Hobby Participation: Halting The Decline?

Budgerigar fanciers in declineThroughout the world of budgerigars, there exists long standing concern about the loss of membership on a world wide basis.

Virtually no country is excluded from this problem.

So what are the causes?

Why is it Happening?

I list these major causes as contributing factors:

  • The Lure of Modern Technology

    • Young people are fascinated by the constant introduction of new technology, gadgets and computers – spending hours, either constructively or wastefully!
  • TV & DVD

    • Watching DVDs & Television is preferable for some young people who have no outside interests or hobbies.
  • Lack of a Guiding Hand?

    • Today’s levels of parental leadership are vastly diminished in so many families.
  • Increase in University Attendances

    • More young people in their late teens and early 20s now attend universities, so they have no time for the fancy.
  • Alternative “One-Off” Interests

    • Some sporting interests and any required equipment can be a one-off expense. So it’s often an easy option.
  • Smaller Attention Spans – No “Stick At It” Attitude?

    • Time needed to make a “job worth doing is worth doing well”. I grew up with that phrase ringing in my ears – and it stuck. I’m not sure it is applied much these days.
  • Older Newcomers

    • Newcomers to the hobby are, in the main, coming from the 40 plus generation – but only joining after being told about an existing member’s interests.
  • Hobby Too Expensive?

    • Money required for set up costs of aviaries, seed and stocks. Grain has shot up to new levels in the past two years.
  • The Current Economic Climate!

    • Everybody is watching what they spend these days.
  • The Hobby Does Not Market Itself Well

    • With so many sports, interests, hobbies and pastimes available today, you have to get noticed to ensure that you are not left behind. The hobby world wide does a poor job at marketing itself to the wider public.

How do other Hobbies Market Themselves?

The Pigeon Fancy is enormous – Fact. They market the hobby with extensive magazines, exposure on TV, and press coverage. They also publish books of great depth and interest (e.g. for sale & libraries).

The same applies to the Angling hobby.

As for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), they have their annual accounts running into millions of pounds.

Is the Budgerigar Fancy Doing Enough?

In a word, NO!

Using my national Budgerigar Society (UK Budgerigar Society) as a typical example, I decided the other day to address a letter to the Secretary (David Whittaker) and the Chairman (George Booth), copy to the Publicity Officer (Janice Al-Nasser – a very efficient lady), about the BS leading “The Charge” , as I now call it.

It relates to the marketing of the hobby to the general public.

As I see it, societies everywhere, and the UK is no exception, have committees, councils, boards etc., to lead on behalf of their membership.

Certainly one cannot argue that they are all nice people and are hard workers, when there are so many who do not help at all!

Such committees are also good, in the main, at dealing with the exhibition side of the hobby – i.e. show planning and organisation. The UK Budgerigar Society and the German presentations are but two in this category.

Regrettably (in my opinion) these committees often suffer from what can only be described as “modest leadership”, thus allowing all manner of rules changes (e.g. the BS can only change their rules every three years as mandated) which seem to merely irritate the members, rather than encourage them.

One example, some years back, was to tamper with the design of the show cage (when none was needed at all), at a time when members were being lost and continue to be lost.

Yes, I know there was a 10 year stay in place by which time the new design was obligatory, but it had to have forced members to say to themselves:

Why on earth have I got this extra (and unnecessary) expense?

I now have to go over to the new design fast or I’ll be left behind.

I cannot justify staying in the hobby any longer.

Exit disgruntled member, stage left!

There are such examples all over the world of a similar nature, but this article is being constructive – not destructive (as a few will take it) – as well as ignoring the praiseworthy comments.

Criticism takes all the attention.

Can we Halt the Decline in Membership?

So, are there actions the hobby can take to halt the decline and raise awareness among the general public?

