Referent Anthony Catt - Kongress auf Kreta September 2016

My passion for bird keeping started as a teenager and has remained a dominant influence in my life.  I quickly developed a passion for Australian cockatoos, in particular the Black Cockatoos, and purchased my first pair when I was 15 years old and bred from them the following year. Living on the East coast of Australia in the  Hunter Valley area of New South Wales  my home and business, Critterlodge, houses many species and subspecies of native and exotic birds.

After leaving school I spent a number of years employed in the pet industry and have now been able to combine my passion for bird keeping with a business venture as a self employed Bird Broker and breeder.  My collection is varied and ranges from finches to lorikeets and from cockatiels to macaws. To choose a favourite bird would be a hard decision; between the Red- tailed Black Cockatoos, for their personality and their love of interaction with their owners, and the Glossy Black Cockatoo for the challenge.

Over the years I have successfully bred all the Australian cockatoos permitted to be kept by NSW aviculturists. The aviaries at Critterlodge have been constructed   to allow observation of the birds with minimal disruption and this has been invaluable in the implementation of a management plan. Many of my breeding pairs of cockatoos have been hand reared and the interaction with these birds is always enjoyed.  Planting many native trees has provided shade and privacy around the cages which also attracts many wild native birds, in particular Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos.

As is the case with most bird breeders my success relies on family support, with my partner Diana and sons Dylan and Matthew all contributing.  We regularly host organised visits by Bird Clubs Australia wide.  I am an active member of two local Avicultural Societies and a regular speaker at others. An increasing number of overseas aviculturists visit our yard with many ideas and opinions exchanged.

I have been fortunate to observe many of Australia’s spectacular Cockatoos in their native habitat many, many times but the call of a lone Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo flying back to the nest still leaves me searching the sky for a glimpse of these magnificent birds. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.