DTI001 13_09_17

Bengalese Finches
British Birds
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Warwick update

The originator of the Warwick canary, MICK WATTON, fills us in on the variety’s development

A lovely lime hen

Since the previous two items on the Warwick canary appeared in Cage & Aviary Birds (News, October 15, 2009 and Warwick Avenue, January 21, 2010), I’ve received many letters asking for more in-depth detail, especially regarding the pictorial model and the scale of show points.

That had to wait until the committee of our mother club, the Canary Council of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, had scrutinised my draft proposals and given its seal of approval. The pictorial ideal and scale of points have now been accepted.

What next?

Currently some local canary fanciers are prepared to take the initial steps by selecting the smallest examples of clear yellow and buff Fife canaries and creating their own stud, as part of the “long-term jigsaw”.

This scenario will not all be plain sailing, in at least two respects. First, there is a dearth of small, egg-shaped-bodied, clear-bred Fifes.

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The frill of it all

Ron Toft meets SIMON TAMMAM, a lifelong birdkeeper who has embraced one of the most challenging of today’s fancies – the frill

French beauty: the Parisian frill

WHEN Simon Tammam was 13, he was given a pair of budgerigars as a birthday present. But when he discovered they were noisy birds, he decided to get rid of them. He exchanged the budgies at a local pet shop in Tripoli, Libya, where he lived, for a pair of crested Italian canaries of a type that no longer exists, but was very similar to old Glosters.

Simon says: “Those two canaries – a crested white hen and normal cock – produced 15 youngsters in my first season.” From that point on, Simon was hooked on birds generally and canaries specifically. He explains: “The funny thing is that it was only later in life I realised that my great grandfather and a couple of uncles also kept and bred canaries. I never knew my ancestors had birds.

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(Fife Fancy) Fascinated by Fifes

Terry Kelly specialised late in Fifes, but it didn’t take him long to reach the top. Ron Toft hears his story

Clear red mosaic male: Not the best of stances, but it does enable us to see how close to perfection the top and sides of the mask are. Coupled with this, note the intensive red lipochrome colour, devoid of frosting, present on both the head and wing-buttsTHE fact that Terry Kelly became a lifelong breeder of birds – first of British, then prize-winning Fifes – was due, in no small part, to his Border-keeping grandfather.

“Every house but one in my grandfather’s street kept canaries,” he recalls with a smile, “because that’s the way it was in those days. My grandfather had clear yellow Borders and used to roll hemp seed with a rolling pin. I helped him out whenever I could and also fed his hens.”

Terry, born in Batley, Yorkshire, continues: “I was brought up with birds. As a child, I assumed that everybody kept canaries and hens. I thought it was normal. It was only when I grew up that I realised it wasn’t normal!” Terry’s grandfather kept clear Borders, but didn’t show them. “He just appreciated the birds for what they were. My father kept ducks, but not cage birds.” Read more...

My dream start

BRIDGET BOULTON tells Nick West about her incredible first four years in the lizard canary fancy

That’s my bird! Best Novice, Best Lizard Canary – it’s not a notice you see on a cage at the LCA Classic show every year

A little bit of history was made at the 2010 Lizard Canary Association Classic Show when a novice took best bird in show for the first time ever. It was only Bridget Boulton’s second time showing at the Classic.

“2009 was the first time I’d showed at the Classic,” she explains. “I didn’t do very well, but I learned a lot. The next year I couldn’t believe what happened when I won. I was very surprised. You always hope, but I didn’t think I was in with a shout. I’ve only been doing it for four years.”

Bridget lives in the picturesque village of Osmaston, in the Peak District. Thatched cottages, a village duck pond and an old church go to making one of the nicest places you could possibly wish to live. And Bridget makes the most of it: “I’ve got a nice big garden, with a shed that’s about 5.7m x 1.8m (19ft x 6ft). It’s got about 60 cages in it with an indoor flight and I’ve got an outdoor flight as well.”

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Introducing the Jaspe

Jean-Paul Glemet profiles a distinctive coloured canary, newly developed on the Continent. Translation by Geoff Walker

Mosaic red agate Jaspe single-factor: striations very evident, good reduction of phaeomelanin

THE Jaspe mutation has its origin, not in the wild or domestic canary, but in the European siskin (Carduelis spinus). In this finch, aviculturists have produced and developed the dilute (or pastel) mutation. By selective breeding, a double-factor version was produced. Breeders then outcrossed this to other species, notably the Magellan or hooded siskin (C. magellanicus) and the black-hooded red siskin (C. cucullata).

With double-factor dilute siskins there is, at the same time, a dilution of the melanin pigment throughout the bird and a dramatic dilution of the melanin colour in both the flight and tail feathers. This was the story with the pairings between the double-factor Magellan siskin x the canary and the double-factor red-hooded black siskin x the canary, which transmitted the two factors in the inheritance of the canary and allowed us to achieve the canary that we now know as the Jaspe. This most certainly may be called a canary and not a hybrid, because we now have ninth-generation birds.

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