THE BEAUTY OF SPANGLES
In 1983 when I was judging, there came a marvellous coloured bird in front of me. I never saw this colour before. It was a Violet Spangle cock. Of course as a bird it was not outstanding and had
poor head quality, the mask could have been wider and deeper. This bird, however, had beautiful colour and
markings with bulls-eye spots. I decided that
I would like to purchase such a bird and bring it up to exhibition standard. This took three years, as the quality of birds in
I started with three Spangles from Reinhard Molkentein stock, two hens and one cock the quality of which was not very good but the colour and markings was excellent. I paired these birds to my best normal Grey Greens and made for myself the following rule: the offspring (normal Grey Green non spangle) needed to be the same quality as my normal stock within one to three seasons, especially the hens.
Improving the Spangles
I improved on the Spangles and the birds had good colour and good markings. After three years of breeding Spangles the quality improved to a really good bird. I improved the size with buff feathered birds, but I lost the good markings and colour. Also, I tried to improve the size of spot, but I lost most of the bulls-eye spots. The melanin reduced as well in the wing markings and in the spots too.
First Double Factor
In 1986 I bred the first Double Factor Spangle but the colour was not very good and there was a lot of green colouring in the body and at that time the standard was for a complete yellow or white bird without any other colour.
The use of Cinnamons, Opalines and Dark Factor Birds
When I first started up with Spangles I did some research with Cinnamons and Opalines and the influence of the dark factor birds. This was because I was asked to write the Colour Standards for the Budgerigar Club and I needed to know the outcome of using these varieties and colours.
The resulting combinations of this I felt was not very good, which spoiled the colour and wing markings, and also the melanin in the total bird was reduced. Some of the results were birds with no melanin in the wing markings and the loss of spots.
At present I keep around 150 birds throughout the year, 25 of which are Spangles (14 cocks and 11 hens) and keep only a couple of double factors.
Breeding for Good Markings
My favourite pairing to breed good markings and spots is by using a Double Factor Spangle. The Double Factor must come from two Spangles which have a good amount of melanin in their wing markings, also the birds should have large spots and be well spotted. I prefer to use a Spangle Grey cock or hen with good melanin in its markings. The pairings I would avoid using with Spangles are Inos, Pieds, Dilutes, Greywing, Clearwing, Clearbody, Opaline and Cinnamon.
The best Spangle that I bred was a Spangle Grey Green, this bird came from an outcross from Dave Tailor and one from my own stock. I have had a lot of success with my Spangles over the years in both the green and blue series and have won many colour certificates and best in show.
Loss of Wing Markings and Fertiilty
The Spangles have progressed tremendously especially the size, head quality and showmanship since I started breeding in 1984, and in the early days they were very fertile. But now we have lost the good wing markings, brilliant colour and bulls-eye spot, and the fertility is now the same as any other budgie.
When judging Spangles I always look first to the physics of the bird as size, deportment and head quality. Secondly the wing markings which include the sharpness of markings and the bulls-eye spots. An important point is the spots, a Spangle lacking in spots will be penalised and placed further back depending on the quality of the other birds.
The Way Forward
I feel the only way forward with Spangles is to try to get back to the good colour, wing markings and of course of the bulls-eye spots. The Spangles are beautiful birds with a special colour, especially the melanistic ones.
?? Jack Hordijk ??
Spangle Review ~ Number 38 ~ Winter 2006