I firmly believe the answer is YES.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Use Mass Marketing Channels – such as TV & Radio

    • Remember that television & radio exposure gets into nearly every home. I know in the UK that Jeff Attwood is considered perhaps the best speaker in the hobby, and a natural in front of a camera. I would be using him, for example, to promote the hobby on TV & radio.
  • Aviaries & Shows on TV

    • Get the Attwoods of the Fancy to push the TV companies to feature some of the top aviaries and the budgerigar shows. Use some of the best and experienced fanciers to tell the public that not only do we exist, but what a great hobby this is, with a hands-on factor involved with nature as well as the challenge it creates for all of us.
  • Magazine Placement

    • Supply every doctor’s and dentist surgery with a magazine to be seen by patients who have time to browse.
  • Pet Trade Magazines

    • The pet trade magazines are a must for publicity to those who might switch from, say, keeping fish to budgerigars, or similar.
  • Car Stickers

    • Have car window stickers promoting us and giving details how to get in touch with the right organisation. The public will spot a quality budgerigar in this way and be drawn to look further and, importantly, might bite. If not for them, but for their sons or daughters who love nature.
  • Advance Promotion of Shows

    • All budgerigar shows should have promotion in advance of the event in local newspapers, on local radio and if possible local TV. Emphasise that there will be stewards to take you round the exhibits and explain all aspects of the hobby when you get there. Posters have to be up in an around the local towns & villages – even local fairs do that! Such marketing has to have a double effect – boosted door receipts and memberships.
  • Reduce Bureaucracy

    • Stop the decine of existing members as a result of swamping them with ill thought out rules and regulations which appear to have been introduced without serious thinking as to the possible consequences could be. An example: the new BS rule on flecking needs re-thinking (in my humble opinion).You cannot legislate for a variable fault – leave it to the judges. It all depends on what is in front of them – and I speak constructively, not otherwise.
  • Use Modern Technology to Spread The Word

    • Websites are a marvelous tool to market the hobby. They are free to access and can, if designed well, provide huge amounts of marketing material to the public at the touch of a button. Join the 21st century and make use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

These are but a few of the many ways in which to market the hobby we love.

Call to Action

So, marketing the hobby to the general public is not “rocket science” – but it does need someone to take ownership and make it happen.

All the above ideas can be added to and a small group of bright individuals should be instructed to address the situation in each society. Try to ensure that someone in the group has some experience in marketing – even if it is in marketing their own small business!

To start the process you have to build a Development Plan. Have a goal in mind and map out the steps to get there. Be pro-active and have the drive to push matters through.

Importantly, those on society boards or councils MUST back the “marketing team” – not block them. Then and only then, can we as fanciers hope to increase the popularity of breeding exhibition budgerigars.

In particular (and I address this to the chairpersons of the hobby), place this matter of great importance on your society’s agendas NOW!

No longer can we deal JUST with the “individual trees” (i.e. tactical matters) in the forest. We have to look at “the forest” as a WHOLE (i.e. strategic matters) and see the danger we face.

Remember what I have written before.

If you have always done things in a certain way, then you will get the results you have always had.

The Charge

In my opinion, even though action should have been taken several years back, it is not too late.

Act now and keep acting and results will flow.

My concern is that all that I have written will fall on “deaf ears” – because it has come from “Binks”, as some silly folk think.

I hope to be proved wrong and something will happen – but knowing the “leaders of the hobby “, I am not very hopeful.

Please prove my cynicism wrong!

The future of this wonderful hobby is in our hands. When you vote for leaders for your next board, think carefully who are the best persons to drive it forward. Just because a breeder on the show-bench is highly successful is no reason to vote for him / her. Remember that fact.

I will be the first to publicise any budgerigar society (national or local) who implements some of these ideas and get results. This international budgerigar website is here for that purpose.

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About the Author: Gerald Binks began breeding budgerigars when he was 12 years old and is now arguably the most knowledgeable budgerigar fancier in the world. He has bred his fair share of Best in Show birds, judged in no less than 20 countries, founded the World Budgerigar Association, and has published two of the three classic books on the hobby. His stud in the UK attracts fanciers from near and far and is always high on the list for those wishing to purchase BA23 quality budgerigars.

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  1. Barrie Shutt says:

    Well done Gerald.

    This something I have realised for years – we are fading away and may not exist by the year 2025!

    When I targeted the pet breeders who are tomorrow’s exhibitors, I was humiliated by a few BS members. Fools they are as they cannot see “out of the box”.

    This makes you and I “anti BS” Gerald – as they don’t like anyone speaking out.

