Above: The AS is aware that the current pandemic may put pressure on keepers to reduce, rather than expand, their collections. But if you are able to, this extra time is ideal to improve your bird breeding results. AS president Mike Curzon says his fruit doves are nesting earlier than normal, and his rose crowned (example pictured) pair already has a chick in their nest. © Shutterstock.com/feathercollector


A “SUBSCRIPTION HOLIDAY” has been proposed by the Avicultural Society (AS) in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement was made in the AS April newsletter, which was sent to members on April 1. It offers free membership in 2021 to any member renewing or joining the AS during 2020.

“The break next year will apply to everyone who renews or joins this year, so that includes those who have already paid for 2020,” explained Nigel Hewston, AS chairman. “We hope this will help members in a small way to maintain their birdkeeping activities and contacts through difficult times, and will also avoid reversing the small but very welcome increase in membership we have experienced over the last two years.”

If any members do wish to pay their subscriptions for 2021, the AS will consider it as a donation.

In the newsletter, the AS acknowledges that Covid-19 will be having a serious impact on the lives, incomes and avicultural activities of both amateur and professional birdkeepers. The newsletter states: “We find ourselves in a strange situation, where many keepers will have more time to devote to their birds but may be experiencing difficulties in keeping them supplied with food and other essentials.”

AS president Mike Curzon said fanciers who are struggling to get fresh fruit for their birds could use frozen vegetables as an alternative. “My birds take all fresh fruit and at this moment in time, with a bit of phoning around, I’ve managed to get some,” he said. “However, you can substitute fresh fruit with vegetables: just cook them sufficiently to soften them and birds will readily take it.”

He encouraged members to use this time to focus on breeding their birds: “I hope this situation will not interfere with members’ breeding season. Usually fanciers do not dispose of young birds until the autumn, so hopefully things by then will have settled down.”

Contact the Avicultural Society via: www.avisoc.co.uk

AS EVENTS 2020/21

THE events calendar is provisional under the present circumstances:

August 2 – Birdkeepers’ Day at Beale Park (possible AGM and council meeting)
September 13 – autumn social (Norfolk)
October 4 – National Exhibition at Stafford
October 8-12 – AS trip to Czech Republic (See News, February 19 issue)
March 27, 2021 – AGM, spring social and council meeting at Harewood House


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