I got involved in birds quite by mistake. Although I had a Parakeet as a child, it did not go beyond that. As an adult I was a pet shop owner dealing primarily in fish. One day a supplier from Florida unexpectedly sent me a shipment of Cockatiels, small Parrots, and Finches. In the process of learning how to care for my new charges I developed a real fondness and interest in Finches. I quickly joined a bird club in an adjoining state. Followed by starting a club close to home. Over the next few years I bred Zebras, Societies, Stars and Owl Finches primarily, along with Cockatiels as well. I became a bird judge, judging mostly local Finch and Cockatiel shows.
During the early 1980’s I saw the need for bringing finch lovers and exhibitors together, to share the benefits that other species received from being united in a club catering to their needs. Thus, the New England Finch Fanciers was formed which in two years became the Northeast Finch Society (NFS). Upon the urging of other nationally known finch people we went national and became the National Finch and eventually the National Finch & Softbill Society.
I am a retired NFSS and SPBE panel judge having judged over a hundred shows in the US and Canada, including the National Cage Bird Show, the Canadian National and the Great American. Although health issues don’t allow me to still have an aviary, I am still actively involved in birds with my store and my interest in seeing NFSS continue to provide a home to all Finch breeders and exhibitors.