    Good luck, and like yourself, I hope budgerigar societies can grow and survive long after we fade away.

    Barrie Shutt, UK

  2. Gerald, I have to agree with you on this issue.

    Many of us on the http://www.budgerigars.co.uk forum have posted about these issues as well.

    Who knows where will it end?

    We also feel it falls on deaf ears.

    Anyone who reads this can also visit the http://www.budgerigars.co.uk and see our thoughts on this subject including a change of venue to Stafford in conjunction with the Parrot Society.

    Paul Stannard, UK

  3. Gerald – Thank you.

    I read this wonderful article & comparative study.

    We in Pakistan also face ‘poor and bad governance’ – I have seen shows taking place in top floors of houses and even in school classrooms with open ceiling fans!

    I personally never wish to show my birds at those kind of shows.

    I am 100% in agreement with your observations and critical study.

    In my personal opinion, our budgerigars have worth not in ‘currency’ but under ‘international standards’.

    Habib Ur Rehman, Pakistan

  4. Thanks Gerald.

    Once again, you have pushed us to think deeper.

    You are full of good ideas as always and thanks again for this wonderful website.

    Kind regards,
    Hans Östergaard, Denmark

  5. Dear Mr Binks,

    I am budgerigar fancier from India (Mumbai) and been keeping and breeding for many years.

    India is looking at this hobby in a very different way now, but is yet to gain that popularity.

    One of the discouraging factors in the hobby in India, is our inability to import good budgerigar stock. This is mainly due to legal aspects and secondly the price to pay for a good bird.

    I went to Lahore for the International Show in 2008, and I did buy some expensive budgerigars but I couldn’t get them over. Naveed and his team were very helpful and saw to it that I was well taken care of.

    I am going to be traveling to the UK next January (2012) and I look forward to buying some birds and getting them down to India.

    I am on Facebook under the name of Albert Amanna and you could view some of the birds that I have in my collection.

    I would like to get hold of some good DVD’s and other presentations that I could use to promote the hobby in India.

    I work in the hotel industry and keeping budgerigars is my passion – I want to breed and improve the quality in India.

    Thank you for your support.

    Warm regards,
    Albert Amanna, India

  6. Andy Hind says:

    Some very good points there Gerald for the good of the future of the fancy.

    Let’s hope things can change for the good.

    Andy Hind, UK

  7. David Bates says:

    Hi Gerald,

    You couldn’t be more right!

    Just less than a month ago in the Western Suburbs BS monthly meeting, we were asking ourselves the same question: How do we keep our new members in the hobby?

    There seems to still be interest out there, but they come and go so quickly.

    We as a club have come up with a couple of ideas.

    • Assign a mentor to any new member the minute they enter the club.
    • Give a new member some birds to play with (say one bird from each member that has them available), instead of sending them to auctions (which would scare off most newcomers when they attend a sale).
    • Provide an emergency contact number to a new member – as I still regularly call people for advice myself.
    • Help arrange as many aviary visits as possible. Especially those that are breeding, because in my opinion that is the most exciting part of the hobby, seeing chicks in the nest.

    Thanks.
    Dave Bates, Australia

  8. Hi Gerald,

    I think all your content is valid.

    I think we as a hobby can make a change but:

    • Whose job is it to advertise and get the hobby seen?
    • Who leads the way for the future?
    • Who has what it takes to get the job done?
    • Who pays for it?

    I think most people will know of the budgerigar but not the budgerigar as a hobby.

    Many of us have sent ideas and suggestions to the UK BS (via the budgerigars.co.uk forum), however most things have been knocked back due to costs etc.

    I think there is a need for drastic changes to bring the hobby back to glory with today’s science……

    Marketing is key in my mind – but who can unlock the doors to make it happen?

    Who funds the way forward – as any attempt will cost? The members can help all they can – I am sure many would add to a fund to start supporting things, but who is going to manage it?

    Keep up the campaign as it’s a very valid one – we all should be getting involved as a collective with the same passion.

    Kevin Addison, UK

  9. Ray Fox says:

    Hi Gerald,

    You have written in your clear, concise and to the point way, and there is quite a lot to take in, I hope everyone reads it.

