THANKS TO ALL those readers who have sent in their advice on how to combat mite (particularly red mite) in our birdrooms and aviaries. Three such letters feature on this page and I’ll include further contributions in the order in which I receive them. A number of letters and emails have referred directly to the appeal for advice from Margaret Illsley (Letters, September 2).
This week I was delighted to receive an encouraging update from Margaret based on counsel she’d received. Still, it’s early days to proclaim success and, in any case, if you can recommend a product or method that hasn’t been mentioned so far, please write or email to share it with your fellow birdkeepers.
Plainly, different approaches do work, and it’s important we all know about them. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll also be featuring in-depth contributions on this subject from Brian Keenan and specialist bird-product supplier Rob Harvey. And if you happen not to have suffered yet from the blight of mite, bear with us, because you are bound to need some of this advice one day, believe me.
■ This week’s “Bookshelf” article (page 8) pays tribute to the work of Jean Delacour (1890-1985), an authority on gamebirds and one of the immortals of aviculture. Among Delacour’s many legacies is the World Pheasant Association (WPA), of which he was the first president and which continues to deserve our support. To learn more about the WPA and its activities, see www.pheasant.org.uk.
■ It isn’t often that Cage & Aviary Birds publishes readers’ wedding photos, but we’ve made an exception this week for Border canary great Phil Warne (it was Phil’s daughter’s wedding, to be accurate.) You’ll see why we’ve made an exception on page 9. Thanks, Phil!
■ Three summers ago I was lucky enough to visit Colin O’Hara’s aviaries. The species I kept returning to hailed from the Neotropics: exquisite little Forpus, so-subtle mountain parakeets (Psilopsiagon aurifrons) and, from the same genus, charming sierras (P. aymara). Hitherto, I had hazily thought of the sierra as a kind of Quaker- Lite, but the resemblance turned out to be wholly superficial. Colin has vast experience of keeping and breeding sierras, and this week all parakeet fans should turn to page 14 for his advice on the species. Enjoy!