Speakers.gif (6423 bytes)

Love Birds : What's in a name?
(about Longfeathered or Standard Type Roseicollis)
By Didier Mervilde

For a long time there is a lot to do about Longfeathered Roseicollis, or for a few European countries Standard Type * Roseicollis. A lot of people still have questions about this bird that we now see more frequently at different Love Bird shows.

To understand this type of bird it is not easy for everybody, but in fact, it is just the result of a development that we also have seen in Budgerigars.

When it first appeared people were thinking that we have to deal with a new mutation, others stated that it was a combination of two forms of Roseicollis namely the Roseicolis r. roseicollis and the Roseicollis r. catumbella.

In my opinion, it is just an evaluation in breeding of Roseicollis. I know that so called "experts" have a different view on this issue but in fact it is only the result of breeding to a certain goal just like budgerigar breeders did a long time ago.

In those days the "wild" budgerigar   originated in Australia was a little tiny bird who became a massive show bird today. The same thing is going on with the Roseicollis. To understand this I will try to explain the evaluation in the budgerigar and at the end you will see that I am right.

Recently the"experts" agreed that the name "Longfeathered" was not correct, it was better to use "Standard Type" * instead. For me the two are not correct.

Longfeathered told us something about the feathers but  is not going far enough such as Standard Type who told us something about the format of the bird.

In fact this new type of bird is a combination of both.

Better would be to use names as yellow feathered, yellow buff feathered, medium, medium buff, buff .

Using this names will give us more in detail were we are talking about. To point out the wanted show bird you can use the name "Ideal".

 Ideal = show standard who will change during the years and would be the target to reach on the show bench.

The different opinions about the correct feathering and its inheritance aren't easy to deal with. The ideal Roseicollis is one that meets the requirements of the standard in all respect but a number of different styles of birds can be succesful. However, we must use the demands of the standard as our basis of advancement. Many newcomers to the hobby find it difficult to define the ideal type because in practice there are variations and the differences in feather texture make it even difficult.

Yellow feather : The yellow feathering consists of small feathers with less down feathers. There is a large variation between yellow feathers with the main

difference being length,width, and the amount of down feathers, all of which can be influenced through selective breeding. The yellow feather has a fine structure and closed hooking and creates good color. It is also a characteristic of the wild Roseicollis and can be brought into condition very quickly. Those birds look to be slim birds because of absence of down feathers and the tight way which the feather is carried.

They are also very active and fertile. They also show us a lot of "showmanship".

Buff feather : They come into existence from yellow feathered birds. The buff feather is broad with a coarse structure and plenty of down feathers. Just like the yellow feathering they exist in a large variation and show us larger build birds.

Breeding  buff to buff results in a reduction of chicks produced per round and hens are often of no use for breeding. It is better to obtain buff cocks and required to introduce the buff feathering into your stud.

General : Pairings yellow x yellow gives offspring with 100% yellow feathering and is no longer recommended in birdrooms that respected themselves.

The medium Yellow feathering looks very similar to the ordinary yellow but the bird looks more robust. They can be very useful in breeding rooms if they are the progeny of medium x buff parings. From this breeding you can expect medium feathering and medium buff. Why ?  Because medium yellow feathering carries 75% yellow feathering and 25 % buff feathering (theoritical)

Medium feathering has the good qualities of yellow and buff. Mostly we are talking about "medium buff" but that is not accurate as the position is midway between the extremes and not biased to the buff, as the name suggests.

Another quality we should pay attention to is the length of the feather, it shouldn't be too long or to close to the body of the bird. Through selection we can produce Roseicollis who looks nice (medium feathering) at the body but carries buff feathering on the head. Breeding birds from that type will soon produce in a few years a good show team.

Medium buff  is a feather type that falls between that of medium and buff. This type is needed to produce birds with a good body length and are useful for building up our show team. Be aware of their condition because that is a negative factor for this type of birds.

Buff pairings increase the down feathers of the birds. The structure will get coaser and the length will increase. Those Roseicollis will appear to slouch across the perch.

So you see that there is a lot more to say about those "Longfeathered" or "Standard - Type" birds and in my opinion it would be better to talk about "THE IDEAL"

Budgerigar breeders who are not aware of those feather types are few but those who are would be able to breed budgies but will not breed show quality birds.

Within a few years Love Bird breeders (read Roseicollis) have to consider doing the same.

Breeding "Ideal" birds will be one item, a second will be the optimal training for judges.

Judges must be aware that in order to keep up to date with all the new colors and species  they need to learn  constantly   because to obtain the ideal things will change regularly.

Love bird clubs need to organize  occasional workshops for their members and judges. They also need to considerinviting the people who are breeding these colors and birds to explain feathers, mutations, genetics, show rules etc.

In the past, one person took care of all these items,and in my opinion this does not work with the present.

A respected breeder can explain breeding in depth, others will do the same on genetics, show conditions of the birds or the rules available on shows.

All this centralize in one person is an "IDEAL"

Some thoughts about naming birds.

The discussions going on about naming birds is for some breeders very difficult.

As a mutation breeder for many years in different species and formal member of the Board of several parrot clubs, I think that we may have over looked some crucial points.

It is important to give names to mutations but not only they must be genetically correct but also acceptable for the common breeder and not only for the more experienced, here it is where we are failling.

People like Inte Onsman (MUTAVI) and Terry Martin are needed to support the genetic background of all mutations and I congratulate them for their great work, but are the common breeders and clubs all over the world ready to accept those names ?

Names as misty,slaty,edged,lime etc. are not saying a lot because they have no visual effect on common breeders. Everyone involved in the international names need to understand that between 60% and 80% of the breeders they have no comprehension of genetics and are only breeding for show quality. As an example we can take the budgie shows were 80% of the enteries are "common" colors such as green,blue,gray etc.

Would it not be better to start a real international forum to pointed out those new names ?

In Europe some are putting themself forward to dictate what names breeders have to put on their birds telling that they organized meetings whith several clubs to come to a final decisson.

Some countries feel that these people are pushing these names onto them without any participation from those countries.

If you look very carrefully to these meetings a handfull of people came together as representatives for their club but what I see is that the members of those clubs have nothing to say and in some clubs even the judges are not consulted, thousands of people involved in the hobby have no voice. What we need is a world wide referendum/ organization to be sure that the changes of names will be adopted by everybody.

It would be better that we make a list of all mutations in every species world wide and put these list together and see what is going on between breeders of different countries. Once those list are completed we can propose new names and put aside the genetic explanation, then it would be clear for everybody. We could also organize a world wide organization just like the budgie breeders did ( W.B.O.- World Budgerigar Organization) to make the hobby acceptable for the hole world. This organization must be there to offer  advice and not be binding. It's also important   that we adopt a certain time in changing the names for using them on shows, lets say a period of 5 years.

So people could become familiar to the changes made and so it would become much easier to adopt those new names.

What we see now is that individuals are dictating to organizations, judges and  breeders around the world to change the giving names from one day to another. That is not democratic. The only reason behind  is that individuals are  putting themselves forward and if you come forward and ask questions as to why they self appointed themselves to push new names to the rest of the world then you are concidered as a trouble maker or they put you out of the club as a member,delegate or even as a judge. If this continues a lot of people will leave the hobby and I think that we all have to promote our hobby and not drive them away.

Once again this is my opinion and I don't want to offend ANYONE, but everybody has the RIGHT to give his own opinion without be ridiculed by others.

Let us all enjoy our HOBBY.

* Used in a few Europe countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands.

articleshome.gif (775 bytes)

Didier Mervilde 2000/2001/2002/2003/2004
Permission in writing is required to link to or reproduce in any form.