    I think it is a “call to arms”. However, for anything worth having you always have to pay a price, which can be, hard work, patience and some sacrifice.

    I know you have always stood up for what you believe in, and that is right, even if standing alone.

    Your comments are receiving considerable support on http://www.budgerigars.co.uk .

    Ray Fox, UK

  10. Hi Gerald,

    A very good article on hobby participation.

    Congratulations.

    Regards
    Florian Böck, Germany

  11. Hi Gerald,

    Could you please email me….

    I have a matter I would like to discuss with you, regarding a local TV station that may help us promote the hobby and plug it on Yorkshire TV?

    Thanks,
    Kevin Addison, UK

  12. Hi Gerald,

    You get it right in your article.

    It is now up to the clubs to take action.

    What we need are drastic changes from people who are looking much further than their own benefits – certainly in my country, Belgium.

    Regards,
    Didier Mervilde, Belgium

  13. Javed Khaanzada says:

    Dear Mr Binks,

    You have raised some very sensitive points in your article.

    As you know, the hobby in Pakistan is just 5 years old and we have lot to do, but we are continuously arranging national show with international judges.

    We always welcome constructive critical comments from our members, but we also receive destructive critical comments from such members – some who have not bothered to pay the society annual fee for many years!

    Regards,
    Javed Khaanzada
    Vice President BSP (Budgerigar Society of Pakistan)

  14. I like the fancy a lot, but I do think that champions should take beginners in the fancy under their wings and help them trough the first difficult years of starting, trying, making mistakes and so on.

    I also think that the prices paid for a relatively good bird are sometimes pure madness. This is something that should be considered too.

    Patrick Duyck, Belgium

  15. barrie shutt says:

    A good post Patrick and you have my support with both your statements.

    I do mentor several beginners at any one time and always offer them good quality stock at beginner prices.

    Barrie Shutt, UK

  16. Barrie,

    Here in Belgium you can look hard for someone like that.

    I found someone who helped me out with some starter birds so I could start without burning a hole in my pocket. Then, with the best of the young, I went back to build further on.

    Another problem, here in Belgium, are the clubs. We have 3, and the boards of all 3 won’t talk to the other!

    I believe that will kill the fancy in Belgium a lot quicker too.

    Patrick Duyck, Belgium

  17. Patrick,

    There are people who want to help others also in Belgium but the problem is that they forget who has helped them.

    It is a fact that there are 3 clubs in Belgium but you can do something to let them talk with each other because you are a member of the board of one of them…

    Didier Mervilde, Belgium

  18. Carlos Araújo says:

    In my opinion, it is becoming harder to create budgerigar, especially in Portugal, since the great creators do not help beginners and also because here we do not have access to good birds.

    So we have to purchase them from other countries, such as Switzerland and England, which makes very high price of birds.

    I am the creator 5 years and until today I had little help at the national level and only recently met (through Facebook) a person from another country to help me better (Barrie Shutt).

    I’m very grateful because it is very difficult to find help from someone with great experience and I appeal to experienced to help beginners.

    Carlos Araújo, Portugal.

  19. That is so true.

    However, I am too small a fish (on behalf of my birds) to have something to say in this matter.

    Another way of saying “who wants to talk to a novice in the fancy even if he is a member of the board?”.

    Patrick Duyck, Belgium

  20. If the self benefit of some of the champion breeders wouldn’t be more important than their own club, something could change. Don’t put motivated people out of the board of a club.

    Remember in 1991 we (6 motivated budgerigar breeders) started with one club for Belgium. However, that was not good enough for some people and they started their own club or became a division of the Netherlands.

    Look at the result – 3 different clubs with a lack of motivation.

    Is that better for the fancy ?

    If you are a member of the board, being a novice, champion or beginner doesn’t matter, but it is true it is easy to continue the work people have done before, rather than self-renew.

    Didier Mervilde, Belgium

  21. Ref: Mr. Javed

    Just for correction, the hobby in Pakistan started in 1996 in Lahore and three WBO Affiliates (including NBS, CBS and BSP) are working in same region i.e Punjab Province.

