REJOICE WITH THOSE who rejoice”, the Good Book instructs us, and it’s hard to think of a rule that adds more to the sum of human happiness. Who, honestly, wants to be happy all on their own? The feeling was made to be shared. Even for diehard competitors, there’s a moment, as soon as the prizes have been handed out, when rivalries must be dropped, disappointment firmly swallowed and the victory celebration embraced – although it isn’t your victory. (It does always help when the winner is first up to the bar, mind.)  

Uncomplicated happiness: when you see a winner’s face blazing out with it, you feel happy yourself. It’s hard to put into words, though some winners manage it. Ady Lovack, newly resident on Cloud Nine after his BS Club Show win (see page 5), explains clearly that it was about the fulfilment of seven years’ single-minded dedication since he’d returned to budgerigars: all that planning, investment, persistence and sheer hard work narrowing to a point; that moment when a judge read out his name. This wasn’t a surprise win: Mr Lovack’s light green cock had given notice of its potential at Doncaster last year, and had been unbeatable in its carefully rationed outings this season. No, I reckon the victory feeling stemmed from the unanimous confirmation that, all that time, he’d been working along the right lines. Well done, indeed, and I’m sure many budgie breeders will be hoping that Mr Lovack’s win signals the start of a renaissance for those lovely light greens.

In the same spirit of “your win is our win”, all good wishes to two clubs, one planning, the other celebrating its first show. Both West Lothian & District BS (see page 2) and the Northern Ireland Java Sparrow Society (see page 10) have wisely planned their debut shows with the help of established hosting clubs. Now let’s hope they can sustain and build on their early success.

A quite different sort of spontaneous feeling: for me, a mingling of awe, sadness and even guilt. That’s how I felt on first seeing Tony Pittman’s photo of the Cuban macaw (see letter, opposite). Look at that glowing, vibrant bird, so small for an Ara macaw, but so majestic. And now gone from this earth, except as a husk kept in a drawer deep in the chill of a museum.

Enjoy your own, living birds this week.