Some time ago I was privileged to obtain from Rob Wright, past IGBA Year Books ranging from 1973 through 2009 thinking that these would provide an interesting in-site into past thoughts, ideas of breeder exhibitors, many of whom have passed, and the decisions of the association and make interesting reading if articles were draw together and published.
Needless to say, good intentions don’t always materialise, well not as quickly as one might have liked.
It is to be hoped that the reproduction of this 32 year old article will provide to members a timely reminder that regardless of whatever picture is, or will be, promoted as a pictorial representation of the Gloster canary the generalities of what we are all trying to achieve in this hobby of producing “our ideal Gloster” does not, and has not, changed over the years. Try visualising “the ideal Gloster” from this historical article.
August 1988: – The Gloster – by Bob Hall
“For many new members, the essence of the fancy is the Corona, for it is likely this was the first of the two birds which attracted them to the hobby. The Gloster in the crested form is known as the Corona and its plain headed partner is known as the Consort. However, it must not be forgotten that the Consort plays a very important part in breeding good Coronas and visa-versa. The orthodox mating of Corona to Consort should produce in theory 50% of Corona and Consorts.
The Gloster what are we looking for?
It states in the standard laid down the size should be to the diminutive. This term can cause problems. True the Gloster should be small, but the shortness of the bird should not be combined with mean heads, no width across the shoulders, no neck and high on the legs. The Gloster primarily is a type of bird which requires all aspects of the standard to be considered and no individual point should be taken in isolation.
A good Corona is defined as having a neat, circular unbroken crest which drops only sufficiently to touch the top of the beak, with a definite centre and the eyes should be visible. The beak should be short as a large beak will spoil the appearance of the head. It can be very difficult to breed out this fault in a stud and it may be necessary to take drastic action to remedy the problem.
The body can make or break the appearance of the bird which should be well filled and birds with elongated bodies should be avoided in the breeding stock. The outline should be neat with the back of the neck not showing any signs of splits or dips. The neck should be thick moulding into the shoulders with no cutaway under the beak.
The wings should be short, well laid onto the back finishing together on the bird’s rump. They should not cross or droop. The tail should be piped and short with no sign of splits. It should be in proportion to the wind length and carried in line with the body. The legs should be short, and no thigh should be showing, nor should this area have untidy feathers.
Consorts should have the same outline with of course the exception of the head. The Consort’s head should have a nice lift from the beak maintaining curve over the top of the head and blending neatly into the back of the neck. No matter what angle the bird is viewed, there should be around appearance throughout the head with no sign of flatness. The width of the head should be well filled but should not have excessive brows.
A weak headed Consort or Corona can spoil the heads of its counterpart as will a bird with poor feather quality.
One very important part of the bird is the feather quality. Although the Gloster is a type bird, it should have ideally feather quality and good natural colour. What the fancier is trying to achieve is along feather on the head to produce leafy type crests and short close feather on the body, wings and tail. The delicate blend of all three does provide a real challenge in the selection of breeding pairs to keep the size as small as possible.
In seeking the stock hopefully to produce birds of good quality, it is not an easy matter. It will take a great deal of persistence in finding the birds which appeal to your own idea of the ideal Gloster and then to quietly get on with the breeding and pruning each year until your own stock becomes established. There is no easy road to success, one of the most common mistakes is to have too many pairs to look after which can be a chore and not a pleasure.”
In this opening article it is hoped that members will provide additional points of view and also to add other aspects on the subject. For that reason, new members are recommended to seek advice from not just one fancier but seek the opinion of others to broaden their knowledge and outlook.
Reproduced from August 1988 Year Book – Bob Hall – Contributions by Norman Wallace, George Storey, Rob & Les Wright, Chris Blackwell.