Crowds will flock to birds

By Lacey Peterson, The Union Democrat

A rainbow in birds and a plethora of reptiles will fill the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora on Saturday during the annual Exotic Brid and Animal Expo.

The expo will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the cost of admission is $2 for adults. Children get in for free.

The expo features birds, reptiles and supplies like toys, cages and food.

"You'll see birds that you might only see at a zoo," said organizer Mary Ann Silva, of Sonora.

The event will include Gouldian finches or rainbow finches, colorful birds endemic to Australia, as well as cockatoos, also endemic to Australia, and macaws, which live in South America, Silva said.

In all, there will be about 50 types of birds.

"It is really amazing - the colors on these birds. God just created such beautiful birds," Silva said.

Ed Hildreth, of Sonora, will provide all the reptiles, which usually includes snakes, Silva said.

Silva, a member of the Gold Country Avicultural Society, has been in charge of the expo for 11 years. It has been around for about 20 years.

"I'm bound and determined to keep this expo going. It's important for people to see the birds," Silva said. "It's a good way for people to see birds if they are thinking of buying one. It's a good time to find a young bird for a pet."

Last year, the expo was poorly attended because of the Rim Fire, Silva said.

In 2013, only 400 adults paid entry to the expo. The average is between 700 and 800 adults who pay to enter plus "a lot of children," Silva said.

"The kids really enjoy it," Silva said.

The society is looking for any businesses or people who have animal-related interests such as feed, toys, supplies, cages, creative yard decorations and plants, animal-related art or any product that would be of interest to animal lovers.

This event also allows the society to sell the birds its members have raised during the year.

For more information, call 533-3496.

The Union Democrat
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