I started this hobby of Birdkeeping as a young person growing up in Australia. Both my parents were also keen birdkeepers. Finches were always my main interest and the first birds I owned were a pair of Gouldians. Although having a break from birds during teenage years, once married, the hobby of birdkeeping was again pursued. Living in Brisbane and later in the Hunter Valley N.S.W., I enjoyed keeping and breeding many different finch species. Marrying a New Zealander (Kiwi) saw us eventually making the move to New Zealand to live and the birdkeeping hobby continued. At first finches were kept and bred and to make a start, I was able to legally import a couple of shipments of finches over from Australia. A move into the country, with more room, saw me progress onto a reasonably large parrot collection for a number of years. However after moving to different location further North, (which meant a smaller backyard, but a better climate ) this resulted in me going back into finches, which have always remained my favourite. Now we have moved again, this time back south to Oamaru, a small town of about 15,000 right on the coast. A few new finch aviaries have been built but this climate is far more of a challenge for keeping exotic finches.
Over the years I have always been a keen reader of any avicultural literature available and New Zealand BIRDZ magazine originated from a desire to make available to all, information that keeps everyone informed about all aspects of Birdkeeping in New Zealand and beyond. We started production in October 2001. Unfortunately after publishing the magazine for about 5 years, (27 issue's) readership had dropped away over the last 18 months to a point where it was no longer viable to keep printing. During this time we covered articles on all birdkeeping subjects, including species like Parrots, Finches, Pheasants, Quail, Budgerigars, Canaries, Doves, Poultry, Waterfowl, as well as native species. We also featured articles on breeders, pet birds, aviary construction, product reviews, places to visit and much more.
We didn't want to completly disgard NZ BIRDZ magazine so came up with the idea of transferring it to an on-line magazine. Many articles of different bird species and bird subjects will appear on NZ BIRDZ magazine pages. As well we will keep everyone updated with new articles on various events and bird subjects. A classified ad section is included and we will also inform you of coming bird events. Keep checking our site for updates.
JUST FINCHES & SOFTBILLS MAGAZINE
In October 2003 the New Zealand Finch Breeders Association hosted a convention for Finch breeders and we helped promote this event through the magazine. I was invited to speak on "Finch Aviaries in New Zealand". As this was the first convention of its kind held in N.Z., we decided to publish a special edition of our magazine, dealing solely on finches, to release at the convention. In the back of our minds their was the possibility of doing something similar to this on a regular basis, if it proved successful. It turned out that this issue did prove extremely popular in New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere. Because of requests by readers wanting something like this all the time, the idea of "Just Finches & Softbills" was born. Initially we planned on three copies a year at 4 month intervals , but have now increased this to 4 issues a year. This magazine continues to be published and you can read about back issues and order asubscription to our magazine.
We don't have any staff assisting us, (as some might think) although it would be a nice luxury we could do with sometimes. We work from home putting the magazine together and my wife and I act as a team. I act as Editor, while Pam does the book work, and accounts. Just Finches & Softbills magazine is sent to over 20 countries. Although we are mainly focused on Australasia, with Australia having the largest number of subscribers, it is our intention to always give the magazine an international flavour, by profiling breeders from other countries, as well as keeping informed with what's happening in the world of finches all over the world. The magazine is primarily distributed through Pet Shops and Seed and Grain Merchants, as well as by subscription.
This website has been launched (Oct 2005) in an effort to streamline orders and meet the demand for our magazines and other avicultural literature that we market. It has many more features than our original site and it is our intention to continue adding to it, to make available to all, as much literature and information on birdkeeping, especially Finches & Softbills, as possible. We hope it serves its purpose and adequately helps us better process your requests. We also hope this brief look at us and how we got started will help readers gain some background knowledge of the magazines start and what we are endeavouring to do through them and this website.
Paul & Pam Dick