Friday, February 24, 2012

Chocolate Self Bengo 2

I have come across one of the best photos that I have seen so far that depicts what an ideal Australian Self Chocolate would look like. These Bengalese in the picture are not Euros but the "Pure" type Bengo like we have in Oz. The bird on the left shows good bib scolloping on the chest and in particular excellent underbelly markings and this is the kind of thing that we should be striving for as a minimum in my opinion. If we the breeders of Benglaese in Australia can take the time to pair up our birds purposefully then we can hopefully raise the general standard of markings in our Bengos through selective breeding over time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pastel Discovered

I have been sent through some images from a member of the Aussie Finch Forum of a Pastel (or Dilute Ginger). Jason says that he bred this bird from a pair of Ginger Bengalese, which adds to the theory that the Pastel is recessive to all colours. The Gingers that reared this bird must have been split for Pastel to produce this one. I guess since these guys have been around in the past so the colour can still be present in birds split for it and show up randomly.
This Bengo from what my friend Tim tells me presents as a pied bird because of the white at the top of the bib (under the beak) and on the top of the head.

The image bellow confirms why the Pastel has been compared with the clearwing because the white on the body (wings and belly) is not showing pied but is normal for this dilution. I have read that this particular Pastel dilute factor can be selectively bred to develop a more solid coloured areas but preserve the white body like the Clearwings overseas.

A very nice Bengalese in my opinion and looks significantly different to the standard appearance of our Bengo in Australia which is something to preserve I think.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Silver (Dilute Chestnut) Self Bengalese

One of the more elusive colours today is the Silver or the Dilute Chestnut. As with the Pastel even 10 years ago it was a much less common Bengalese Finch in Australia and due to the decline in interest in the Selfs over the years since I am yet to see one or hear of anyone keeping them.
As the name suggests the colour is a Chestnut with a dilute factor but in particular the Bengalese that goes by the name Silver has a distinctive look of a smokey cream looking colour with a darkening to tan at the face.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dark Eyed White Self

I've been meaning to write about the White Self for a while now and have finally gotten around to it. My attached pictures are of Australian Bengalese and were supplied by my friend James in Queensland.

I will begin with the dark eyed White which can be described as a pied Bengalese with one big white patch that covers the whole body. These White Selfs have their natural non pied colour still present in their DNA and is simply concealed by the pied marking that covers it. This kind of White has dark eyes which helps you to think of it as a fully pied bird,  the colour of the eye will help to show what the natural colour of the bird is underneath. The White Bengalese has both dominant and recessive pied factors present and it is best practice to breed a white to a light pied (lightly variegated) for best results. It has been said that breeding a full white to another full white can increase the likeliness of blindness in the future. When showing these finches, other than size and type that are a standard consideration, the White Self birds can sometimes have poor feather coverage at the bend of the wing and at the ear. One or both points are noticeable on the pictures in this post. This feature also gets worse as fully white birds are mated together, so to overcome this feature then they should be paired with lightly variegated birds that have good feather coverage in these areas.
The Dark Eyed White Self Bengalese is probably the most known Self in Australia and through my inquiries unfortunately tends to have more value to some bird dealers that I have spoken with when compared to a Self Coloured Bengalese such as the Chocolate or Chestnut. In truth, it is probably just as hard if not harder to produce a Coloured Self Bengalese than the Dark Eyed White due to the dominant nature of the white or pied factor, and in coloured birds this white factor is very difficult to remove.

Other Australian Bengalese that can be called White Selfs are the Albino and also the Cremino, both have red eyes.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Selfs

A few weekends ago I picked up some new Selfs from my friend Bruce and they are very nice. Bruces bloodline of Selfs dates back to the 60's when they were more common. Thankfully he still has an attraction to breeding and showing these lovely birds and is one of the few that do. I have had my Queensland Selfs since September and have been patiently waiting to pick up some of Bruce's excess finches since then. Bruce has Gingers and Chocolates and does not have any Chestnut Mutation in his finches bloodline to my knowledge.

These Selfs are very nice and have quite stocky bodies and good head size.

I'm happy to have some more Selfs now. 
In my small aviary it is starting to get a bit cramped. I am going to move into a house in the next year and I am looking forward to having some decent sized aviaries and even a bird room, so looking forward I am going to try and develop some more stock and I am going to move my current collection of Aussie Bengos to my families aviary. That way I can still pick up a few more Selfs as I find them and will have a decent starting point of stock numbers when I move into more space.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pastel (Dilute Ginger) Self Bengalese

Last weekend my friend Tim sent me an article from a magazine that he found from 2002 that was written about the Bengalese Breeders Society in Qld by Mark Shipway you can download the article in my Download Library HERE. It is an excellent article that helps to paint the picture of the group's ideals in regards to the Aussie Bengo. Tim and James have often spoken about a colour called the Pastel and the colour is described in the BBS Colour Standard, this is a colour that I have been told about previously but have never been able to see an example. Because the Mutation is described in a similar way to the Clearwing I have to admit I have possibly gone off on the wrong tangent. I say this because there is a brief description and picture of this mutation in this great article. It is a beauty, I'm quite impressed as to how striking the Finch is. Since 2002 Self Bengalese and their breeders have been in decline as with this colour. As with the Silver (Dilute Chestnut) I have not heard of any being in anyones collections, however Tim has recently told be that he knows a breeder in Qld that has some pied Pastels so there may be hope for this Mutation yet.

This is the Australian Pastel pictured in the article on the Left.

An intersting thing that I have noticed about this particular picture of the Australian Pastel is that where on the darker Bengos like the Chocolate Chestnut and even the Ginger the traditional feather markings of the Bengalese breast scolloping is a primarily dark feather (the same colour as the head), and a lighter accented rim or outer edge, see below;




Where as this Australian Pastel appears to have a kind of inverted appearance to these where the main colour of the breast feather is lighter than the darker rim;


In the above mentioned BBS article Mark Shipway makes some comments about this Mutation;

You can see from his comments that Mark believed that this particular mutation was independant to the standard Ginger and its dilute factor.

Here are some examples below of Bengalese from Over Seas that look a lot like the Australian one but I still think that the scolloping of these birds have a more traditional look rather than the inverted look of this Australian Pastel above.

I'm quite excited to see this Australian Mutation the Pastel fully now and look forward to seeing one in the future.