TOP BIRD: Chief steward Terry White with the grand champion bird at the Ipswich Show.
TOP BIRD: Chief steward Terry White with the grand champion bird at the Ipswich Show. Rob Williams

Faces of the Ipswich Show: Terry has a top bird

MEET Pete the parrot.

His owner Terry White has the bird in good company alongside Dorothy, Pinky and Perky, Bob, Ken and Pat at the Ipswich Show bird display. They're among close to 300 caged birds at this year's Ipswich Show.

Terry, the Chief Steward, has spent 20 years managing the fixture of the local show but the best part of his life breeding his feathered friends.

"I started when I was 14 and I'm 80 now and I'm still going. I just like birds, keeping birds and showing birds," he said.

"At home I have about 200 and I've cut down. I have parrots, finches, quail, doves, I love all of them.

"I'm just interested in their personalities and I lot of them get quite tame. I have one pigeon that comes and sits and the door, waiting for you to stroke her.

"I've always like them since I was a kid. I started with budgies and now I have all of them."

Terry was fascinated with birds at home in England as well, working as an international judge on the continent.

"I came to Australia in 1971 and I've been in Ipswich ever since," he said.

"There was only 22 people on the international judging list and I was the youngest to get on it at 22. You have to sit an exam to get on that. "You're looking for feather, colours, height in the cage. There are points for every bird but you have to know what every bird is and what it should look like, otherwise you can't judge it.

"There's probably more Australian finches bread in England than there are here. England is a lot bigger.

"I'm just so interested in it, that's why I keep doing it and keep coming back to the show. As long as I can look after them, I'll keep going."

Terry manages a variety of birds at the Ipswich Show every year, including lovebirds, canaries, cockatiels, parrots and finches, but leaves his own birds to his grandchildren to manage.

"To be honest, the grandkids give them their names," he said.

"There's Dorothy the pigeon, Pinky and Perky, Bob, Ken, he's 32 years old, Peter, Casper the Cockatoo, and some are named after people in the family, like Monica, then there's Buttercup and Pat."

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