Birds have the last word at Dunedin club’s 139th show

Mya Arthur (8), of Mosgiel, admires one of the birds on display at the 139th annual Dunedin Bird...
Mya Arthur (8), of Mosgiel, admires one of the birds on display at the 139th annual Dunedin Bird Show, in the Wingatui Community Hall on Saturday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Sometimes, going to a bird show can be an ego-booster — particularly when you walk through the front door and a voice tells you, "You’re a pretty boy".

Dunedin Bird Club life member and judge Colleen Wright said there were a handful of talking birds among the 585 colourful budgies, canaries, lorikeets, parrots and other exotic cage birds at this year’s annual show.

But one was particularly talkative, she said.

"There’s a little lorikeet here that’s a talker. It says all sorts of things."

She said there was little doubt it had been listening in on its owners’ private conversations and repeating some of them.

"It dances as well.

"I think it makes people feel pretty special when they pass that cage."

Mrs Wright said this year’s show was one of the largest the club had held in about a decade.

"In years gone by, there was an average of 1100 birds at our shows, but that’s declined because people have got different things to do.

"The electronic age means people have got different interests.

"But the numbers seem to be growing again, perhaps because people who had birds when they were youngsters, have come back to it again and have got their children involved.

"Our 585 today is one of the biggest shows we’ve had in about a decade."

Entrants came from as far away as Invercargill and Christchurch to compete, in what was the club’s 139th annual show.

The club is the oldest in New Zealand, and many of its more recent annual shows have been held at Forbury Park, in Dunedin.

But changes to the park meant a new venue needed to be found.

Club members chose Wingatui Community Hall because most of the members lived in Mosgiel and they wanted to support locals.

The club aimed to create a whole new generation of young bird lovers on the Taieri, by selling many of the birds that were on display.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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