July/August/September 2017

President’s Message

I recently heard something that stuck in my head and which I thought about all day. It went something like this:

Much can be determined about a nation’s ideals and future welfare by the character of its role models Our homage to them tells us much about ourselves.

I began to think about how it relates to the NFSS – to our image now and especially about our future – if we’re to have one. Do we have positive role models in our hobby – are we looking to them as an example? Are we being good role models for those coming into the hobby ?

Doesn’t the very future of this society – of aviculture – depend on role models of good character ?

What would our society (our hobby) be without them? Think of the value they bring to us, to our society, and how because of them others want to be a part of this fascinating hobby. Everyone has their own list of role models in this hobby – but let me tell you about some of mine:

Sally Huntington has been an NFSS member for many years – she ’s served on the NFSS Board of Directors as President, Vice President, and has helped out with countless committees and tasks  She is an accomplished aviculturalist – working with several rare species successfully, tirelessly hand-feeding babies, and has been very successful with exhibiting her birds at the local and national level .

She serves as the Representative for the AFA and faithfully supports her local club. She is essentially a household name in the world of Aviculture. Sally is also responsible for the Afternoon of Aviculture at the NFSS event – bringing in outstanding speakers year after year. It is quickly becoming one of the most popular events at the NCBS!

Her focus on education is a driving force behind much of what she does and we have all benefited from her efforts. What a great role model!

Paula Hansen – another NFSS Board member — specifically the person who orders, inventories, ships and tracks all of our band orders … .thousands and thousands of them!

She is an integral part of the Red Siskin project – traveling across the country to attend symposiums, meeting with representatives from the Smithsonian and from Venezuela, and passionately advocating for these lovely Red Siskins in any way possible.  She is also a tireless volunteer in several areas on the NFSS Board – most recently as Webmaster. She supports her local clubs, traveled across the U.S. to attend a recent NCBS – in winter weather – and faithfully responds to questions and concerns posed on the NFSS yahoo group, the Facebook page, and private inquiries

What a fantastic role model!

Many o f you may not be aware of this – but the Finch Society of San Diego, California is a very happening bird club. We should ALL be so lucky as to have a club of their size, with their dedication to aviculture, and their energy level in our neighborhoods Seeing what they accomplish makes me think about what couldbe possible if we had clubs like them all across the U.S. They graciously and selflessly donate a significant amount of money year after year in support of our Afternoon of Aviculture event at Nationals.

The speakers Sally Huntington lines up are from around the U.S. – their flights, rooms, travel expenses are considerable and this club makes all that possible  –  for us.

What a great role model!

They serve for other clubs  or for those thinking about forming their own local club!

I’m sure each of you can think of persons who have touched your lives since you joined this hobby, persons who have made you a better aviculturalist, who improve the quality of aviculture in your club(s) or your neck of the woods. Are you learning from them? Are you following in their footsteps, are you passing the same quality of character onto those with whom you come in contact? Are you giving a warm welcome and words of encouragement to new faces? Are you making it a point to say congratulations when someone wins/places at a show? Are you being a grateful and gracious host to your judges? Are you pitching in and helping your local club when it’s time for a meeting, a fund raiser, or a job needing done – or are you leaving it for someone else to do?

Our hobby is not as popular as it once was – our numbers are shrinking, as are the availability of events to attend, budgets, membership, etc. We need to do all we can to be positive and encouraging of everyone. This includes those on the outside looking in – using our positive message as a means of encouraging them to want to be a part of this hobby – but also to those we come into contact with on a regular basis and know well, so they stay!

Let’s be an example of what we want our Society and our hobby to be today, tomorrow, and in the years to come!

Rebecca Mikel, President

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Happy Birding

Rebecca Mikel