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Birds in the hand: society’s biggest sale a smash hit with visitors

RARE AND EXPENSIVE: Bird seller Robert Roser at Orange Bird Society’s bird sale with a male Cuban Amazon, which, when sold with a female, can cost more than $20,000. Photo: ALEXANDRA KING 0307akbird2TOUTED as one of the largest bird sales in Australia, Orange Bird Society’s bird sale did not disappoint bird lovers who came from across the state to buy and sell thousands of birds on Saturday.

Early estimates indicate this year’s bird sale is the biggest the society has held, with 6000 birds and 300 sellers crowding into Orange PCYC’s Sir Neville Howse Stadium.

“We had 5500 birds last year, with quite a few empty tables, but this year we’ve no empty tables so we’re well up at the 6000-bird mark,” Orange Bird Society treasurer Ray Smith said.

The bird sale attracted sellers from all over NSW and interstate, selling species from across the globe, with prices ranging from $20 to thousands of dollars per bird.

Robert Roser of Hillview Aviaries travelled from Braxton in the Hunter Valley to sell birds at the sale for the first time.

Among his birds was the talk of the sale, the rare Cuban Amazon, a bright green parrot with a white head and pink throat, that can cost more than $20,000 when sold in a breeding pair.

“Not many people have Cuban parrots in Australia, so they can be quite expensive,” Mr Roser said.

“People like them because they’re so rare and uncommon.”

With nine years’ experience of breeding and selling birds, Mr Roser said first-time buyers should look to purchase less expensive birds like finches and small parrots.

“Buy what you like, but don’t go straight to the top. Slowly work your way up to the dearer birds,” he said.

Mr Smith, who breeds lorikeets, said the hundreds of different species at the sale was proof everyone had a slightly different taste in birds.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” he said.

“People buy birds because they like the look of them, for example, I like black cockatoos, but they’re quite common.”

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