He now has at least seven large complexes measuring approximately 30ft x 200ft.   Along with the larger banks of aviaries there are numerous smaller flights which house a great number of other breeding pairs. All Eric’s aviaries are suspended and house a huge variety of birds: Conures, African Grey, Cockatoos, Macaws, Major Mitchells, Eclectus, Toucans, Cockatiels and far more. Eric employs 3 full time workers and along with his wife they are currently hand rearing 600 babies.

(b)  Aviaries and Set ups: The smaller parrots such as the Bourke’s, Scarlets and other smaller species are kept in indoor flights given the fluctuating temperatures over the seasons. The other flights are external and range in size according to the species requirements. The flights have natural wooden double perches, pendulum feeders which hasten the time required to fill seed tray (all birds fed 1/day), automatic watering and a mist system.

(c)  Nest Boxes & design:  Eric designs and makes his own boxes and caters for each particular species in detail…Z boxes, Long Straight Boxes for Black Cockatoos, C boxes, Boot boxes and T boxes.

(d)  Surgical Sexing and Cultures:  Eric keeps a close eye on the wellbeing of his birds and attempts to stay ahead of problems by doing his own swabs and cultures. Interestingly, this area created a great deal of interest and discussion from the floor. He has 70% of his birds surgically sexed.

    (e)  Diet:  Obviously the complex requires the generation of an enormous amount of food. They feed 700 lbs of sprouted seed /day…Sunflower, Safflower, Mung Beans, Green Beans, Millet, Buckwheat sprouted to very short head. Included with the sprouted seed when available….Carrots, Apple, Brochali, Oyster Shell for Calcium, Corn, Mango, Watermelon, Pine Nuts, Walnuts, Peppers,  Palm Oil, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil.

   (f)  Pest Control:  Beneath the flights Eric has both Chickens and Guinea Fowl which eradicate both food scraps and keep the vermin (Snakes, Rats, Mice) under control. He also utilizes Poison in a variety of forms throughout the complex.

(g)  In the Nursery: Eric has designed and built a number of his own Brooders which have a different set up for temperature and humidity than current commercial options. All babies are kept in a variety of containers on wood shavings depending on their age in a temperature controlled environment and hand fed appropriately via crop needle. The larger birds are fed with one syringe/bird whilst the smaller babies are fed with one syringe/Tub. They feed 600-1500 chicks at any one time and are feeding 600 chicks currently throughout the day. The last feed is around 10:30pm and begins again at 7:30am the following day…quite a responsibility.

(h) Incubation:  He spoke briefly about the incubation process and how he utilizes Silkie Chickens as an aide in the incubation process. Eggs are removed from the chickens with a couple of days to go and complete incubation in the Incubators.

Eric then took questions from the floor and was thanked by Matt for a most interesting and informative presentation. Matt then presented Eric with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Society.

General Business:

  1. Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize…Phil Bourke won the $10 Voucher donated by Nunawading Birds & Pets. The Lucky Name Badge Prize, a $15 Voucher also from Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Colin Wilkins. Raffle winners for the evening were: Tom Hobbs won a Nest box donated by Joe Bolyos,  Aly Begley won the Macaw book donated by ASA and Roland Weeks won the Avi Natural Supplement donated by ASA.
  2. New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending and commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA.
  3. Next Month’s Program:    Brett Jarrett…”Life’s passion…Painting Wildlife”
  4. Lost and Found: (TH) African Grey…Bundoora area.
  5. Service Items: (JP) At the back of the Hall.

                                                            Other Business:

  1. Lou mentioned the upcoming Bird Expos suggesting the dates had all been approved and details and contact numbers for bookings appear elsewhere in this month’s Journal. The ASA Bird Sale is on Sunday 6th May. Any member who wishes to help on the day please contact Lou or Graeme.
  2. The new ASA Website is now available …www.asaust.com. Mark Hill would appreciate any feedback. Also, remember we are now on Facebook…make yourself familiar with that option to communicate with other like-minded members.
  3. The Committee require assistance with the organization and arrangement of supper at the General Meeting. Any member who feels that they could assist should contact either Lou or Graeme. The Committee would like to thank both Aly and Keith Begley, who are not able to continue with the supper arrangements, for their assistance which was greatly appreciated.
  4. The Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held at 8.00pm immediately before the May General Meeting. All members welcome.
  5. A big thank you was given to John and Ria Pope by John Murray on behalf of the members who participated in the recent aviary visit hosted by the Ballarat Branch for their input and effort in making the weekend visit an absolute success. The weather apparently was not the kindest; however John suggested that the dinner on Saturday evening was a delight. Thank you also to the Ballarat members who opened their homes and aviaries over the weekend.

