Above: Swapping the real bench for an online bench: Midland ZFC will host its first-ever international virtual show later this month. Results are to be revealed on its Facebook page. Judges will not view the birds in person, instead they will watch 20-second videos


WITH VIRTUAL BIRD shows picking up momentum during the pandemic, Midland Zebra Finch Club (ZFC) has announced plans to host its first international online show next weekend.

Entries close 8pm on September 19, so you need to get in quick to take part in the virtual show, which is open to exhibitors worldwide. Entries are free, there’s no limit on the number of pairs you can enter and the show will include a full Zebra Finch Society area show classification.

On September 26, the paired birds will be judged on a 20-second video supplied by the exhibitor, and the final results will appear in due course on the Midland ZFC’s Facebook page.

Secretary Wayne Downing told Cage & Aviary Birds: “Our club has adapted to the Covid-19 situation to give fanciers the opportunity to show their birds virtually, as it’s likely there will not be any other opportunity in terms of a physical show this year.”

Judges are Nigel Smith and Ben Downing, and an additional judge will be appointed if entries surpass expectations. Ben, 22, son and show partner to Mr Downing, came up with the idea for the virtual show. Mr Downing explained: “Ben was figuring out how the club could still put on a show when no one can get together in person. It’s a great idea during this pandemic; there is no expense to the club as we’re not hiring a hall. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t receive about 100 entries.”

Officials say response to the virtual show has been positive, with enquiries already from fanciers in the Netherlands and Bahrain.

A catalogue, award sheet and images of all the exhibits (with exhibitors’ permission) will be available after judging for £5. The money raised will go towards prize money for the 2021 Midland ZFC club show.

For show enquiries or to submit your 20-second video, email Wayne Downing: waynedowning66@hotmail.com

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