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Monday, September 17, 2012

Bucks & Berks Budgerigar Association

Bucks and Berks Budgerigar Association

Talking points
Green series Texas Clearbody

We were the first to make it to the club meeting and while waiting outside for someone to show, I realized that wearing the jacket I left at home would have been a good idea. It was cool I thought for this time of year but then I was in England and maybe this was just normal for October.
The meeting hall is made of painted stone with old fashion windows and when you walk into the room you can see clear to the peak of the roof certainly a beautiful place to meet, however I wonder if you would commit a bird that got out of its cage. 

Checking on seed
Cage holder

As members began to appear I noticed that bags of seed had been placed at the front of the room for them to pick up. Setting on the stage were show cages with beautifully made covers, but they had something interesting I remembered from my trip to England last year. It was a strap which attached to all 4 cages. This way you could carry 4 of them at a time in one hand. More and more people were arriving and I helped set up some of the tables and chairs. I felt a bit uncomfortable being new, but a few gentlemen approached, introduced themselves giving me a warm welcome. 


Tea was served as we begun to congregate and chat. It wasn’t long before birds in show cages were set at the front of the room and we settled into our seats.
This meeting was like any other I had been to in the States. Parliamentary procedures took place as motions were made and voted on. 

While this was happening I was taking pictures as though I was part of the establishment. I have learned that people adjust in time as I move around the room but in such a way that I do not disturb anyone. I like to take a variety of pictures from different angles and viewpoints which make things more interesting, and I’m always looking for expressions that tell a story.
The Texas Clearbody was the subject of the day and our speaker was Alan Joyce. According to Wikipedia the Clearbody was first discovered in Texas, USA and so adapted the name for the mutation. It was discovered in the mid 1950s and appeared in an aviary using the colony breeding setup. In 1958 it was discovered that the mutation was in fact Sexlinked by Mrs Gay Terraneo and John Papin of California. 

Ghalib Al-Nassar

 The general appearance of this variety in green and blue is similar to normal but with the following differences. The flight feathers are pale grey instead of black; the body color is suffused and may vary in intensity from minimum through to almost 50% of normal body color depth and increase in intensity downwards and towards the rump area.

Using Opaline

7th Place All American 2011

In 2009 I started breeding the Texas Clearbody and by accident when one appeared in the nest of a split Lutino cock to a Clearbody hen. I was able to breed my first blue and green series cocks. The interesting thing is that I didn’t know that the cock was split as I brought it in from another breeder. In the same rounds I also had Lutino hens in this pairing. 

I later went on to win a show with my green series Clearbody in the Intermediate division in New Jersey and later in 2011, I placed 7th at the All American which competes in a rare division against all levels of competition. I was thrilled with the result and committed to breed the Texas Clearbody into the future.

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What is the best method of breeding this mutation? We covered this at the meeting. Using dark factor birds seem to eliminate the color sheen as the birds mature. However I talked to Rynier Burger of South Africa who has been doing research on the topic of suffusion. In his view he finds that his best results come from using grey, and greygreen birds in his Texas Clearbody pairings, or a split grey father and Albino mother pairing. This helps eliminate the sheen in the blue series dramatically. He noted when breeding the Clearbody to the sky blue you will get a blue sheen through the body.

In the green series Clearbody Rynier believes its best to breed with the grey green rather than the dark factor birds as mentioned above. He adds that when using grey, greygreen, Albino, and Lutino, it is more likely that they can give you the undesirable color sheen if the grandparents were light or dark factor birds.

Rynier prefers the opaline Clearbody over the normal. “I use opaline to improve the spots and considering the Clearbody is sex-linked it is easier to control the chicks as opaline is also sex-linked”. 

Controversial point

His preferred pairing is opaline hens to Texas Clearbody cocks to improve the percentage of getting male chicks that are split instead of females that don’t split. Considering the Texas Clearbody is sex-linked it is difficult to breed cocks if normals are not available. The best method of breeding cocks is by pairing Clearbody to Clearbody in which case you are likely to get 50% cocks. However often you will lose size considering the Clearbody is a recessive mutation.

There are many strategies and theories to breeding Texas Clearbody’s and any budgie mutation for that matter. What would it look like to have a Spangle Clearbody, or Dominant Pied Clearbody or how about the Goldenface Clearbody? These are interesting questions. Do we ruin a mutation by breeding this way? Some combinations are beautiful in spite of the fact that they go against the standard of color we are working towards. Should we not encourage this? I have often heard breeders say, “budgie first” or “I’m color blind”. When we encourage the hobby I believe that we need to teach new breeders to breed what they like first, and then encourage them to show their birds. It’s the love of the bird that sustains us and keeps us around, but it’s the people who carry us.
Doing paperwork

After the meeting I had more conversation with members. It’s always fun to share with people the way things are done from your own home turf, and along the way you make a few extra friends. We couldn’t stay long as we had a long drive to an evening visit at Rick Watts bird room.