Guest Author - Heather Thomas
If youíve never attended an exotic bird fair, you might not know what youíre missing. The words sensory overload could be used to accurately describe these events. Bright colors, loud noises and crowds of people fill expo halls and community buildings, all with the purpose of celebrating--the bird. These events are advertised in bird aficionado publications and websites; and like most things in life some are better than others.
If you are considering purchasing your first bird or adding one to your existing flock there are some advantages to buying at a bird fair. Breeders bring their baby and adult birds to sell; you have the opportunity to talk directly to the breeder. Normally, if you choose to purchase a bird from a pet store you have limited knowledge of the birdís history. When you have the chance to stand and discuss the bird you are considering, at length, you have a much clearer picture prior to your purchase. Observe how they interact with the bird, the level of cleanliness practiced and learn specifics about the birdís age and rearing. However, like most things in life there are also disadvantages. Often these breeders come from miles around, so are not easily accessible after your purchase. Also, these birds often come with no guarantee, but neither do many pet store birds.
Many enrichment items that cannot be found at your local pet store can be found at an exotic bird fair. Toys, specialty food and cages at discount prices are just some of the things you will see at a bird fair. This is especially nice when you want to purchase something you have physically interacted with vs. buying it online. Size and quality are often hard to visualize when you are looking at a picture on the Internet. Also, because these people are also bird owners, toys are made of bird safe woods, foods are of the freshest quality and things like cage locks are well thought out. Bird owners know birds. You can also find things such as refrigerator magnets and t-shirts with bird themes.
You will also come in contact with entrepreneurs selling products they have invented and manufacture. These are people whose ambition is to enhance not only your birdís life but yours as well. Items such as shower perches, spill proof food dishes and hand built toys are some of the things you will find at your local bird fair.
These events do charge admission; the funds go toward building rental and expenses to hold the fair. Even if you do not plan on purchasing anything, the exposure, education and enjoyment you receive is well worth the few dollars it costs.