Speaking to the Future? Really? How do we do that? 

Actually, I’m doing it now. And if you leave comments, you are too. Leaving a scratch on the world isn’t as difficult as it you would think. At least it isn’t now. In the digital age, information is captured. Every time I post something here, the reader is affected one way or the other by what is left here. They can think, “Wow! I learned something there!” or they can nod their head in agreement or put it aside as something as something they don’t feel works for them.

But either way, they are affected. It has entered their gray matter. I suppose it’s food for thought. I’d like to think of it that way. So what do I mean by “Speaking to the Future?”


A few years back Susan Friedman advised me to stick to my knitting. She explained to me that what she does is teach applied behavior analysis and positive reinforcement training and as long as she is able to teach that, she really doesn’t care about the the “window dressing” of the people who are learning from her and what they do, what their model is, their approach to aviculture or their current stature in the world. She simply doesn’t care. She teaches what she knows and what she believes in. Well, that’s what I took away from our discussion.


Susan Friedman with Janet Holt Hilton

What is important to her is her agenda. I have watched Susan teach, as well as having seen photos of Susan teaching in all kinds of places: In tents, in classrooms, in a flight enclosure, even in a living room. What matters to her is that she is getting across what she believes in. I admire that. To Susan, it’s about the work. It’s about her passion and her agenda.

In other words, it’s about the information. Doesn’t matter who uses it as long as it’s used the way in which it was intended. She began something years ago in the world of birds and the legacy of this introduction will live on as will her articles, and all of the work she put out to make a world of difference in aviculture. She changed things. And the best part? She will continue to change things decades from now. Her work will indeed live on.


Every time I write something and publish it, I try to keep in mind that somehow, this work might change the world. I ask myself. “Will this somehow make things better? Is it moving the world forward in some manner? Will it improve the world for birds and for people?”


I believe that with the advent of social media, we need to keep this in mind whenever we post anything whether it’s on Facebook, or Twitter or in a chat group.  If whatever you said, or posted or wrote might possibly effect the future, you might be a bit more careful about your actions. The way I look at it, it has a great bit to do with it. You may have only affected one person and you might not even know how. But everyone has the ability to change a moment, a life, a situation or even an entire way of doing things. Keep that in mind and you may change how you do things.  I asked friends on Facebook this question:

If You could speak to the future: The future of parrot caregivers, the rescuers, the adoption people and the families with birds who will come long after we are gone, what would you say? What advice would you give them?

 I got some interesting answers. Here are a few:


Sher Buckner volunteering and hard at work for birds.

Sher Buckner: Educate yourselves as much as possible, first and foremost. Find out how to give great care, and pass it on to others. Donate as much of your time as possible to help parrots, if that’s your passion. Volunteer with a vet to learn more. Make provisions for what’s going to happen to your own pets if you don’t outlive them. Don’t trust HSUS and other groups trying to wipe out breeding and pet ownership. Research any pending legislation to see what it actually accomplishes (or doesn’t), related to parrots. Donate and help your LOCAL shelters and rescues. Join a group like AFA that’s monitoring legislation, promoting responsible ownership and breeding, etc., and help conservation projects for birds in the wild, such as ecotourism which provides jobs AND educates locals about the importance of protecting species. Also support separating wild birds from domestic when it comes to endangered species legislation – they are so far apart these days (i.e., some birds endangered in the wild that are NOT endangered in captivity in the U.S.), it makes no sense to combine them. But educating yourself as much as you can should be first and foremost – health, diet, training, habits, history, etc. Don’t get a pet unless you have the time and energy to give it a wonderful home!


Billie Faye King: STOP birds being taken out of the wild for human pets!!!  


Megan Burnham-Gerow: Read, learn, find other bird friends, and most of all…make plans for your feathered kid’s future when you’re gone! Don’t trust that somebody in the family will want them.  


David Hull: Advocate for requiring an expensive license to keep birds. This would discourage spur of the moment decisions and at least have humans educated.


Jamie Looking Gorgeous…

Jamie Whittaker: I would say that if you still have birds it’s because the bird people were finally able to bury their various hatchets and start working together for the future of birds. If they don’t have birds in the future I would say “I am truly sorry, – we tried, but we didn’t try hard enough”


Tango Cash Zimmerman: Can you handle an eternal 2 year old for 25-70 years depending on the species?


Writer, Speaker and Retailer, Lisa Bono

Lisa Bono:  It’s important to welcome the young people into aviculture. They are our future. Should one come in the store, I make sure I spend time talking with them and encouraging them. When I had my club, I always made it fun for them to participate and gave them jobs to do so they felt like they could make a difference. I am happy to see several of them grow up to share my passion.  

Part 2 will be coming along. Many people responded to my question!