Bird Clubs Are Not Police, Judges Or Social Services

Bird clubs are for education, interaction and friendships.

People join for those things. It promotes a standard of excellence for its members to evaluate, for the benefit of their birds, and in a non-judgmental way.

There is a danger that can isolate clubs from the community, and even from its members. It can work as a threat to avian related businesses, even to other pet owners and breeders. After awhile, some of the new members want the club to be a powerful agent for straightening out area pet shops, censure pet owners who care for birds in a style less than they think, or to decide who is right in a sales matter between members or with others, or to decide between members who is right and honorable. Such matters are between individuals, not a matter of club interference.

In a like manner, criticism of a pet store must be left in the hands of individuals. If many have the same opinion, and not organized as a campaign, several voices will do more in a constructive way than one official club voice. Sometimes a store clerk is not the action person, or the whole story isn’t known, the space allotted, or the habits of a particular species. The club can become a pawn in an angry person’s agenda, an agenda designed to elevate a person’s ego, justification, personal sales agendas and/or future designs.

A club must only serve avicultural needs, have programs for its members, have outreach activities to promote its visibility, and for education of the public. The goal is that everyone in the club works for aviculture thereby shaping better ways of taking care of birds, breeding and saving them.

The legislative stance

Likewise, when it comes to ordinances and legislative matters, the club cannot take a stand without alienating some of its members, or elements of the community. But, it can tell the story, both pros and cons, to its members, and let them write, call, or speak to the issue. The club president, being perhaps more knowledgeable, may speak on the issue as a member of the club. Others can do the same. Instead of one voice, many are heard. No single voice, though all might agree, and present different aspects of support or opposition of the proposed law or ordinance.

The member rescue syndrome

The club likewise is not a social service to support people suffering from disaster, sickness, problems or death of members, with the finances of them all. There are other avenues, including official organizations and societies set up for that purpose, e.g. American Red Cross, insurance coverage, etc.

The best scenario is friendship, members helping members, and this usually means friends made at meetings. Persons not attending meetings and fellowshipping can’t expect others to rush to the aid of someone they don’t know. Someone privately can call members and collect funds to help. Persons in the ‘bird business’ need to pay their helpers if it includes care or hand-feeding their birds. A call to club officials is not out of line for telling others about the crisis.

There are members who can resolve the situation on their own, and others who reach out for help. If the club does it for one, they must do it for others. Some will say, ‘They helped him/her, but never helped me. He/she is part of the clique.’

A bird club is not a political or charitable entity, but a group of members who elect their leaders to keep the activities moving ahead in a responsible, fair, and effective pattern.