Classic Budgerigars

A Search for the Classic Bird

Mission

This blog aims to:

  • CELEBRATE : the beauty of the classic, ‘natural’  budgerigar
  • RECORD: the decline over recent decades
  • INFORM people about the decline in health, fertility and beauty
  • CONTACT & CONNECT who still have ‘classic budgerigars’
  • RE-CREATE the beauty, health and vigour of the classic birds
  • ENCOURAGE a debate about the future of this species in captivity

Gallery of Classic Birds

Who is it aimed at?

This weblog aims to bring together anyone who still loves the classic budgerigar and hopefully discover if anyone still retains classic breeding stock. I suspect that very few ‘Exhibition Breeders’ will show any interest in this issue because they are the very people responsible for the decline of the classic budgerigar. However, a few of the more thoughtful ones may realise that it would be in the long term interests of serious breeders to resurrect the classic, healthy, green budgerigar; the current ‘Exhibition Budgerigars’ are so grotesquely deformed and so in-bred that they will undoubtedly become extinct within a decade or two.  This will most likely come about through infertility and disease – the classic stigmata of inbred stock of any kind. However, at some point, people will also realise that a budgerigar with:

Budgergar Society Best Young Bird in Show 2005

Budgergar Society Best Young Bird in Show 2005

  • no visible eyes,
  • a massively disproportionate head,
  • plumage like a feather duster,

. .   is just too ugly for words.  Instead of flocking to the budgerigar fancy – newcomers are turned-off by these over-bred freaks and are turning towards other parrot-species which stil retain their natural health and beauty.  This is a plausible explanation for the huge growth of interest in parrot type birds.

The big boys of the exhibition world are in a sense a ‘lost cause’ – since they have gone so far down the road of breeding massive-headed, eyeless monsters – that, for them,  there is no return.  They could not turn back now – even if they wanted to – because their birds are so genetically ‘fixed’ by linebreeding and inbreeding – that no retreat is possible.  In addition, they have so much invested – in terms of time, money and reputation – that they could never admit that anything was ‘wrong’ with the current ‘ideal models’.

However, I may be wrong.  Maybe there are a few breeders out there who can still remember what budgerigars looked like before these ‘freaks of nature’ became the ideal to strive for.  Maybe some breeders have a nagging doubt – that breeding birds which cannot see because of the massive over-growth of feathers – is a bad thing to do?

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10 Responses to “Mission”

  1. Martine said

    Hello Graham, remember coming to my forum in french? My 15 year old daugther just wrote a paper on the incidence of cancer and neplasms in the budgerigar and the link with mutants and inbreeding. I wish you could read it, it is devastating. It turns out as muche as 40% of budgies could suffer from it. According to our avian vet who we interviewed for the paper, it could be as much as 50% of the budgies seen in her practice.

    I think you made our point Graham, let’s go for green.

    Greetings, Martine.

    • Hi Martine, would love to see your daughter’s essay on this subject. You know that there have been huge protests over the in-breeding of cats and dogs at Crufts – the big Dog show here in the UK. The issues are exactly the same – breeders inbreeding for generation after generation in order to achieve some completely artificial characteristic: big heads,flat faces, loose skin etc. The result is a tiny, shrinking gene-pool controlled by the top money-men – and a compliant national bird-press who rely on these people for advertising and income.

      We need to get vets to start writing about diseases caused by in-breeding. Of course, that would deprive them of lots of income, because natural birds are generally healthy for life. Show-birds have very short life spans and are riddled with diseases,

  2. Hello Budgie lovers 🙂

    We are a little group who are going to make a breeding project about breeding the Budgie back to the nature form.

    We woluld be happy if some at this forum could give us some hints about breeding this bird back, the budgies of today is simply to big, fat and not representaive fore the species.

    Best regards

    John Vestergaard
    Denmark.

  3. Martine said

    In response to borderglider, I would love to have you read my dauther’s paper, the only trouble is that it is in french…

  4. Martine said

    IF you breed enough green birds and récessive mutants, they will go back to being green, green being dominant, the recessive traits will eventually dissapear. You might have a bit of problems at first, you will get ino hens and blue, but they will go back. Nature always find a way, but they will never be pure again, “le mal a été fait”, thr harm has been done, it’s too late to go back completely.

  5. Dear Martin

    I don´t think your right, when you say it´s to late goin back, – the green wil always be the last bird in this case, and the harm vith blue, dark green and yellow is also in nature in small pieces, and this vil also happens in cage breeding, but the cize and color vil be much look a like the nature birds, – ANS the helth much better! 🙂

    Best regards
    John
    http://www.natur-undulater,dk

    • martine said

      My name is Martine, not Martin, but that’s beside the point.

      Was I was saying in regard to the harm that has been done was referring to the things you cannot see, all the neoplasms and cancer. This was caused by inbreeding and will not easily go away. Of course blue and inos occur naturally, I’m not saying they don’t. If they did’nt, we would not be where we are now.

  6. Liam Grosh said

    I must admit that I became interested in the exhibition of budgies in the 70’s and I still prefer the standard of that time. By the time I was able to breed and show budgies, the standard had become “Frankenstinian” in my opinion. However I still do prefer the 70’s and 80’s exhibition look over the wild parakeet.

  7. Liam Grosh said

    As for genetic faults. I am not an expert in genetics, however I have done a lot of personal research on the subject and to the best of my understanding, inbreeding does not “create” genetic faults. Faulty genes reside in every known complex genome. Inbreeding just allows the genes to gain dominance and express themselves biologically. I would guess that if one were to gather many dozens of budgies that closely resembled the wild type, and were of visible good health he could begin to either colony breed them or selectively breed them for fertility, vigor,longevity and wild “type” and, in perhaps several years down the line, success in creating several dozen birds identical to the wild type could be achieved. All of the faults that were brought out by inbreeding already resided in the genome for milinia. These genes were just recessive and, over time, can be relegated to recessiveness once again.

  8. Helen Day said

    Hi,
    You have a link to Cobber Budgies website. I am the owner of that site, and just want to let you know that I have had to move it. It is now at http://www.yonder.myzen.co.uk

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