    The BSP incorporated in 1996 and the founder & secretary was Mr. Naveed. A National Champion of the Society, he brought the concept of the ‘owner bred’ budgerigars to Pakistan.

    I founded the shows in our south region in 2009 through Pakistan’s 1st Distance Judging and their live telecast of the National Baby & Young Bird Show in Lahore. The judge was Mr. Nigel Tonkin from Australia and there was an article published in the Budgerigar World Magazine in April 2009 & in Australia.

    Moreover, I then organized and managed a 1st Grand Bird Show in Karachi in 2009 and truly started the physical International Standard Shows – the judge was Mr.Gerd (WBO Chairman & DSV President).

    In 2010 we organized our 1st Young Bird Show in Karachi – the judge was W.Trimborn from Germany. I won my 1st Best In Show & Best Young Bird Cock – the bird was from Gerald S Binks blood-line and D.Lutolf.

    I also won Best Bar Head Cock and few BOC under the umbrella of BSP – South Wing. The report was published in two languages (German & English) – the first time in Pakistan. The Ranking & Points system was introduced in 2009 at Karachi as DSV pattern.

    I believe that nobody can kill the hobby but fun-gamblers.

    Habib Ur Rehman, Pakistan.

  22. Paul Cunningham says:

    Hi Gerald,

    I believe that the single biggest reason for the decline is due to the amount of unrest and political infighting that seems to be evident in all countries to one degree or another.

    When people do not get their own selfish way in all things, they next wish to become spoilers and to form break away groups and societies. Instead of pulling together for the good of the hobby and the national body (there should only ever be one in every country), they cause a rift and a split and next their primary concern is to just trash one another at every opportunity.

    I have even seen two such national societies hold their annual show on the very same weekend simply to split the entry at both.

    Next they remain in their small circles and kid themselves that they are promoting the hobby. They are, but only on THEIR own selfish self-serving terms.

    Who can blame people for staying away from such mini dictatorships and just next enjoying their birds privately?

    It all just seems to be a vicious power struggle to me and a mad obsession to corner the market and to become the NEW kid on the block.

    The entire concept of what a hobby is supposed to be about (i.e. something that one does in their leisure time for relaxation and pleasant recreation) has now been completely lost.

    It is nice to have top quality exhibition budgerigars, but it is very difficult to enjoy them in the current hostile climate and environment.

    It is also impossible to go among them now without being browbeaten into taking sides.

    Things will not improve unless people first chill out and lighten up and stop all taking themselves so very seriously. They need to realise that this hobby is NOT and NEVER WAS or should be about THEM.

    Paul Cunningham, UK

  23. Cameron Browne says:

    I have recently joined a club after many years of breeding a few birds for fun (Lovebirds for 8 years and now budgerigars for 3 years).

    Last month I attended my first club meeting (Western Sydney) and, as David states above, have been offered contact numbers, a mentor and I am arranging for a visit to see another member’s birds in the coming weeks.

    Having someone to call and ask for advice has been a great help.

    From my point of view, I think cost and space are the main problems for people starting out – especially in places like Sydney.

    Gone are the days when everyone had a 1/4 acre block with room for an aviary. I actually had to specify to my real estate agent when I was buying my first home that the yard needed room for an aviary.

    So once you throw in the cost of space, an aviary, the cost of obtaining decent birds to start with (i.e. non pet shop style) and its already moving out of a beginner’s price range.

    Two years ago, when I first attempted to obtain birds, I called and e-mailed several members asking to purchase some birds – I just referred to the auctions, which is a costly way to start.

    Cameron Browne, Australia

  24. Barrie Shutt says:

    Enjoy your hobby, Cameron, and I am pleased you have found a mentor.

    Barrie Shutt, UK

  25. Leeia Fox says:

    As a beginner in the hobby in 2009, I have been lucky to have obtained a number of well bred exhibition style birds from local and surrounding pet stores.

    From there I joined a local club and was welcomed by approximately one third of the club.

    I wanted to leave within the first 6 months, however a member from my club reminded me of the values I held and why I joined. He expressed that I should breed and show for me and not worry about the others whom had problems with me.

    I stuck in there and after a while more people in my club accepted me.

