I have an idea. I would love to call an Avian Summit. This would be where all of the experts in the industry would be called together to have a meeting. At a round table. And the people there would talk about the state of the industry and what needs to be done to improve the situation, promote better good will between factions and maybe begin a dialogue on how to begin to work together a little more closely and fluidly. Not all of these people would agree on many of the subjects I’d like to see discussed. Some of their points of view are so diametrically opposed, it’s startling. Yet I think it would be a very valuable meeting and I believe a lot of good would come out of it. What I want to do is perhaps try and begin to have all of us on the same page to help the field become more united and moving toward the same goal: Keeping the interest in birds alive as well as the advancement of research, information and education.
In this particular post, I am neither agreeing with nor disagreeing with these people. I simply think they have their points of view and in my opinion, they would add a lot to a meeting of this type. I’m a writer. And doing what I do, I think my job is to write about the field as a whole, not necessarily just the things I personally prefer.
But who to ask? What would they talk about? Well, as you can imagine, I have a few ideas. And these are just off the top of my head. Perhaps I’m not accurate on this, but at least it’s the beginning of what I would hope could come to pass. This is not a complete list. It’s just a mind toy at this point. And I don’t have all the answers. This is not a complete list of individuals nor is it a complete list of topics. I have other ideas, other thoughts. And I would leave it to people far more knowledgable and up to date than me to arrange and design this summit. I can’t even imagine trying to schedule these people so they are able to all show up on the same date, in the same place, at the same time.
Most of these people I have met, know, communicate with or have heard them speak. And in the case of Dr. Brightsmith, we even danced together once.
May they all be wise and strong….
People I’d like to see sitting at the round table and why:
Dr. Susan Friedman (Behaviorworks) Behavior training helps everyone. I’ve known Susan for years. And I credit her for even getting me into this writing business.
Rick Jordan (Breeder) He maintains that the breeding aspect keeps the research funding going. And Rick makes me laugh!
Dr. Scott Echols (Avian Vet) He knows a lot of bird people, he’s a DVM and he has a level head. Besides, he’s not hard to look at.
Dr. Irene Pepperberg (The Alex Foundation) Well, it’s the Alex Foundation. Enough said.
Donald Brightsmith (Tambopata Project) Conservationist, Scientist and great dancer.
Sybil Erden (The Oasis Sanctuary) The Oasis is strictly Sanctuary as opposed to rescue.
Marc Johnson (Foster Parrots) Rescue and Sanctuary. Also not hard to look at.
Jacque Johnson (Best Friends- Parrot Garden) Works at probably the largest the most economically stable rescue in the country. Really incredibly cool person.
Steve Malowski and Dave Oehler (Cincinnati Zoo) They’re Zoo Guys. They have their points of view as well. It would also be cool to sit down and have a beer with Steve again.
Mark Hagen and Melanie Allen (Hagen Pet Foods) Manufacturer and funders of HARI. Besides, they both make me laugh.
Laney Rickman (Bird Endowment) Conservationist AND Breeder. Great lady!
Ann Brooks (Phoenix Landing) Successful Adoption and Education Organization. Another great lady!
Irena Schulz (Bird Lovers Only Rescue) Rescue and well known for “Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo” and the marketing involved. Ditto!
NPRPF Reps (Houston Parrot Festival) Successful marketers of an annual event.
The World Parrot Trust. They’re the freakin’ World Parrot Trust for cripes sake. I don’t think I need another reason.
It would be a long road, but an interesting one and certainly enlightening. Now, what would they talk about? Well, how about these topics for starters? You might have ideas on what could be discussed, but this is just a start:
“Breeders and Rescuers” (Can we get our act together please?)
“Sanctuary, Rescue and Adoption” (Can we get our act together please?)
“Would Aviculture Survive Without Breeding?” (Or: Is the end of breeding a return to poaching?)
