The fellowship I observed at the AFA convention was truly remarkable. All ages, all occupations from all over and yet warmly connected by a common bond - the love , fascination and interest in birds. The desire to protect them in the wild by saving habitat and to protect their future as our pets with vigilance and education. There were folks represented at the convention who have been involved for all 35 years and those who spend all their free time working towards this convention and the newbies (like me) who watched in awe. This event is serious and multifaceted with programs for the newest and youngest of pet owners to the hobby and advanced breeders. It was also silly and slap stick when the daily raffle prizes where drawn. These folks know how to study and work and play. The final banquet was a real lesson in acceptance and joy of sharing as we came together to celebrate each other wearing whatever suited - from jeans to long gowns - the dress code for the week was always - no dress code. All year this totally volunteer organization works to stay aware of trends and share that information in a gorgeous publication called " The Watchbird ". Their effort to share and educate is topped off each year with the Annual AFA Convention. An enormous and unselfish project that included unique venders, shopping , educational displays, wonderful lectures, awards and prizes, all packed into a 5 day reunion of old and new friends who all love birds. What a treat!