WHAT SHALL WE call these small, neat, traditional budgerigars that are beginning to make their mark on the show bench? (See news story on page 2.) “Colour budgerigars” is the firm stipulation of the Budgerigar Society; a tag that derives from the formula “budgerigars of colour” used on the Continent (where these birds are very popular at exhibitions). Yet I can’t help noticing that the guys at Bridgwater Bird Keepers Association, who are staging more classes for them this year, use the name “miniature budgerigars”, which was the first moniker to catch on in this country. And I’m sure I remember the term “Gouldian budgerigars” was once seriously mooted at a certain conference somewhere.
I’m gently poking fun at the argument, but hasten to add that I can see the drawback to all the above options and haven’t any better suggestions. None make complete “sense”... and what’s more, they don’t need to. Naming is all about what people become used to; it doesn’t need to fit logically. Just think of the blackheaded gull, a species with as brown a head as you could paint: a ridiculous name, but that’s what the bird has always been called.
No, the important thing is that budgie breeders (should they wish) have a new kind of bird, totally unlike the modern exhibition budgie, and a new set of challenges, to get their teeth in. Yep, it’s about consumer choice. I think the Budgerigar Society and other societies are dead right to “push” these new birds – which won’t be to everyone’s taste, but if they take off then they’ll bring fresh pleasure to new and established fanciers alike; and even if they don’t, it’ll have been worth a try. Now all we have to do is get the name right. Let’s hear it for the miniature! D’oh...
■ Ed’s Apocalyptic Quote of the Week #1: “By 1946 he had more than 40 of the birds, but in that year his coastal estate was swept by a tsunami and he lost most of them” – Willy Newlands on the occupational hazards of collecting waterfowl. See page 8.
■ Ed’s Apocalyptic Quote of the Week #2: “While judging is in progress on Saturday morning, Phil Reaney will give a talk on ‘Atom Bombs & Dynamite’ at 9.45am” – At the Club Show, too! You have been (four-minute) warned... Details on page 21.
Enjoy your week!
In the August 24, 2016, issue of Cage & Aviary Birds, for humans, the sense of touch is most heightened in our fingers, but in birds touch is specially developed for various parts of the body: the tip of the bill, for example, or the feet. Paul Donovan gets to grips with the touchy and the feely
In news, we report that colour budgerigars, also referred to as miniatures, have found a place on the show bench at future Bridgwater Bird Keepers Association events and Television company Quickfire Media is on the lookout for pet or exhibition birds that show any response to music.
Artificial plants are easy to clean, look lifelike and birds don't eat them, so they last ages and won't make your birds ill! In short – recommended, says Steve Rogers
Wendy Cobourne talks us through a day in the life of a battery hen rehomer, and explains why it is so important for us to do out bit and help stop hens being destined for a short, sad life of solitude. Interview by Brian Keenan
When Graham Wellstead was a lad, the nesting season was non-stop activity, especially the time when a nestful of young jays was introduced into the mix, quite unexpectedly
Plus lots more, including Book Review, canaries, budgerigars and From the Bookshelf, plus lots more.