CCTV IS A strange phenomenon. It’s becoming increasingly prevalent in our lives, even in the opinion of some replacing the good old beat police officer of yesteryear as the eye of the law on our streets and over our garden fence. On the other hand, everybody knows dummy cameras are among the best-selling models and that half the notices that say “these premises are monitored by camera” are no more accurate as those that try and kid you that packs of savage guard dogs are slavering in wait for Johnny Criminal.
But active cameras, intelligently installed, can work and do get results. The CCTV stills in our news story on page 2 couldn’t be more graphic: there’s the intruder, plainly identifiable, known to the break-in victim, located by the police. A consequent plea of guilty as charged is no surprise in the circumstances.
The fly in the ointment is, of course, that the intruder was only caught after he had trespassed, and moreover that Mr Ash is no better off with regards to the earlier theft of his birds. I suppose the solution is to make your cameras as conspicuous as possible so as to maximise their deterrent power. But still, would the morons who shot ball bearings at the pigeons belonging to Dave Brown’s neighbour (see page 10) be too thick to make the connection between seeing a camera and hearing a knock on the door from the constabulary? I’m afraid there are no guarantees here, but believe that the day has arrived when CCTV simply must be factored in among the requirements of any external birdroom or aviary. Could enterprising clubs arrange cost-saving deals on suitable security kit for their members?
■ Off to Stafford this weekend? Look out for those canary-yellow t-shirts as the C&AB team circulates at the hall – and if you’ve not previously introduced yourself, please do so! Meanwhile, with Stafford in mind, don’t miss our in-depth interview with co-event organiser Shaun Smith on page 20. This, mind, is Shaun very much in his persona as an accomplished and highly respected breeder of rare-variety budgerigars, notably the crested.
■ Stop press: Gary Bralsford (article page 12) emails to say his gorgeous pygmy falcons have just laid. Fingers crossed... how cute are those nestlings going to look if they hatch out OK? Enjoy your birds this week.
In the March 1, 2017, issue of Cage & Aviary Birds, with its vivid red and yellow 'beard', slim build and black flights, the swift parrot is totally distinctive. It also faces worrying threats in the wild, as Rosemary Low explains
In news, we report that a Lincolnshire man has been charged with vagrancy – "being found in or upon enclosed premises" – at a private property housing exhibition-quality lovebirds in Leverton, near Boston, and the Bolivian government, and partners including the World Parrot Trust (WPT), have announced a huge new protected area, primarily aimed at the conservation of the world's rarest wild macaw.
If you're visiting the Stafford Spring Bird Show this weekend, look out for co-organiser Shaun Smith, a lifelong fancier whose interest was revitalised when he bought his first crested budgies... at Stafford! Putting the questions: Sam Wildes
Field Marshal Montgomery is famous as a military leader and strategist, and also as an occasionally testy and difficult character. But the way to his heart was via the cage birds he constantly kept, as Vincent Tremayne discovers
Gary Bralsford shares his experience of keeping an exquisite pint-sized bird of prey from the grasslands of Africa
Plus lots more, including My Life in Birds, security, Corser's Corner and the World Show, plus lots more.