International Gloster Breeders Association

Affiliated to

International-Ornithological-Association
National-Council-for-Aviculture-NCA

International Gloster Breeders Association

Affiliated to

International-Ornithological-Association
National-Council-for-Aviculture-NCA

International Gloster
Breeders Association

The Gloster Colour Debate

The Gloster Colour Debate

Although no longer an active participant in the Gloster Fancy, Austin Middlemiss provided the Gloster Fancy with something to think about in his Cage & Aviary Bird editorial “Northumbrian Notes – A Gloster Debate”.

Austin is a life member of the IGBA and well known for his outstanding Gloster Canary partnership with Tony Thompson, due reference to the IGBA Roll of Honour being testament to that fact.

He is still an active contributor to Cage & Aviary Birds Magazine and in the 21st September 2022 edition  he provided a logical, objective, impartial balanced viewpoint to the current Gloster New Colours Debate.

For those that have not seen the article Austin has given the IGBA permission to reprint in full.

I did my first ever video talk, as far as I can remember anyway, for the Isle of Wight Bird Club.  

It seemed to go well and there were some interesting questions, one of which was my thoughts on the recent item in Cage and Aviary Birds on colour Gloster canaries and the perceived threat to the Gloster breed. 

Obviously not actively involved the Gloster fancy now, I hadn’t intended to comment but when the direct question was put to me then I had to give my reply. 

Clearly it’s a matter of opinion and for what it’s worth mine differs somewhat from the point of view expressed so far. 

First of all, for the avoidance of doubt, I’m all for protecting the type and standard of our wonderful Gloster canary.  However there are three points I find myself not able to agree with.

1 The statement that these colour variant Glosters are in the hands of inexperienced fanciers that have no idea what they’re dealing with.

2 That there has never been a good type example seen.

3 The comparison with the outcrossing to create the Stafford canary. 

Taking point no 1 first:

Those I saw at the North of England Gloster club show last year were owned and showed by the exhibitor of the Best Gloster in show that day. 

The North of England winner I understand had pushed the best in show at the IGBA all the way to finish second best and now had managed to reverse the positions on the day of the NofEGC show. 

 

The entire team oozed class and type as a testimony to the experience and years of careful selection of that exhibitor and therefore the experiment with these colour varieties was in safe and capable hands I thought. 

2021 NofEGC Best new colour - Agate Consort

As for point 2:

Well the type of the colour varieties shown that day was there to see and reflected the type he had running throughout the stud. 

Now I know that this example doesn’t mean that will be the case with every colour variety or exhibitor and I do share some concerns that birds may be disposed of with hidden genes that the buyer knows nothing about but I just felt the two statements were too sweeping a summary and a balanced view was needed. 

Over the years unfortunately I’ve seen birds benched that bore very little resemblance to the standard and some of those, if passed on, could theoretically have had a considerable effect on the breed standard yet look where we are with the wonderful modern Gloster.

As to the comparison with the Stafford I’m not convinced this argument bears up. 

Remember we are dealing with varieties that have come from a common ancestor and while there are some considerable differences in the breeds they are still canaries and I don’t think we have gone anywhere near as far as turning a wolf into a Chihuahua. 

 

2021 NofEGC - Isabelle Corona

 

These new colours, such as Agate and Isabelle, being sex-linked can be introduced with simply one pairing and with careful planning all future pairings can be back to the best type Glosters available. 

 

My understanding with the Stafford is the need to keep the Red factor meant that more emphasis was placed on the red ground so that one pairing and then forever back to good type Glosters was not possible without losing ground colour so the Gloster type has never been achieved. 

Put simply the aim with the Stafford seems to have been to put a crest on a red canary whereas the aim with these colour mutations is to establish these colours in the Gloster and they are two entirely different aims. 

Getting back to maintaining type if you think of the advice given on how to increase the percentage of the “line” bird in a line breeding programme then the percentage of “pure” Gloster follows the same pattern

 50% after the first outcross, 75% the second year after pairing back to pure type, 87.5% year 3, 93.75% year 4 etc. 

I’ll let all you budding mathematicians carry on the sequence but my point is Gloster type can and will be achieved and maintained in a relatively short space of time.

Anyway it was an interesting question and perhaps at least I’ve shown there is room for a difference of opinion.

Austin Middlemiss – September 2022

Join the International Gloster Breeders Association

Formed in 1966 the world’s largest All-Gloster Society devoted to keeping, breeding and the welfare of Gloster Canaries.

Join the International Glosters Breeders Association and become an activate member of our community

Join the International Gloster Breeders Association

Formed in 1966 the world’s largest All-Gloster Society devoted to keeping, breeding and the welfare of Gloster Canaries.

Join the International Glosters Breeders Association and become an activate member of our community

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