Popinjays Play Inaugurates Aviculture in the SCA

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007 the Canton of Brokenbridge made history with the first Medieval Aviculture-themed event for the East Kingdom, if not the entire SCA: Popinjays Play in Brooklyn.

Though parrots and other companion birds have been informally part of the SCA from the beginning, SCAdians being no less likely to keep companion birds such as finches, canaries, doves, and parrots as the general population, Popinjays Play was the first event created around Aviculture as a SCAdian art.

To kick off this formal addition of the new art to the SCA, Terri Jones of Arcadia Bird Sanctuary in Freehold, New Jersey (Settmour Swamp) was invited to come and teach an aviculture schola she titled, "Birds and Humans, a Brief History" in which she highlighted famous historical parrots, including the African grey kept by King Henry VIII.

To help her, she brought Tango, a young catalina macaw whose owner had taken a knife to her in a drunken rage, and Angel, a Moluccan cockatoo whose owner died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Both birds helped bring a festive spirit to the day, which also included Ostgardrian parrots Quicksilver, a congo african grey living in the Canton of Whyt Whey, and the event steward's own cockatiels, Mithril and Aragorn, from the Canton of Brokenbridge.

In addition to the presence of the parrots, the event featured a birdy bardic circle in which the bardic prizes were determined by parrot responses to the performances, an A&S challenge to make period parrot toys, an extensive medieval parrot food display, and a large general A&S display. Outdoors, Jarl Sir Valgard ran a heavy list tournement won by Lord Eldric Ravenwood while Lord Llywellan Aps Rhys and Lord Yeh-liu Targai ran fencing outside. The Company of Medieval Aviculturists, the inter-kingdom aviculture guild, also met and ratified the Company's charter at the event. The charter counts as equal members both humans and avians and holds all members to an ongoing committment to chivalry applied to wild and companion birds, including the wild Quaker parrots whose residence in Brokenbridge began approximately 40 years ago.

This was Brokenbridge's first event since the Canton was made permanent at the final court of King Lucan and Queen Yana, making it doubly historic for the Canton.