Bird lovers flock to show

Birds were proudly fluffing their feathers when the New Zealand Poultry, Pigeon and Cage Bird National Show came to Forrester Park last week.

It was a great day for Jaydean Washington, of Waldronville, who won best caged bird in show for his Gloster canary.

‘‘She is a beauty of a bird,’’ he said.

Jaydean’s love of birds began early — he recalled getting a book on budgerigars when he was very young.

‘‘In all birds there are so many different varieties, colours, shapes.’’

He had raised budgerigars, Yorkshire canaries, Gloster canaries, and ‘‘all sorts of finches’’.

Birds on the brain . . . Jaydean Washington (16), of Waldronville, shows some of his caged birds...
Birds on the brain . . . Jaydean Washington (16), of Waldronville, shows some of his caged birds at the New Zealand National Show Cham pionships at Forrester Park last Friday. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON

‘‘I’ve had birds my whole life.’’

His tip for raising an awardwinning bird was a good diet, which involved fresh New Zealand grown seed as well as vegetables and protein.

For smaller finches he fed them mealworms and maggots ‘‘to get that extra protein, because in the wild that is their main source’’.

Dunedin Poultry, Pigeon and Cage Bird club president Stu Aitken said it had been exciting to host the national show for the first time.

‘‘It is unbelievable, it is the biggest show we’ve had in the 45 years we have been going.’’

More than 1000 people attended the show on Friday and over the weekend. There were more than 1500 birds on display, and exhibitors came from across the country.

The main sections for judging included game fowl, light breed poultry, heavy breed poultry, ducks, game and fancy bantams, and pigeons.

Dunedin Poultry, Pigeon and Cage Bird club junior vice-president Phil Hill said due to the red flood alert for Canterbury some birds were taken away early to allow visiting bird fanciers in affected regions to return safely.

— Additional reporting Otago Daily Times

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