The main reason for benching birds at shows is to let breeders compete. However, there is much more to budgerigar shows than that. They provide a meeting place for fanciers. Some will be on the lookout for new stock. Others look forward to seeing old friends who they meet as little as once a year.
Showing is structured so that newcomers to the fancy compete with other relatively inexperienced breeders, while still giving them the chance to beat the more established fanciers. There are four status levels – junior, novice, intermediate and champion. Progress through the levels is governed by both time and success. It is possible for a novice to become a champion in 8 years after joining.
Budgerigar classifications are divided into Any Age and Young Bird classes. Any Budgerigar can be entered in the former, but only budgerigars wearing current-year, official rings of the exhibitors are eligible for Young Bird classes.
At some of the larger shows Challenge Certificates (CCs) are awarded to the best budgerigar of each colour group. When a bird has won a specified number of CCs it can be registered as a Champion Bird, regardless of the status of its owner. The best budgerigar of each CC colour goes forward to compete for the Best in Show award.
That explanation of procedure may sound very flat when compared with the air of anticipation that fills a show hall. Newcomers can experience the excitement by stewarding (fetching and carrying) for the Judges. No matter how experienced a Budgerigar exhibitor may be, winning his or her first rosette is a memory that lives with them forever. By joining The Budgerigar Society, you can play a full part in budgerigar shows and take the initial step towards winning your first rosette.
The Budgerigar Society, 8 Garvie Brae, Tayport, Fife, DD6 9PR.
Tel 01828 633030