Sunday, November 29, 2009

Geoff Walker Seminar - Cobalt Canary

On Saturday morning at 10 AM, the National Colorbred Association hosted a seminar in the new color judging area given by Geoff Walker, noted author of Coloured, Type, and Song Canaries who judged the New Color Division. Geoff is not only famous for his book and judging but also he is the first breeder in the UK to breed a number of new colorbred mutations including satinette, topaz, onyx, eumo and cobalt. Geoff presented an informative seminar focusing primarily on the Cobalt and Jaspe mutations.

The Cobalt mutation is strikingly black and luminous but at first glance it might be confused with a classic melanin bronze. The cobalt hypermelanism mutation disperses a melanin veil effect over the lipochrome that occupies the outer edges of both sides of the feather giving the bird a striking darker black color. The phaeomelanin (brown) which is commonly express in the feather is no longer visible resulting is a clear, dark color and smooth ground color with maximum dark eumelanin. Geoff remarked that an onyx cobalt is the closest thing today to a black canary!

The cobalt should be luminous, especially evident in the intensive feathering and not dull. Selective breeding of these birds has resulted in a loss of all brown producing genes because of the optical blue factor or perhaps the Azul factor which he is currently studying. The azul factor is like a predictable optical blue, shiny and beautiful and never dull.

The feet of the cobalt should be dark in the bronze cobalt just like in a classic bronze. Classic bronze typically show lighter feet the second year but at this time some cobalt may have lighter feet, a fault, their first year.

Geoff remarked that "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder and his personal favorite is the mosaic red agate cobalt!

Geoff explained that Cobalt is a recessive mutation and follows the standard laws of Mendelian inheritance for a recessive mutation. For a bird to be phenotypically (visibly) cobalt it must inherit the cobalt gene from both parents as it only shows when the bird is homozygous or in other words when it has two cobalt genes, one inherited from each parent. This inheritance pattern is seen in a number of colorbreds such as opal or recessive white etc.

In this above example, a visible cobalt is paired with a cobalt carrier. This results in 1/2 of the offspring being visibly cobalt and the other 1/2 being cobalt carriers.

When two birds are paired that are neither visible cobalts but both carry the cobalt recessive gene as shown in the above example, 1/4 of the offspring will be visible cobalts and 1/2 cobalt carriers and 1/4 non-cobalt carrier.

A real highpoint of the seminar was when Geoff demonstrated the distinction between the intensive classic bronze and the intensive bronze cobalt which is easily seen by simply turning the birds over and examining the vent area. The classic bronze shown on the bottom, has considerable red lipochrome color on the underside while the Cobalt picture on the top is black clear to the vent due the super imposing of melanin pigment over the lipochrome on the feather edges!

Geoff briefly talked about the Jaspe mutation. In contrast to the cobalt recessive mutation, Jaspe is a dominant mutation and therefore is seen when the bird has one gene (heterozygous) from one parent called single factor and resembles a greywing with a clear area on the flight feathers or when the bird inherits one Jaspe gene from each parent (homozygous) called double factor and is the purest form but resembles a poor opal with a dark diffuse gray. The double factor is a co-dominant autosomal (non sex linked) inheritance pattern. Personally of about 200 Jaspe that he has seen, he only liked one and does not think this mutation, unlike the beautiful cobalt mutation, will become popular.

After the seminar, I ask Geoff if there was an Internet site where we might see more of these mutations. He recommended a dutch site I learned that it is best to google deschinkel rather than to call up the web site directly because when you google and then select this site, you have the opportunity to double click on the parentheses side remark which says translate this site so that it will automatically come up with an English translation. Once on the site, go to the lower right hand corner and click on all birds. I have really been enjoying this site.

When I went to the DKB show in Germany in January of 2008, I saw a long three tier row of probably 200 cobalts in all the melanin and mosaic variations. The high number of cobalts is likely due to its origin in Germany. I was really taken with one cobalt in particular the beautiful slate blue classic so beautiful because it has no brown! And of course I also appreciated the cobalt melanin mosaics too!

Jerry Zak and numerous exhibitors took the opportunity to have Geoff comment on particular birds after the seminar!! He was available to any exhibitor to comment on a bird or make breeding recommendations on how to produce better birds! Thanks so much Geoff for sharing your knowledge with us!!

People often wonder why exhibit and the answer is obvious to breed better birds and enjoy the friendship and experiences of other breeders!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lizard on My Shoulder Makes Me Happy

What a proud moment for David Galloway when his gold broken capped lizard won 4th place in the Old Varieties Division! Congratulations David, it is a fantastic bird!!

David says "The thrill of winning Fourth place in the old Varieties Division at the 2009 NCBS is such an honor. Thank you Dr. Mac Saedi for this award.

