Editor's letter (Jan 29 issue)

Could it be that after a rather traumatic year on the British bird scene, things are bouncing back for the better?
You only have to look at recent shows in Northern Ireland to see how popular British birds have become. According to our Ulster-based correspondent, John Hartin, the province is experiencing a bit of a boom on the show bench with the largest entry of British birds at CBS shows ever recorded this past season.
Numbers seem to be on the upswing in England too, with the number of birds benched at the recent Staffordshire BB&MC up slightly on last year’s figure of 490. Some 160 of these birds were benched by members of an online forum (the British Birds in Aviculture website) which just goes to prove how modern technology can help fuel interest in birdkeeping.
It will be interesting to see how this weekend’s event hosted by the National British Bird and Mule Club at Stoke-on-Trent fairs. Will numbers be on the rise there, too?
So, if British bird keeping is on the ascent, perhaps more of you might be inclined to put pen to paper and share your birdkeeping experiences with like-minded people through our pages. I am always pleased to consider good articles about British birds for publication – and you don’t need to be the world’s best writer, as we’ll edit it to read correctly. If you’d like to submit something, or want to find out more, please contact me directly or write to our usual address.
Finally, we’re running a hot debate on British birds in our next issue, so why not let us know whether you agree with the statement that when it comes to keeping birds, native British is best? We’d love to hear your views!