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Feathered friends to flock again

WIMAUMA — It's been years since feather aficionados flocked together at the Wimauma Convention Center, but Geneva Ammerman hasn't forgotten the friendly crowds and camaraderie of people who love birds.

The Plant City bird breeder is hoping to revive a tradition started almost 20 years ago by the Greater Brandon Avian Society, which for many years held an annual bird show at the center at 5408 State Road 674. A former society member, Lillian Warren, said the Brandon organization became inactive a few years ago, and the event probably hasn't been held for about five years.

Ammerman and other bird breeders and vendors who used to sell supplies say they miss the event, which Ammerman estimated once attracted hundreds of people.

"It was a very good show, with a lot of vendors and big crowds," said Doug Horton, who with his wife, Lisa, owns Parrotmount Aviaries in Sarasota. He said people came from all over Florida but mostly from the Tampa Bay area.

Ammerman is organizing a similar event, featuring 30 to 40 vendors from Florida and Georgia. It's called the Florida Parrot Expo, but products for canaries and finches as well as all breeds in the parrot family will be available, Ammerman said. Doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults and free for those 16 and younger.

Visitors can see birds for sale and get advice from breeders on how to choose a feathered companion. They also will be able to browse among cages, stands, toys and feed products not easily found at local pet stores, Ammerman said. Prices may be half what a shopper would pay at a chain pet supply outlet, she said.

She raises cockatiels, lovebirds and parakeets. She plans to sell stands for birds of all sizes.

Horton said he will sell custom-made bird cages, ranging from 6 by 12 inches for a small bird to 4 feet wide and 6 feet tall, big enough to make a macaw comfortable. His cages range in price from $13.50 to $400.

For information, call (813) 737-4160.

Susan Marschalk Green can be reached at hillsnews@tampabay.com.

Feathered friends to flock again 03/22/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 22, 2012 5:30am]
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