Meeting closed at 9.50pm and members enjoyed a chat over a coffee.

 



March 2018



Minutes of General Meeting 28th March 2018

Held at “The Pines Learning Centre” 520 Blackburn Road, East Doncaster.

The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the March meeting of the Society at 8.30pm welcoming the 75 members in attendance.

Visitors and long distance travellers: Lou thanked all long distance travellers for their attendance this evening.

Business Arising: Nil

Financial Statement: As posted    Moved: Warwick Remington        Seconded: Gael Mizzi

                                      

Main Feature:

Tonight’s guest speaker Michael Lee, one of the biggest breeders of Macaws in Australia, was introduced by Warwick Remington. Michael has spoken at a Society meeting some 14 months ago and this evening again spoke about his collection of Macaws. Michael and his partner run the Australian Macaw Research Centre which has grown from a couple of pairs of Macaws to the point currently where they are moving to a far larger property to continue their research and breeding program. Prior to Michael’s address we were unable to locate the remote control for the Data Projector; however, member Greg Huckstepp came to our rescue and was able to turn it on manually.

In the period since his last  presentation Michael has visited Breeders in India, New Zealand, Costa Rica and other places overseas to increase his knowledge of the variety of Macaw species. His presentation this evening began with an explanation of how he maintains the extensive records of his birds for his own and future owner’s benefits. He is able to very quickly trace the history (DNA, previous owner, number of chicks, complete heritage etc) of any of the Macaws in his collection regardless of age. He then moved on to discuss an interesting approach to breeding for a particular outcome i.e. male /female chicks. By manipulating the diet and thus altering the condition of the breeding pair and paying particular attention to the other factors such as temperature, weather etc Michael suggested that over the last two breeding seasons he was able to reasonably predict a favourable outcome with the chicks he bred. He was only able to give the results of chicks for two seasons…7cocks/ 2 hens first season and 7 hens/ 2 cocks with the opposite manipulation… Michael suggested he would continue to see what results appeared like over a longer period.

Michael spoke about what you should be aware of when purchasing any Macaw. He suggested…Always view the bird and its environment. Observe Perches, Branches, Nesting materials Toys. Take particular notice of Feathers, Feet, Eyes, Mandible, Vent, Wings, Skin and how the bird is breathing.

Michael then showed a number of photos of current Blue and Gold mutations which included Lutino, Opaline, Pied, Green, Blue, Blue Spangle, Blue Opaline, Buffon to name a few. He discussed the 11 species of Macaw which have become extinct since 1864 due mainly to the logging of its natural habitat.

Michael finished his presentation with a short 5 minute film which he had recently completed titled  ”When you believe”. He then answered questions from the floor and was then thanked by Matt Baird for his presentation and presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Society

General Business:

  1. Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize…Graeme Smith won the $10 Voucher donated by Nunawading Birds & Pets. The Lucky Name Badge Prize, a $15 Voucher also from Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Max Thomas. Raffle winners for the evening were: Charlie Mizzi won a 20kg bag of seed donated by Dandenong Stock Feeds, Geoff Collier won the 20 kg bag of seed donated by Ian Hendy, Nate Kilb won a Swivel feeder donated by Mick Harrison and Lisa Dall’Est won Nest Boxes donated by Joe Bolyos.
  2. New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending and commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA.
  3. Next Month’s Program:    Eric Antheunisse  “Breeding Parrots..Not just a Hobby”
  4. Lost and Found: (TH) Nil
  5. Service Items: (JP) At the back of the Hall.

                                                            Other Business:

  1. Treasurer, Warwick Remington, informed members present that the Committee had decided to change the Financial Year to July – June which will more accurately reflect the financial business of the Society in future. Renewal of Membership dates will remain the same.
  2. Lou mentioned the upcoming Bird Expos suggesting the dates had all been approved and details and contact numbers for bookings appear elsewhere in this Journal.
  3. John Pope informed members of the upcoming visit to Ballarat on the 14th and 15th of April. The bus will leave from Upwey at approximately 8.30am on Saturday morning and proceed to Ballarat with one or two stops along the way. It is intended to visit 8-10 aviaries over the weekend and hopefully include Ballarat Bird World. The cost will be $200 with a $50 deposit to be paid by the March meeting and the balance paid one week before the trip. The cost includes Bus Hire, Lunch Saturday, overnight accommodation at Ballarat and Breakfast and Lunch Sunday with wives and partners most welcome.

