Birds on Telegraph Hill, Birds at the Airport Where were you when The American Federation of Aviculture flew into San Francisco?

Wanda Elder


he AFA started landing in San Francisco on July 29th

T for the 30th Anniversary Convention being held at the Hyatt, August 4- 7th. My husband, Bill Elder, and I arrived on the 30th so as to have a couple of days to relax before the convention. The weather in Memphis had been in the high 90s for a couple of weeks so we decided to rent a convertible and head north up the coastline. Actually, we were going to rent a motorcycle but when I found out it was going to be $375, per day, I decided that the convertible was a better way to get wind in our faces. Arriving at the airport we were in for quite a shock, it was 58 degrees. Needless to say we spent 3 days in a wonderful little Sebring with the top locked in the UP position. We checked into the hotel August 1, and there were already "bird" people enjoying a leisurely dinner.

The official kick off of the convention was Wednesday, August 4th but there was collating, folding, stapling, and even a little mutilating that took place on Monday and Tuesday. None of this would have run as smoothly without the assistance of the dynamic duo, Pat Chinnici and Nora Schmidt. Downstairs in the convention office, a coatroom with two tables, the stuffing of the tote bags began. Carol and John Brasaemle along with Bill got this started on Tuesday and the dynamic duo finished it Wednesday. As usual, these volunteers made themselves indispensable. This was the first time in many years that we had canvas tote bags. They were sponsored by Hagen (USA) and screen printed with large red letters proclaiming that it was AFA 30th under which was printed Tropican.

They were stuffed with flyers, coupons, a Pet and Aviary BIRDS magazine, bag clip, pens, and things I can't remember. All placed there in support of AF A.

The first Wednesday is always reserved for the House of Delegates (HOD) meeting. While it is the job of the Board of Directors (BOD) to see to the daily running of AFA, it is the challenge of the HOD to approve any changes to the By Laws. This was the main focus of the Wednesday meeting. This was also the venue for President Gallaway to extend our thanks to the many people who had given countless hours to make the convention and AFA in general a success. Awards were presented to Carol and John Brasaemle, Beth Greenberg, Pat Chinnici, and Nora Schmidt. These people are always there asking what they can do to help and making even the most mundane chore a chance to laugh and enjoy being in the company of friends.

The vendor hall officially opened at noon on Wednesday and what an exhibit it was. There were our standards, John Brasaemle and Gamini Ratnavira who had more beautiful art than one would have thought possible. I 

brought home one piece that is absolutely perfect for the motor home. Verleen Hopper (Angels Art) and Darlene Sousa (Jewelry and Gifts) made sure that there was jewelry to suit every taste, just as Marianne Helm of Tangy Design had clothing for bird lovers. Bird Toys Etc, Jungle Talk, Jungle Toys, and POLYPERCH presented a wide variety of toys and kept toys on the raffle table for every raffle. China Prairie not only brought what is considered to be one of the best incubators but also their famous sprout mix. There was also no shortage of knowledgeable people to talk with attendees about nutrition and product. There were representatives for Hagen, Mazuri, Prettybird, Zeigler, and last but not least ZuPreem. ZuPreem came with their candy tree again this year and Bill and I each won $5, which I immediately invested in raffle tickets. I Deal Purification Systems did their best to improve the quality of air. There were representatives from The Bird Endowment, Lorn Parque, and PETCO to entice and educate us. If you could have seen the Bird Talk booth you would understand why it is called Fancy Publications. They have more specialized magazines than I thought possible. We also had Carol Stanley from Pet and Aviary BIRDS Magazine. Carol was absolutely charming but I did miss that East Tennessee accent of Martin Cleland. Remember Martin? He had an Australian accent last year but moved to Tennessee about a month ago and has been practicing his Southern drawl.

For those of us with questions about the Animal Welfare Act, AWA, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) had two booths and was available to answer any and all questions. This year, NAWA was there not only to talk to our attendees but also to get input concerning their efforts to represent the bird world when it comes to the enactment of the AWA. You couldn't tum a comer without seeing an AFA affiliate. These are organizations that support AFA and in return AFA offers them a place to hold their annual meeting and a booth so that they can meet and greet old members and sign up new ones. This year we were privileged to have the following organizations in attendance: Alex Foundation, Avicultural Society of America, Contra Costa Avian Society, and Friends of St. Vincent Amazon Foundation, International Conure Association, National Finch and Softbill Society, International Parrotlet Society, Organization of Professional Aviculturists, Pyrhurra Breeders Association (I can type it but don't ask me to pronounce it), Parrot Alliance, Quaker Parakeet Society, The Amazona Society (AMAZONS RULE), The Red Siskin Project, and last but not least, The Tanygnathus Society.

We were disappointed by the fact that four of our ven-

dors, American Racing Pigeon Union, Brinsea, Canopy and Innovative Inclosures had to cancel at the last minute. They have all assured me that they will be in attendance next year in Florida. They also have our sincere hope that the causes for their being unable to attend while personal prove to be minor. They were all missed.

The hotel made box lunches available and set up tables in the coffee break area for our use we had asked the hotel to do the box lunches and then promptly forgot about it. It was the last day of the convention when I noticed the boxes in one of the vendor booths. Alamo Exhibition Bird Club, Higgins Premium Pet Foods, Pretty Bird, and Reno Area Avian Enthusiasts generously sponsored the coffee breaks.

Wednesday night, AFA hosted a mixer for the attendees called the Anniversary Bash and sponsored by two Tennessee clubs, Mid South Bird Club and Middle TN Cage Bird Club. It was an opportunity for people to sit and talk birds and visit with friends, old and new, with music playing in the background. Music that was made possible by a donation from Amigos de las Aves USA to rent the system. The actual CDs belonged to Brenda Piper and Kelly Tucker. I think Kelly has the largest collection of Beach Boy music in the continental US. This was our only real opportunity to socialize and learn at the same time. As one attendee described it, "A great opportunity to eat, drink, and network"

Something new this year that was a tremendous hit was the Passport Game. Each fully registered attendee was given a "Passport." It was his/her mission, should they decide to play, to visit each booth and get a sticker from the person manning the booth. When the passport was complete it was turned in for a drawing of items donated by the vendors. Total value on this particular prize was probably in the neighborhood of at least $800.00. The winner, Dianna Stokotelny of California, was overwhelmed by the seven boxes of items - toys, club memberships, figurines, perches, bird food (lots of thatl), pins, shirts, a two-year subscription to Bird Talk, and lots more. All I could think was that I hoped she was driving and that she had a relatively large car. There was lots of great "stuff." If anyone who attended the San Francisco convention and would like to buy their passport back (we plan to do these again next year and going forward), use the contact information below. They will be $10 each, which will cover the processing and mailing, as well as a small donation to AFA.

Speaking of prizes, here are the winners of our Super Drawing items:

• Avian Library, donated by various individuals including Joanne Abramson, Kelly Tucker, Wanda Elder, Dick Schroeder, and Nancy Speed - won by Marilyn Hawley of Arizona

• Alpine Air Purifier donated by Ideal Purifiers - Echo s Haven of Florida




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