WHAT IS A SPANGLE?
by Eric Peake
During the seventies, The Budgerigar Society held its Annual General Meeting at the Chateau Impney at Droitwich, hosted by the Midlands Budgerigar Association. At this meeting, Alf Ormerod brought along two birds, Grey Greens that were the first UK Spangles that had been bred. At the previous years B.S. Club Show at the Leeds hall, I was approached by Rolf Christenson, who showed me some photographs of birds he had for sale. They were a new variety, he told me, and wanted £200 - £300 each for them. I naturally could not afford these prices on what seemed a small Budgie, which may not reproduce to regain my money, so I thought!! I told him to see Alf Ormerod, or Harry Bryan, they may be the people interested in buying these new varieties of birds. After the MBA B.S. AGM, I went to Alfs birdroom, and photographed these birds, which I still have today, the babies were excellent birds, which showed superb Spangle markings on their bodies. Alf paired the new Spangle obtained from Rolf, to his best Grey Greens, these being Normals. He told me he intended to keep as many as he could to build up a large amount before selling them. The Spangles were extremely prolific along with the capabilities of producing excellent exhibition birds.
Having produced The B.S. Colour Standards in visual concept, along with The B.S. Ideal. Naturally I am in favour of keeping up the varieties to their intended family. Since the early days of the Spangle I have observed both in judging and in observation, a rapid increase in the Spangle as a bird, also, its many boundaries it has reached. Also, I have observed a decline in quality of Spangles that have been produced by inexperienced hands of some fanciers. The Spangle is a beautiful bird, providing it is paired correctly, a normal bird should always be used to continue the Spangle in its desired markings. Most dark factor birds, especially the blues, have been greatly increased in colour production by the inclusion of the Spangle as an outcross to the stud. Spangles paired to Pieds, Clearwings, Suffusion and Cinnamon birds have produced some poor marked birds some rather undescript to say the least. I would like to call these birds "SPUNGLES" due to the blunder make by such pairings. Quality in many Spangles have surely made their impact on the fancy, the double win by Frank Silva at the 1999 B.S. Club show, which I had pleasure to judge, surely makes this point.
Which leads me to say, "What is a Spangle?" The markings on the bird have certain areas that have indicated this is a new variety. The wings, spots, tail and cheek patches. Body colour should be as a normal bird, with a clean spread of even colour. If you observe the drawings I have included you will see the centre of the colour of the feather is reduced or non visible in some cases. The wing markings on the sides show the marks better, as does the primary flights. The tail also shows a centre omission of colour, this can be altered if in a Spangle Opaline for example.
At the 2000 Spangle open day, Jeff Attwood showed a slide of yet another version of the Spangle, it showed a distinct darker area, which in my opinion is a possible revert to the normal bird, time will tell if this is so. I hope not, as we may loose the Spangles in years to come. Charlie Pendleton bred some birds that looked like this bird shown by Jeff, some years ago, which I have slides of to verify this. I have seen many Spangles bred by many ways, the only two I have no desire to witness is the Spangle Recessive Pied, and the Spangle Clearwing, both are birds neither to their respective parentage. These birds are non-progressive to the fancy and should be discouraged by the Specialist Societies.
As the initial suggester for the "Spangle Open Day" I am pleased to see it is progressing well, the 2000 day was attended by many noted people in the fancy, I enjoyed the day a great deal. Having been honoured to speak at the 2000 B.S. Convention, I will be dealing with the visual areas of the Spangle in my lecture, hope to see you there. To all members keep up the interest in the variety, it is there for your enjoyment, and to progress in any way we can.
- You will notice that all feathers have three distinct areas of colour edge, middle line, centre.
- The flights and tail if closely observed show a three-patterned division.
- The Spangle has the centre colour missing.
- If Opaline is used the areas become defused, causing a blur in colour separations.
Issue No. 26 ~ Winter 2000