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The Show Of Shows

By Laura Doering

The 60th National Cage Bird Show
Gary Morgan, president of NCBS (second from right) presented the BIRD TALK team (from left to right: assistant editor  Jessica Pineda; national sales manager Louis Brandt; editor Laura Doering) with a plaque. Dean Reyes of Higgins (far right) also received special recgnition for Higgins' long-time support of the show.

The 60th National Cage Bird Show (NCBS), which took place November 20 to 22 in Lansing, Michigan, might have been freezing outside (daytime high of 28 degrees!) but it was warm and friendly inside the convention hall with hundreds of bird enthusiasts. This was my fourth Nationals, and I am still just as fascinated as when I first attended the show. This is definitely a senses-overload environment, and I mean that in a good way. So many colorful birds, and so many colorful bird sounds. The moment you step into the main show hall, it is instantaneous melody and movement. Canaries hopping about while singing their hearts’ out, cockatiels seemingly egging each other on with whistling, lovebirds chirping and chirping and chirping, and so on. There were three birds that reminded me of the kids on the school bus rolling their eyes at everyone else’s antics: three stoic African greys. I imagined them methodically scanning the show room for interesting chirps and whistles to add to their repertoires. An interesting aspect to the show was the numerous locals who stopped by to see what it was all about. Most had a budgie or cockatiel growing up or knew someone who had a “parrot.” They never knew there were so many color mutations or variety of birds; likewise, they never fathomed so many dedicated bird enthusiasts, many of which who flew in or drove from all over the country and Canada to show off their birds and exchange information.

I’ve always wondered how my birds would fair in this “bird show of shows.” Gracie, I’m sure, would be happy just being an “also ran” if it meant he could spend the day joining all the other cockatiels in their whistle jam session. Ollie probably wouldn’t stay still long enough to be judged; whenever he meets new people he is inclined to rock back and forth like a monkey.

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