A lifetime hobby for Chris motivates him to live his life to the full, every single day
Chris, now aged in his 70s, was a young man when he first encountered an aviary full of budgerigars. It was the start of a love affair that has lasted a lifetime, bringing him endless joy and satisfaction.
The start of a lifelong passion
“My love of budgies actually started in my 20s when I met a man who had an aviary with some beautiful birds. I thought how wonderful it was to have all this creation around you – so, as soon as I got the chance I bought some birds of my own and set up my aviary,” he recalls.
That was 46 years ago, when Chris was 30, and the passionate bird lover hasn’t regretted one moment of his wonderful hobby.
“Now I’m older, and don’t have so many irons in the fire, my budgies are the biggest interest in my life. Thankfully my wife loves them too, so there are no complaints from her,” he laughs.
An easy, friendly and beautiful bird to breed
Chris says he chose to breed budgies, a beautiful native Australian bird, because they are one of the lowest maintenance birds you can own.
“They don’t have all the difficulties of birds like parrots – and they don’t want to try and fly away. Instead, they want to fly to you.
“When I go to the aviary, they start chirping because they’re happy to see me and within seconds they’re all over me. I also love all the colours.”
Creating the Rainbow Harlequin
Chris has honed his skills in breeding budgies over the years, taking great enjoyment in learning and experimenting with his budgies. He now sells most of the budgies he breeds.
“When you’re breeding budgies, you never know what colour you’re going to get. A hen might hatch four babies and there will be a white one, a yellow one, a blue one and a Harlequin which has a little of each colour,” Chris explains.
“I’ve worked hard breeding the birds over the years. Now I can create what’s known as Rainbow Harlequins, where you have four or five colours on one bird.”
A hobby filled with wonder
After nearly 50 years of looking after budgies, Chris has a wealth of knowledge about their habits and continues to marvel at the wonder of life he sees in his aviary.
“Budgies are good little mothers – most of them – and it’s wonderful to be surrounded by that process of creation – birth, life, death.
“If a budgie dies, the others don’t mourn. They just get on with their own lives. It’s the natural order of things and seeing it all around me every day helps me want to live my own life to the full,” he says.
Staying active keeps Chris feeling young
Now that he’s retired, most of Chris’ days are spent caring for his feathered friends.
“I spend a couple of hours a day with the birds now, which I really enjoy. It’s good to finally be able to spend so much time with this hobby I’ve had for so many years. It keeps my mind active, which I think keeps it young.”
Do you enjoy a hobby that keeps you as busy and fulfilled as Chris? If you’d like to share your passion with others, KinCare’s Social Support – Group service can connect you with like-minded people. Talk to your Customer Care Manager to get the ball rolling.