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Bird lovers can flock to SunCoast Avian Society's annual show

Colorful canaries will be on display today at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2007)

Colorful canaries will be on display today at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

More than 400 exotic birds ranging from finches to macaws will flock to the Coliseum today as the SunCoast Avian Society presents the 34th annual Exotic Pet and Bird Show.

"It is exciting to see so many birds in one place," said Mari Howard show co-chairperson and vice president of the SunCoast Avian Society. This two-day show began Saturday and is billed as the largest bird event in Florida, she said.

The show offers one-stop shopping with more than 60 vendors scheduled to participate. Several species of birds will be on exhibit and available for sale, along with other bird-related items. Howard will offer some of her weaned baby green-cheeked and Rosey Bourkes parakeets for sale.

"Birds are wonderful pets, and just as any pet, they love to spend time with you and are an addition to the family as they live a very long time," Howard said.

In addition to the exhibition, there will be bird competitions with judges from all over the United States. Competition categories include cockatiels, budgerigars (parakeets), and psittacines (hookbills or parrots). Although there are no monetary awards, there will be placement awards within the individual groups.

A raffle will take place during the event. Winners will take home an Umbrella Cockatoo, an Indian Ringneck or two Rosey Bourkes. Winners will receive a cage for their new feathered friend.

"Birds offer so much happiness to so many. Many of them would be extinct if it were not for people that are interested enough to care for them," said Howard.

Before Howard attended her first bird show, she admired the winged wonders. For 32 years, she and her husband, Walter, have had a bird farm raising birds from budgerigars to macaws.

"We have reaped great rewards from what we have learned about birds and just having them in our life," Mari Howard said.

The SunCoast Avian Society is a nonprofit organization that works to teach the public that birds make great companions.

Proceeds from the event's admission fees and raffle will benefit local avian-related organizations.

If you go

SunCoast Avian Society's Exotic & Pet Bird Show

When: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., today.

Where: The Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N.

Admission: $4 for adults, free for 12 years old and under.

For information: Call Mari Howard at (727) 726-6864 or visit

2 Today

Art hits the street! The Super Summer Sidewalk Art Show presents jewelry, glass, calligraphy and collages. Noon to 4 p.m. Cherie's Eklectika, 202 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Free admission. Call (727) 821-4336 or visit

'In a New Light': Highlights from the collection of the now-closed Gulf Coast Museum of Art include works by Theo Wujcik, Duncan McClellan, Clyde Butcher, and many others. Florida International Museum at St. Petersburg College, 244 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 341-7900.

Clothing swap: The Grand Central District has teamed up with to bring a clothing swap to St. Petersburg. Bring gently used clothes and swap them for other gently used clothes. Everything that's left over goes to charity. This is a great opportunity to update your wardrobe, meet your neighbors and have fun. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot next to 2437 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. For more information, go to or grand

Warhol Family Day: Be inspired by Andy Warhol. Family projects include making giant images with stencils, creating art sneakers and a large 3-D sculpture. Artist and children's book author James Warhola Andy Warhol's nephew, will conduct a discussion at 1:30 p.m. and a gallery talk at 4 p.m. Also, at 2 p.m., Mark "the balloon guy" Byrne will create balloon sculptures and hats. 1 to 4 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Included with museum admission. Family day includes one free child admission with each paid adult. Call (727) 896-2667 or visit

3 Monday

Summer Sunset Film Festival: Watch the romantic comedy Sabrina, starring Audrey Hepburn, at this special venue atop Push Ultra Lounge. 8:30 p.m. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third St. S., St. Petersburg. Free. Call (727) 895-7874 or visit

Theatre workshop: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. St. Petersburg Little Theater, 4025 31st St. S., St. Petersburg. $175. Call (727) 866-1973 or visit

4 Tuesday

'Anything Goes': This show will be judged by Pinellas Park Art Society members. Pinellas Park Art Society Gallery, 5851 A Park Blvd. Pinellas Park. Call (727) 541-2697.

Paint in good company: The Pinellas Park Art Society Gallery welcomes artists interested in painting in a gallery space, in company of other artists. Bring supplies and meet new friends who share your love of art. 1 to 3 p.m. Pinellas Park Art Society Gallery, 5851 A Park Blvd., Pinellas Park. Free admission. Call (727) 542-1392 or visit

5 Wednesday

Landscape design clinic: Bring your landscape plans and have them reviewed by expert landscape designers, plus get tips on shopping for plants and planting techniques. 6 to 8:30 p.m. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S., St. Petersburg. $10, registration required. Call (727) 893-7326.

6 Thursday

Big Bang Show: Got jokes? Improv hosts a really big show of acts by local talent competing for a $1,000. 7 p.m. NOVA 535 Art Lounge, 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg. $10 advance, $15 at the door. Call (727) 821-6682 or visit

Dali and Beyond Film Series: Dali in New York, a documentary by Jack Bond, follows Dali for two weeks in New York. Also, Hello Dali, a 1973 BBC documentary will also be available for viewing. 6 p.m. Dali Museum, 1000 Third St. S., St. Petersburg. Free with paid admission; $5 after 5 p.m. Call (727) 823-3767.

7 Friday

An Evening with Tony Gaud: The Dream Has Been Revised: The working class Jedi of humor comes to the Venue. Adult language and themes. 8 p.m. Venue Theatre, 9125 U.S. 19 N Pinellas Park. Reservations recommended, $5 at the door. Call (727) 822-6194.

First Friday Art Walk: This art village features craft vendors, antique dealers, art demonstrations, entertainment and glass blowing at the Industrial Arts Center. In Gulfport Art District, south of 28th Avenue, on Beach Boulevard. Free trolley rides, pet-friendly, too. 6 to 10 p.m. Free. Call (727) 322-5217.

Guided canoe trip: Glide through mangrove stands and over seagrass while exploring the preserved flora and fauna. Recommended for kids over age 6. Registration required. 9 a.m. to noon. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. $15 per person or $30 per canoe (up to three people per canoe). Call (727) 453-6500 or visit weedonisland

8 Saturday

Downtown Art Walk: Visit participating galleries from 30th Street to the downtown waterfront, 5 to 8:30 p.m. Central Avenue, St. Petersburg. Free. Call (727) 323-2787 or visit

Hurricanes for Kids: Sign up for fun experiments to help children ages 6 and older understand and emotionally prepare for what happens before, during and after a storm. 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Free (preregistration required). Call (727) 453-6500 or visit weedonisland

Kids matinee: This installment of the free summer kid's movie program features the 90-minute PG-rated Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. 10 a.m. Beach Theatre, 315 Corey Ave., St. Pete Beach. Free. Call (727) 360-6697.

Safe boating course: Certified instructors will show boaters how to enjoy their new craft safely. Topics include "Know Your Boat," "Before You Get Underway" and others. The course includes an ABS book, certificate and a wallet card. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-3, 299 Boca Ciega Drive, Madeira Beach. $40. Call (727) 391-5185 or visit

Bird lovers can flock to SunCoast Avian Society's annual show 08/01/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 1, 2009 4:31am]
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