FROM THE MAGAZINE SHELF is an occasional feature of the FOUNTAINDALE LIBRARY REFERENCE BLOG. Postings will highlight titles that you might find of interest, but haven’t yet picked up to read and explore.

Say it isn’t so! I certainly would like to, but the reality of the details in my post about BIRD TALK magazine is that this monthly publication, which has survived into it’s 30th year, is no longer going to be available as a printed magazine. The library has carried this informative magazine, whose motto is “Dedicated To Better Care For Pet Birds,” for at least ten years and it has been very popular with our customers. The September 2012 issue shown here will be the last print issue.

I had received word from our magazine supplier at the end of July that Bird Talk was no longer going to published, but they did not provide details. It wasn’t until I heard an interview on National Public Radio a few weeks ago that more information came forth. The NPR News segment, on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, was hosted by Audie Cornish. The piece was called ‘Bird Talk’ Magazine Folds Its Wings After 30 Years and was an interview with Susan Chamberlain, a longtime columnist and writer for the magazine. The demise of the print version of Bird Talk had gone the way of a number of long lived publications that ceased to exist over the past several years…economics…it was no longer profitable for the publishers to continue printing the magazine.  Shrinking advertising revenue was a main contributor. The readership was there. If anything, more people than ever are pet bird owners, according to Ms. Chamberlain.

I wondered what readers would do to get the same type of information from the columns that they regularly went to for tips like “How to give your bird stress-free nail trims” and “How to promote healthy skin and feathers on your pet.” Well, there is a silver lining to this grey, bleak cloud.  Some of the content of Bird Talk magazine will now be going online on

The solution to moving content online is not a perfect one. Not everyone has Internet access.  Some people just like the feel of holding a real print magazine in their hands. Anyway, pets and their caregivers are resilient. Most will make the best of the transition and continue doing what they enjoy most…being in each other’s company.

– Tom D.

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