Above: The donated seagreen parrot finches: won by AFS member Gerard Barrett. The branch’s most recent raffle of dusky mannikins came to an end on March 20. Members took part by picking a lottery bonus ball number prior to that week’s draw

 

THE GENEROUS DONATION of two pairs of seedeaters has helped raise funds for both the Australian Finch Society (Northern Ireland branch) and a mental-health charity.

Last month, club member Ricky Neill received a pair of Bicheno finches and parrot finches from private breeder and seller Adrian Morrow, and on behalf of the AFS (NI branch) organised the society’s first online bird raffle and auction.

The Bichenos were auctioned via the Facebook group “Australian Finch Keepers Northern and Southern Ireland” and went to the highest bidder, Marc Fleming, who has since become an AFS (NI branch) member.

The parrot finches were raffled off and the winning number was drawn using that week’s national lottery bonus ball. A total of £190 was raised for society funds, while 20 per cent of the parrot finch sale was presented on behalf of the AFS (NI branch) to the charity PIPS – Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide and Self Harm.

Mr Neill said: “I was buying a couple of pair of painted finches from Mr Marrow and asked whether, at some point in the future, he would make a donation as a bird dealer. Without question the two pairs of birds were handed over there and then!”

The club wishes Mr Fleming and Mr Barrett all the best with their new birds. Mr Neill added: “The parrot finches are travelling to the south of Ireland, some 200 miles away, of which I’m arranging delivery.”

A club raffle of a DNA-sexed pair of dusky mannikins, donated by member Laurence Edgar, was coming to a close as we went to press. Money raised from this bird raffle will go towards society funds.

Club officials are now in talks to host a charity seed raffle where 100 per cent of the ticket sales will go to Marie Curie.

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