179976_10200405144545375_1896113863_nBilly, Jason Crean’s Aracari.

I attended the 2013 Midwest Bird Expo this past weekend. I was lucky enough to be a speaker and did my presentation, “The Chop Revolution.”  Su Gould, who is an absolute whiz with graphics, designed this really cool sign for me to promote the presentation:

Chop RevolutionGraphic by Su Gould. Isn’t it wonderful?

I have no idea how many people attended, but there were tons of them walking around and visiting the booths to snatch up the steals and deals on bird products. There were plenty of informational booths as well including the AFA table:

920344_10200685452892011_864024161_oPhoto courtesy of Concetta DellaRocco Ferragamo

It was held at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Illinois which is a really nice venue for it. Hotel rooms are reasonable and downtown St. Charles, known as “Rush Street West,” has a huge offering of dining options. It simply works. Here is half of the event:


Photo courtesy of TASC.

One of my favorite spots is “Wok on Fire,” a Thai and Japanese restaurant. After the Expo, Jason Crean took the speakers out for dinner and that’s where we went. Naturally we had to have a little fun:

942019_10200689072942510_1870028056_nPhoto courtesy of Concetta DellaRocco Ferragamo

I find this Expo a well-balanced and fun event that evenly combines shopping, education and fun into the mix. This “Mix” makes it a very enjoyable experience. There are great deals on toys, food and other supplies as well as jewelry, books, magazines and clothing. Here is Concetta modeling a gorgeous bracelet:



Irena Schulz and Su Gould were there to promote Sy Montgomery’s book about Snowball the Dancing cockatoo.


Irena autographs books while Su sweats the details.

Su Gould does graphics for Bird Lovers Only and I’ll say it again. Su is one amazingly talented graphic artist. Here are some buttons she made for the event:



Su even did some buttons for me. Here is one that made me laugh!


Paula Rossow and Linnea Nicholson Faris came in for the event to help Irena and Su out, although Linnea got roped into giving me a hand. I was a bit scattered and Linnea calmly looked after some of the details that escaped me.


Linnea and Paula

I had a little corner of the Bird Lovers only booth where I could settle in for a bit and work on some details of my presentation. Su made up a poster board for me:



There was one thing I had to look after and it all worked out. When I fly, I have to wear my ID in plain sight in the airport. At many events, ZuPreem Bird Food Company supplies the lanyard you wear to the event. Years ago, I began using the ZuPreem Lanyard to wear while flying because they just work for me. There’s a little zippered pocket wear I can stash my FAA ID, a pen, my business cards and a lipstick. It’s very convenient and I love it. However, getting dragged around from flight to flight, they wear out after a few months. I was on my last one and it was literally taped together:


So I swung by the ZuPreem booth showed them my pathetic lanyard held together by tape and a wire bread bag tie and offered to purchase a few to wear while flying. They gave me two, admonished me for waiting so long and told me to call anytime I needed a new one and they would send some to me. ZuPreem rocks!


New lanyard on the left. Worn-out piece of crap lanyard on the right…

Sandy Lender was there to promote her magazine “In Your Flock” which is a terrific magazine. I’m happy she got quite a few new people signed up for new subscriptions:


Sandy at her Booth.

Jason did an amazing job putting the event together and the Midwest Bird Expo just seems to get better every year. Here’s Jason with Avian Vet Dr. Karen Becker, one of the speakers. By the way, Karen is hilarious!


Jason and Karen.

If you do not attend this event every year you’re missing out on so much. You can learn, shop, socialize and experience an absolutely terrific event. I highly recommend the Midwest Bird Expo as something you simply don’t want to miss.

All of us who participate have the Monday Morning Quarterback thoughts going on in our heads. We could have done this, I should have said that… But Su Gould summed it up perfectly in this charming Snowball cartoon about the aftermath:


I couldn’t have said it better. In the end, it is what it is. And the Midwest Bird Expo really is a must-do avicultural event.