    I was gifted a beautiful yellow face cobalt cock young bird and the Rob Marshall “Budgerigars” book. Also included was the clients number and access to Rob’s help. Since then I’ve had members from my club go out of their way to mentor me (one especially to whom I owe a lot of thanks and gratitude). However, it seems to be just these same people stretching themselves out to members and interested breeders all over Victoria.

    I was lucky enough to know a fair bit about budgies, although I admit show birds are a whole new playing field, and experience when care comes into it is so much different. These birds need so much more care and attention than the average pet budgies, that I feel this could be part of the reason people are shying away from continuing to breed for show.

    I myself admit that I almost gave it in. I started to become upset and distressed that my birds seemed to be constantly ill.

    I’ve had people reach out to me from other countries to help me with questions and advice. Without the constant praise and support of these people, and the slow but steady change in my club’s attitude (the majority of them struggling to bring it back to being about the birds, the hobby and the enjoyment of it all), then I would now be another breeder – but just not show the birds.

    There will always be some “extreme competitors” out there – people who, if they fail to get a bird in a show team or leave a show without a major placing, will snarl and speak under their breath! However, I have realized that, despite the fact that these people are everywhere, there are more breeders and showmen out there willing to lend or extend their hand to us less experienced breeders.

    I feel the problem lies in the upkeep and maintenance of the exhibition stud. For example: the show cages (now the new unneeded powder coating!) and the cost of traveling to and from shows. All these things have an impact.

    I do not feel that the cost of seed is a issue, it’s more the cost of everything else involved in maintaining their health and the not knowing truly what’s too much and/or not enough to get that balance.

    It’s the constant politics that arise – petty issues that some people just can not seem to let go of!

    It’s a hobby!

    If you want to constantly debate issues, join parliament or find a local debating team. Us beginners truly either don’t want to hear it or don’t really care that much to argue it.

    We just want to breed, learn to show and participate in socializing. Life is too short for debating issues – especially when our ideas are pushed aside as we are new and apparently know nothing!

    Why are our young members leaving you ask? Hmm…I wonder!

    Some of you know what needs to happen – you just don’t want to rock the boat. If you don’t rock the boat the ships will sink taking the crews with them.

    Those in power, the ones in charge with all the say – you are the ones who can change this, you are the ones who can save this hobby. No one else. We can all scream until the cows come home, but in the end it’s up to the same few in power.

    Happy breeding everyone. Enjoy watching your birds feather and enjoy each others time – as everyone’s time ends.

    Life’s to short for all the B***S**T

    Leeia Fox, Victoria, Australia

  26. Felipe Zabeu says:

    Unfortunately, we too in Brazil also have such problems.

    A few years ago many breeders left the hobby, so numbers at exhibitions fell and interaction between breeders declined.

    However, some breeders have taken a positive attitude as a hobby to encourage, assist and protect, to promote events and interaction between breeders.

    The Internet (and in particular web sites) has been a good means of interaction and communication, helping to develop the members of the hobby. I believe these measures are working and are helping to create a new reality in the hobby.

    I think the suggestions of positive actions, to combat disaffection and the exit of breeders, are very valid. I was very surprised to hear that those in the hobby, from various countries, were experiencing similar difficulties.

    I wish the “good breeder” always acted and thought as “the most important in every action is to promote a better hobby.” What exactly is “a better hobby”? A hobby with open doors to whomever has the potential to become a good breeder or simply a person who likes budgerigars that will one day feel that more can not live without them.

    I still have great hope for a good future for the hobby!

    Well done to all who considered this discussion and their opinions are very healthy to the hobby worldwide!

    Felipe Zabeu, Brazil.

  27. David Smith says:

    As a potential beginner I attended the BS World Show 2010 at Doncaster.

    I bought what I thought was two entrance tickets that turned out to be programmes only.

    I was then accosted by an aggressive steward as I made to enter the hall. I tried to explain but was met by an unhelpful stare and no assistance. I paid the entrance fee and went into the hall.

    I can’t say it was a pleasant experience. Fanciers pushing past you and even standing in front of you as you looked at birds. Hardly a happy face to be seen.

    Blame your lack of new fanciers on the economic crisis and computers etc. by all means, but have a look at the image the fancy portrays as well.