“Exploring the Possibility of a National Directory and Database” (Database of Rescued birds, Sanctuaried Birds, and the exchange of birds for placement, rescue and sanctuary)
“Conservation: Involving the Civilian Bird Owner in the Conservation Effort”
“Zoos: Education, Infotainment and the involvement of Zoos in all areas of Aviculture”
Will it come to pass? I’d certainly like to think so. As I stated before, these are simply some pretty broad strokes I’ve painted here with a very big brush. I didn’t sweat over the details because I can’t think of everything. It’s just a taste; a glimpse of something I would very much like to see happen. And maybe someday, it will.
September 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm
Great idea Patricia, if you can get the parties to put aside their prejudices and forgive all of the bad things that have been said on both sides.
I would also suggest Julie Murad of The Gabriel Foundation. She is known to work with breeders and take advantage of their talents to educate. She also has founded one of the most successful rescues/sanctuaries (and one of the oldest) in the country.
I would disagree with a couple of the people you have on this list simply because I do not think they can put aside their prejudices but perhaps you know them better than I do.
I would love to help put it together if it can ever come to past.
September 17, 2011 at 8:21 pm
September 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm
September 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm
And one more suggestion, balance the scales with a few more breeders. Rick and Laney are going to feel kind of alone and picked on with five rescue representatives and only two breeders. LOL
September 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm
Bonnie, to be honest, I just don’t know that many breeders.
September 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm
I know a few good people who breed birds. All very well thought of in the breeding world and open to working with rescues.
September 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm
It’s a pretty even mix of “for profit” and “non-profit”.
September 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm
Stephanie, this isn’t a complete list, nor is it a complete array of topics. I’ve had many other people suggested as well and most of the ideas are wonderful. I was having a discussion with a friend in the business, told her my idea and she told me to “throw it on the wall and see if it sticks.” Apparently this idea contains superglue.
September 17, 2011 at 8:50 pm
Give Kaytee/Prevue/Henrdyx a reality check!
September 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm
Ask someone from Dr. Brian Speer’s office! They are great.
September 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm
Pat, I can recommend some, I associate with, as one person huffily put it, “known breeders.”
September 18, 2011 at 6:04 am
I’m in, we need to put away all the rumors and realize that although we have different thoughts and views, they are only thoughts and views. Nothing dangerous there. Just let me know when and where.
September 18, 2011 at 7:46 am
Love it, P!
September 18, 2011 at 8:31 am
Do like an ISO (International Standards Org) for avian dealings (Vets, Breeders, Rescue, etc) Call it an ASO (Avian Standards Org). Have specific criteria that each vet, breeder, rescue has to adhere to. Like for example, an avian vet must run blah blah blah test every visit. A breeder must band and register all numbers with blah blah blah database (like you said above). Things like that. And make it like the ISO, in ISO you do not HAVE to be a part of it but you are favored among clients if you are because it means you have set your business to a higher standard than the rest. Same for ASO, you do not HAVE to be a member but if you do you are lending proof that your goal is for the birds (no pun intended) and not profit and that you have set your standards of care higher possibly given enhancement to your reputation.
September 18, 2011 at 11:04 am
I know you have wanted to do this “round table” for some time. Looks like you have the support! February in Ft. Lauderdale might be a good incentive for folks to come here for long weekend and a think tank on aviculture….
September 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm
Any chance you could include other avian vets in the roundtable, I would like to nominate our Avian Vet, Dr. Henry Wietsma…
September 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm
Of course! This is just a preliminary white board. We can scribble on it any way we want.
September 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm
I think this would be truly amazing. I’d love to be in the audience, if only via the internet. I’d like to suggest Wendy Huntbatch as a Canadian sanctuary representative. I’ve been a volunteer for the World Parrot Refuge (Coombs, BC) for 3.5 years so far, and Wendy’s dedication to and knowledge of the “cause” is inspirational.