I am fascinated with the Lizard canary. It provides many challenges to the novice and the experienced breeder with so many characteristics to blend into the breeding plans.

My winner this year is a Gold broken cap hen. She excels in her spangling. It is distinct and uniform down her back and presents the correct appearance. Also she shows good rowing. These markings are showing plainly from her head down the breast. The pattern is somewhat vague on the center of the breast compared to the sides but still shows. She has a very rich ground color throughout and has an almost full cap. I would like to see a darker color on the legs and beak - but perhaps that can be worked on for next year.

My birds came from Bill Jackson in California. Three years ago, I purchased a dozen pairs with Ken Stubbart and Larry Gavin for our foundation stock. It seems to be a good blend, since this year was a repeat win, Division Fourth, at the 2008 NCBS in Lansing." David W. Galloway, Worthington, Ohio 43085, 614 888-2605,

Friday, November 27, 2009

Busy Saturday at the NCBS Show

The majority of club meetings are held on Saturday. At 7 am, I wanted to be three places, Central States Roller Association, North American Border Club, and the National Colorbred Association! I started with the roller meeting and evidently, I was too sleepy to get a photo. The meeting, conducted by David Bopp in the absence of the President George Traveria, was completely in a record 30 minutes so I was able to get to the two hour border meeting just 30 minutes late.

North American Border Club President Enrique Ponce conducted the meeting. One of the highlights was recognition of the Border Division Winners!

After discussing business, and selecting next years judge nominations, we paid club dues, sponsorships, ads, etc, and purchase bands. I bought 50 Border bands, now that is a real optimist!

At the border meeting, like most club meetings, the division judges addressed the group. Francois Steegmans from Belgium commented on the excellent quality of the borders he judges at our show.

The meeting concluded with the an opportunity for border novices to competitively bid for an excellent quality border donated by Paul Dee.

Along with the club meetings Saturday morning, Higgins Premium Pet Foods sponsored complimentary informative Avian Educational Seminars. Starting at 9 with Dr. Darrel Styles from Texas A & M University, then at 10 with Sandee L. Molenda speaking on Protecting Your Birds From Natural & Manmade Disasters and concluding at 11 with Daniel Maldonado speaking on Birds on the Internet!

After the Judging Friday

After the judging, the tags were opened and winners congratulated except for the Higgins winner which is announced at the banquet Saturday night. Enrique Ponce, President of North American Border Club opened the border division tags and announced the winners.

Exhibitors take a closer look at the winners.

After a group of us went out for steak at the Lonestar Steak House, we returned to the hotel for Hospitality night.

Last years Higgins winners donate a bird for auction during hospitality night.

I just could not resist bidding and buying the German Roller donated by David Bopp!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful To Make the Top Bench - Holiday Contest

Border Division Top Bench.

Each of the following birds were on one of the division top benches at the NCBS Show of Shows. Send in your identification of any or all. As soon as I receive a correct answer on any bird, I will post it. (Click on photo to enlarge your view!)

Bird #1 picture in the next three shots is a Yellow Ticked Border Identified by Randy Dean!

Bird #2 is a Parisian Frill Identified by Rich May! (Variegated)

Bird #3 is a Crested Old Crest Owned by Antonio Guiomar of California

Bird #4 is a Gloster Corona identified by Rich May!

Bird #5 is a Crested Stafford identified by Rich May!

Bird #6 is a Gloster Consort identified by Rich May!

Bird #7 is a Red Intensive Isabel Identified by Randy Dean!

Bird #8 is a Crested Columbus Fancy Identified by Randy Dean!

Bird #9 is a Crested Columbus Fancy Identified by Randy Dean!

Bird #10 is a Lizard identified by Rich May! (The bird is broken capped.)

Bird #11 is a Yellow Intensive Colorbred Identified by Rich May!

Bird #12 is a Red Intensive Lipochrome Identified by Randy Dean!

Bird #13 is a Recessive White Identified by Randy Dean!

Bird #14 is a Gold Brown Ivory Pastel

Bird #15 picture in the next two shots is a Gold Brown Ino New Color Identified by Randy Dean!

Join the fun and play the game! Only right answers will be posted, so if you are not sure guess!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Select Higgins Winners

Ralph Judging the Stafford Division.

Paul Dee Stewarding the Borders.

Border Division Winner!

Yorkie Wins the Type Division!

Gloster Corona Division Winner!

Plainhead Wins the Hartz Division!

Non-crested Frost Wins the Stafford Division!

Southern Dutch Frill Wins Old Varieties Division!

Ino Wins New Color Division!

Mosaic Wins the Melanin Division!