    David Smith

  28. Barrie Shutt says:

    Dave,

    That sums up some of today’s shows – which means we have lots to do to return to “the good all days”.

    Dave, there are some good people out there that can make it happen.

    If I can be of any help to you, please get in touch.

    Barrie Shutt, UK

  29. Barrie Shutt says:

    Leeia,

    A super post Leeia, and as in any hobby you will have politics – as ego fights ego for a place in the rankings.

    This will never change, it’s human nature.

    The good news is, we are now two clear places in front of the train spotters hobby!

    Barrie Shutt, UK

  30. This is a wonderful, but sad post.

    I am in Colorado, USA and have had a most difficult time finding good budgerigar breeders online who are willing to sell good quality birds.

    There are no clubs or shows in my state as far as I can find.

    Promotion and education is the key.

    Connie Kogler, Colorado, USA

  31. Dear Connie Kogler,

    Well said – promotion and education is the key.

    I hope the following weblinks will help you;

    And I have good breeder friends in America including:

    • Dewayne Weldon
    • Stephen Fowler
    • Gordon Davis
    • Alan Bundy
    • …and others

    Breeding budgerigars is an international hobby and I’m glad that you will happy to find nearest to Colorado or affiliate club or write directly and ask freely.

    Wishing you Good Luck.

    Best Regards
    Habib Ur Rehman, Pakistan

  32. JDG_Budgies says:

    A great topic and I feel we can all do more to promote the fancy. It is great with all the ideas but if everybody pitches in and does a little the job will get done.

    Just a few more to add to the ideas list:

    • Advertise everywhere you can for free – speeding money to advertise is a waste of club resources
    • The first thing that needs too be done is promoting to the converted. Target your efforts to people that already have an interest. One of our old show managers told me all I need to do is get them to the show and that means $10 bucks in the til. Advertise to past members invite them to come out and visit with old friends. This is an old mans game and maybe we need to offer a shuttle service for older members that can’t drive.
    • Create a party atmosphere and keep the party going with meet and greet judges, BBQ, hospitality room and talks and presentations
    • Invite other clubs to your shows to set up a membership tables, this will give them a place to meet and give them a chance to meet and greet others. Also they will have to man the table all the time selling club memberships and pines etc. (Also will support the $10 dollars a person idea)
    • Club members at shows, should all make a point of talking to the public and encourage them to get involved. Have cards made up to hand out for contacts, they can be personal or club cards. Ask them if they have budgies or are interested in getting started. Invite them to the next club meeting. Ask them what area they are from, then ask them if the know so-and-so near there. Do the same with venders at the show and buy some supplies from them. If they have good sales they will return the following years and support the clubs.
    • Invite vendors to club meetings to give a little talk and set up a portable store.

    This my little part for the Hamilton club in Canada:

    65th Annual Hamilton & District Budgie Show

    The judge for the day is: Cor Booster

    Saturday September 10th, 2011 – 12 Noon to 4 P.M.
    At the Burlington Lions Club, 471 Pearl Street.

    Come out and enjoy exhibition budgerigars…

    See some lovely budgies or learn about a new hobby!

    FREE ADMISSION

    Children must be supervised by an adult.

    Jim Gilchrist, Canada

  33. Alan Bundy says:

    Hi Connie

    I would be willing to help connect you to breeders across America.

    When I started back breeding I joined one of the national societies and then a local club. My local club happens to be a 4 hour round trip drive. I live in Pennsylvania and have no clubs in this state so I can feel your frustration.

    When I started, I drove to Ohio and North Carolina and attended shows in Virginia, Wisconsin and Rhode Island. I made friends and connections who wanted to help me get going in the hobby. It paid off and I succeeded at the shows.

    I have since been very involved in the hobby through my photography and web skills. Facebook has been a wonderful place to connect and meet new people. I guess what I’m saying is because our hobby here in America is spread enormously we have to make a tremendous effort to get started.

    I do know there are clubs in Utah, Washington State, and all over California – so please don’t give up.

    Feel free to email me and I will do all I can to connect you.

    Sincerely

    Alan Bundy, USA
    Alan@awbbudgies.com

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