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Dear Parrots magazine,

Birdkeeping's future

I am becoming increasingly concerned that we are not getting youngsters into our hobby and cannot but help notice that membership of birdkeeping clubs is declining. It would appear that the interest in keeping birds is not so popular with young people as their technical gizmos are.

I have been breeding Australian parakeets for over thirty three years and have enjoyed the pleasure of the hobby. But it is sad to see my grandchildren becoming uninterested in my aviaries and showing little or no interest in our pets at tall. One of my granddaughters, which has just turned 19, made a comment that she thought my birds were boring and for old people, which I have to say did upset me some. But when her mobile phone rings, she goes into another world and shows great excitement at what her friends are doing. Recently, her mobile phone broke down and anyone would have thought the world had come to an end! My wife and I were truly amazed.

Kids these day seem to get far too much, far too often so always expect the earth when it comes to Christmas and it seems that the interests we had when I was a youngster, are all now old hat and lacking excitement.

It is probably this growing expectations of instant expensive playthings that has turned away our young generation from the more traditional hobbies. How we deal with it, I dread to think!

Mr T Wright, West Midlands




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