September 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm
I like your idea a lot, Patricia. Some other suggestions, perhaps…
Steve Martin, of NEI and IAATE creation. Especially since they have a companion parrot committee.
Mark Stafford, Parrots International, parrot conservation that is transparent.
I like the suggestion of Dr. Speer, but also include Dr. Darryl Styles!!
Julie Murad is a great idea as well as she has been around a long time.
Wendy Craig of Wendy’s Parrots–fantastic breeder information along with Laney.
What about ASA or AFA representatives?
Someone from National Aviary in Pittsburg–wow! what a place for birds!
Lastly, can I come too? :).
September 22, 2011 at 9:31 am
So what your saying is “aviculture” Is parrots,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
What about Passerines (finches and softbilled birds),pheasants,waterfowl?
Aviculture has its problems because of people writing about it that have no real idea of what its about!
September 22, 2011 at 10:10 am
Not at all Roland. It’s just that my area of knowledge isn’t in the arena of waterfowl, passerines etc. This is an open conversation and I’m encouraging input. My blog is primarily about companion parrots. Thus the name, “Parrot Nation.” But I’m sure that would be a great addition to the discussion.
January 3, 2012 at 5:45 am
Wow, passionate, there, Roland?
October 5, 2011 at 10:54 pm
Count me in!
November 13, 2011 at 5:03 pm
Pat, we’ve discussed this issue via FaceTime, etc., and I think it’s an idea who’s time has come but given the animousity between breeders and rescues, I really don’t know how it would play out; would you have an arbitrator or mediator? I think as stewards of this planet we need to address several issues facing aviculture today and my fear is that the dialog would be comparable to a number of children on a playground with scissors in their hands.
I would love to see breeders, rescues/sanctuaries, avian vets, behaviorists, and anyone else that is compelled to be a part of a group like this come together and address many of the crucial issues we currently are facing. My biggest fear today is that many people are giving money and time to rescues/sanctuaries that will inevitably crash while those with a proven history are still struggling to make ends meet. In the current economic climate, I think we need to pay attention to places with a proven track record and viable business plans and if possible after taking care of those—consider the smaller organizations.
Just my 2¢…
January 31, 2012 at 7:51 am
I love dis domain
March 10, 2013 at 4:46 pm
Since I’ve been introduced to the world of companion parrots, and learned about all the different aspects of it, I was thinking of this exact same scenario!! My thought was that UNLESS something like this round table occurs, problems facing companion birds will only get worse. I really hope you are able to make something like this happen. It will be a rough start, but one that is completely necessary to the future of our feathered friends.
March 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm
I am thrilled to hear this topic re-visted; I think it was discussed some time ago before SOARs disbanded. I suggest add Robin Shewonkis and Dr , Jim Trimbull, Dr Harrison, Dr Clubb and Bob Kaegi. Lets bring this Avian World together for a change to the positive.
March 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm
was supposed to say Dr Orosz
March 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm
Organization of an event is not as hard as it seems. As long as you have a dedicated group, things get done. I’ve done several events since the mid 90’s. Perhaps not on the scale as PF – but well organized larger events. Count me in – in attendance as well as part of the organization of it.
March 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm
I think it’s a fabulous idea and I hope it eventually can be realised. “True” discussion can yield surprisingly wonderful results, but people would have to come to the table with their “listening ears” on…it can be a time consuming affair so, patience, flexibility and the ability to set personal “ego” aside would be imperative. I believe that even those with extremely different views can find some common ground and truths, there is validity in every opinion…it just needs to be found and refined into agreeable points. Imagine what a gift this could be for the entire Avian community, might even go a long way to heal existing riffs and set an example for others to also follow.
March 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm
What species (genera ) would be there? RC
March 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm
March 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm
The Roaming Parrot would love to be involved!
March 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm
I’ve always wished the avian world would better organize itself. It tickles me how many things you write about that I’ve thought about in my own mind. I know I’m not alone in my hopes for aviculture.