SOME INTERESTING IDEAS are being floated about the public recognition of achievements in birdkeeping, whether it’s for first UK breedings, administrative work, rosette league tables, or what have you. David Alderton last week and Mr Edgecombe (left) have both also mentioned corporate achievement, e.g. in the area of avian diet. Perhaps because such activities are “commercial”, they get overlooked when the applause and trophies are handed out. Yet in terms of influence for good, they may be of lasting significance.

One corporate “influence for good” that we all ought to applaud is, without doubt, the family firm that does so much to support our hobby’s premier event, the National Exhibition: East Yorkshire’s Johnston & Jeff. Here is a company that puts its money where its mouth is in terms of helping our showpiece to flourish year after year. Ironically, a great deal of that support goes into providing awards for other people: think of all those rosettes and (from this year) extra prizes for the main section winners, too. I’d love to think the fancy could come up with a special way to show its appreciation.

Let’s stick with awards for a minute: if I were handing out the awards for others rosettes, I’d reserve a “special” for one of the most eminent yet also least acknowledged scientific birdmen of our time: the Danish ornithologist Niels Krabbe. Not a familiar name? Well, for starters he’s been deeply involved in the discovery and conservation of that beautiful new species of hummingbird in Ecuador (see News, page 3). Rather too many big shots in today’s bird world have become famous on the back of clever publicity rather than anything substantial they’ve discovered or done. Dr Krabbe is one of life’s doers, rather than one of life’s tweeters, if you get my drift.

■ Club News alert: C&AB’s email was out of action for part of September 25 and 26, so it’s possible we’ve missed getting some Club News-related emails. If you emailed during that time, and have NOT had an acknowledgement from my colleague Laura Keens, please resend your email as soon as possible – thank you.

■ Helicopter/Japanese crest spangle goldenface opaline cobalt hen. Longest budgie name ever (OK, “cock” adds a letter)? See Sam Wildes’s article on page 9.

■ And finally: SEE YOU AT STAFFORD!