For Bookings or any further information please feel free to contact John Pope on 0419 691 869

  1. A reminder that Wildlife returns are due and must be returned by the 14th of April. Make sure if required you submit your return by the due date.

Meeting closed at 9.35pm and members enjoyed a chat over a coffee.



February 2018



Minutes of General Meeting 28th February 2018

Held at “The Pines Learning Centre” 520 Blackburn Road, East Doncaster.

The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the February meeting of the Society at 8.20pm welcoming the 83 members in attendance.

Visitors and long distance travellers: Lou thanked all long distance travellers for their attendance this evening. He made particular reference to visitors Templestowe College staff, Mark Cameron and Simon Mallinson.

Business Arising: Nil

Financial Statement: As posted    Moved: Warwick Remington        Seconded: Joe Bolyos

                                   

Main Feature:

Tonight’s feature…”Gadget Night and Breeding Results” really ended up being a little different as the night developed. Barrie Wicks introduced Joe Bolyos who wanted to speak about and clarify the different varieties of Grasses that he spoke about at the January Panel Discussion.  Joe explained about Saltbush and the different colour varieties available suggesting it could be grown in pots and rotated in flights or as large bushes permanently situated in the flight. He feeds to parrots and Finches and has observed Crimson Rosellas and Silvereyes feeding on the seeds from the Saltbush.

Graham Mitchell then joined the discussion again focusing on seeding grasses. He spoke about the benefits of feeding Wire Weed, Barnyard grass, Peppercress and Wild lettuce to finches and small Parrots. Graham spoke about the danger of feeding Paspalum and Fairy Grass to birds as they host “Ergot” which is a toxic fungus. Warwick Remington then continued with the Seeding grasses discussion and spoke about Milk Thistle, Fat Hen and Phalaris as being appropriate to feed to parrots and finches. It was suggested that if you cultivate the seeding grasses carefully you will have a supply available for a majority of the season.

The second part of the evening was devoted to a brief demonstration by Warwick Remington as to the method used to worm parrots using a Crop needle and Panacur 2.5. Lou contributed to the discussion by suggesting that he now worms his birds using Ivomec and places a drop or two on the bird’s neck. In both cases it was stressed that you should always be vigilant with hygiene and wear gloves when worming your birds.

At this point the members were totally involved in the discussion and different directions were taken from specific questions from the floor. The night provided another enjoyable discussion where members totally participated and a great deal of information was exchanged throughout the evening.

General Business:

1. Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize…Charlie Mizzi won the $10 Voucher donated by Nunawading Birds & Pets. The Lucky Name Badge Prize, a $15 Voucher also from Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Simon Mallinson. Raffle winners for the evening were: Chris Farrell won a 20kg Bag of Seed donated by Dandenong Stock Feeds, Mick Harrison won Nest Box donated by Joe Bolyos. John Pope and Mark Dietrich won the Zupreem Cockatoo Biscuits and Pellets donated by Matt Baird and Suzie Lycett won the Photo donated by Gina Wilson.

2.  New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending and commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA.

3.   Next Month’s Program:     Michael Lee    “Macaws”

4. Lost and Found: (TH).. Lost…Scarlet Macaw..Bacchus Marsh area

5.   Service Items:  (JP)At the back of the Hall.

                                                           Other Business:

1.  Lou discussed the Bird Expos for 2018 and the Department Amnesty.

2.   Mark Hill spoke about the set up of the ASA Facebook page suggesting that it was now available for members to access and join. The page is for communication between members and of upcoming events etc…..To join you search for Avicultural Society of Australia and when prompted supply your membership number as it is a members only Facebook page.

3.  The Committee is investigating the possibility of a holding a “Conference” which would be held in the Bendigo area on the 12th, 13th &14th of April 2019. Arrangements are in the very early stages at this point .Further information and details as they become available.

4.   Committee Member John Pope spoke about his visit to Templestowe College and introduced Teacher Jasmine Pantelidis who spoke about the Schools Animal Program and in particular the Bird Aviaries. Jasmine was directed to John via the Healesville Sanctuary and John tabled the correspondence at the February committee meeting for discussion. As the schools representative, Jasmine was requesting some direction, assistance and specific recommendations in setting up the Aviaries. The Committee has offered assistance with a Society Membership to the School, Books and individual members to give assistance where required. John will act as the liaison person between the School and the Society. We hope that this assistance to a “very eager group of students” will enable them to set up and enjoy their school Aviary collection and take a long term view of Aviculture.

