I originally wrote this for our club newsletter, but to my surprise, Budgerigar World ( a World-wide publication for the budgerigar fancy), picked it up and published it in issue 231, November 2001.  B.W. put a picture of Frank Silva ( a top breeder and budgerigar show exhibitor at the time) right in the middle of the article – was this a good thing ! ? I don’t look anything like him ! – He’s from Sri Lanka !


Why do we do it ?

Whenever my friends or work colleagues ask what I do with my  “spare time”, I of course answer “I Breed exhibition budgerigars”.
Nearly every time the following short conversation will take place ( almost word for word ).
There is inevitably a slight pause in a reply, then . . . . . .
“Oh, right”
Another pause, – – – the brain starts to kick in !
Question. “ Where do you keep them”
My answer. “In an aviary, where do you think”
“What in the garden?”
“No, in the lounge next to the tele, – where do you think ( again )”
Slight smile from both of us.
Q. “So, how many have you got then”
 “Only about 80”
EIGHTY !! , Blimey ( use your imagination, I cant use expletives here! ).
By this time his/her brain is on overtime.
Are they all green or blue?, – bit boring isn’t it
At this stage, they really are getting into it.
“Do they talk? , I bet they’ve all got names, haven’t they?”
 The problem is that once I start telling them about the different colour variations and how very interesting it really is, their eyes seem to glaze over, as if I’m talking a different language, or I’m from another planet outside our solar system.
But I have to say that when they come into the bird-room they become amazed at the detail to which we fanciers go. Different seeds, soft foods, carrots, grit, cuttlefish, iodine blocks , and so on. Then there is the heating , lighting, cleaning etc.
It’s the colour variations that really gets them, and I have only a few compared to many of you.
Then comes the big question.
“How do you get the time to look after this lot, with all the routines and everything?”.
The answer is that I don’t have the time to look after them properly. Like many of us still at work we have to fit our hobby into the busy lives we lead nowadays.
Time spent with our birds is so important if we want to be successful in the breeding season and on the show-bench. It’s probably why I am not as successful as I should be at this stage, after all I have been breeding for about 6 years and still a beginner – or is it because I haven’t spent enough cash to improve my stock ? Maybe, but it’s only a hobby isn’t it?
Maybe it’s the obvious commitment that stops more youngsters coming into the fancy, you know, with their busy lives around the TV and playing computer games and everything! 
So, coming back to my friends’ questions;
“ Why do you do it, if you cant spend enough time to get the results you want?”
A. “Good question”
For a start it gets me to forget about my work when I am in the aviary – so important in my job as an Area Sales Manager. So when I find the time to spend with my budgies, the pressures or the day/ week seem to drift away, well mostly anyway!
Then there are the club meetings ( when I can get to them ), the expectations of the breeding season, show preparation, exhibiting and of course the absolute beauty of the birds themselves.
That’s why I do it
Why do you do it?