Bill&ChrisHeale.jpg (18547 bytes)Spangles for the Future
by Bill & Christine Heale


The members of the Spangle Budgerigar Breeders Association have witnessed many excellent wins in Spangle classes since the introduction of Spangles onto the Show scene. Non-more so than the excellent major wins of Frank Silva’s Spangles at the 1999 Budgerigar Society Show held at Doncaster. There is no doubt that the winning Spangles are excellent budgerigars as well as many other varieties that normally win the Major awards.

Variety Markings

Our main concern for the variety is markings – this is not a criticism but fact. As a stud progresses & family lines are formed, features i.e. colour and markings are implanted in the genetic make-up which hopefully produces the desired winning budgerigars. The markings have declined throughout the variety, although there are still some very well marked specimens about.

We ourselves, are also guilty of producing very good Spangles which can be let down by the lack of the desired features – distinctive markings, (either wing markings or bulls-eye spots). The problem is undoubtedly pedigree. We have personally found that by breeding too close within Spangle family lines – can cause loss of colour and markings over the years. You cannot guarantee breeding any Spangles from Spangle x Normal pairings. The percentage of Spangles bred goes down quite quickly if you breed closely for a few years.

Use Regular Outcrosses

Our answer to both problems is to out-cross to a completely new bloodline that is compatible with the Spangle bloodlines. Some of us can remember when the first Spangles came into our country.

The majority had very good spangling and good bulls-eye spots. Spangling on the birds was a desired feature. So much so, that the features made the variety so popular. It

would be lovely if we could get back to the markings of the early Spangles – being the majority instead of gradually going to a minority.

The thought has always stuck in our minds when we witnessed a visiting fancier from Australia who was stewarding with us under the same Judge quite a few years ago at a Championship Show. She commented that he was judging the Greywing class. The puzzled Judge informed her that no these were not Greywings but Clearwings!

The message was clear from the Australian fancier who was so used to seeing the Clearwings in Australia with lovely clear wings that had been on original Clearwings back then and why that variety was so named – but were gradually getting darker wings on the Clearwings bred in this country. This is also not a criticism of the Clearwing variety, but what we heard at that Show.

Looking back to the Future

How many of us today can remember distinct spangling and bulls-eye spots on the majority of Spangles. We also hope the members and fanciers who breed Spangles keep this in mind when pairing their birds, and that it won’t just be history of why they were so named – Spangled Budgerigars.

Spangle Review
Issue No. 25 ~ Spring 2000

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