5. John Pope informed members of the upcoming visit to Ballarat on the 14th and 15th of April. The bus will leave from Upwey at approximately 8.30am on Saturday morning and proceed to Ballarat with one or two stops along the way. It is intended to visit 8-10 aviaries over the weekend and hopefully include Ballarat Bird World. The cost will be $200 with a $50 deposit to be paid by the March meeting and the balance paid one week before the trip. The cost includes Bus Hire, Lunch Saturday, overnight accommodation at Ballarat and Breakfast and Lunch Sunday with wives and partners most welcome.

For Bookings or any further information please feel free to contact John Pope on 0419 691 869

6.  Warwick Remington advised that we had purchased some Parrot photographic books from Barry and Julie Blanch. There are 5 books in the series which describes cockatoos, Rosellas, Blue Bonnets, Lorikeets and Australian parrots. They will retail to members at $15 each.

Meeting closed at 9.45pm and members enjoyed a chat over a coffee.



January 2018



The Chairman Lou Dall’Est opened the January meeting of the Society at 8.16pm welcoming the 65 members in attendance.

Visitors and long distance travellers: Lou thanked all long distance travellers for their attendance this evening.

Business Arising: Nil

Financial Statement: As posted    Moved: Warwick Remington        Seconded: Chris Farrell

Main Feature:

The main feature for the evening with the theme “General Husbandry” was presented as two parts. Firstly Barrie Wicks was introduced by Lou Dall’Est and he explained the method he uses to produce live food for his Finches. Barrie’s method involves placing Bran in the bottom of a ventilated container, add Beetles, Banana or Carrot as food for the Beetles, cover all with hessian and allow the cycle to begin. The Beetles lay eggs which hatch as meal worms and these are fed to the finches and parrots. Barrie then went on to briefly speak about the production of Maggots which are also used as a source of food for his collection. Lou and Charlie, along with members of the audience joined in for an interesting discussion about the methods used to produce live food for their birds.

Lou then introduced a panel which included Barrie Wicks, Joe Bolyos, Stephen Maric, Warwick Remington and Charlie Mizzi. In total, the panel members represented an enormous amount of experience in aviculture and this was evident as the discussion developed. They were each given the opportunity to express their views on husbandry and the responses included..Observe your birds, clean flights and quality seed mix, clean water, feed greens & seeding grasses and purchase young birds of known sex. As the discussion continued the audience became totally involved which created a most enlightening discussion. The Panel was then thanked by Lou and applauded by the members present.

General Business:

  1. Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize…C.J.Dosser won the $10 Voucher donated by Nunawading Birds & Pets. The Lucky Name Badge Prize, a $15 Voucher also from Nunawading Birds & Pets was won by Petro Georgiou. Raffle winners for the evening were: John Brennan won a 20kg Bag of Seed donated by Dandenong Stock Feeds, Emanual Maric won Nest Boxes donated by Joe Bolyos. Jim Bennett and Roland Weeks won the Pellets donated by Matt Baird.
  2. New Members: Lou welcomed the new members and thanked them for attending and commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA.
  3. Next Month’s Program:    Member Participation….”Breeding Results & Gadget Night”
  4. Lost and Found: (TH).. Eclectus Parrot lost Taylors Hill area and a pair of Quaker Parrots in the Clarinda area
  5. Service Items:(JP) At the back of the Hall

                                                            Other Business: 

  1. Lou asked if any member was willing to assist a Finch Photographer by allowing him to take some photos of Finches in their Aviary. Please see Graeme Lou for more details.
  2. Lou announced the Committee for 2018 and welcomed new member Chris Farrell for 2018

Meeting closed at 9.35pm and members enjoyed a chat over a coffee.


The Avicultural Society of Australia meets at 8.00pm on the fourth Wednesday of the month. This is a heated venue with wheelchair access and ample adjacent free car parking. The meetings feature guest speakers, Powerpoint colour slide presentations and topics of interest relating to aviary birds.

Avicultural accessories and bird books are available at reduced prices for members. Supper is provided free at the conclusion of the meetings and visitors are always welcome.

The Avicultural Society is always looking for guest speakers

Please contact Barrie Wicks on 9735 5462, or 0407 865 779 or

Email barriewicks40@gmail.com

 

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