Best Bird in Show

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Finding the Best Bird in Show by Ray Schwartz

Have you ever wondered how the judge(s) can pick the best bird in a show when comparing divers species from finches to macaws? If you attended the July 13th Club Mini Show you know. Basically, each bird is compared to a standard. The bird best fitting that standard is the winner.

Preparing for a show starts months before the show. The first step is to mist your birds daily so they’ll work their feathers. A solution of two drops of oil of eucalyptus to one quart of water will bring out a nice sheen. Glycerin can be substituted for oil of eucalyptus if your drug store doesn’t carry it. Next, get a suitable cage. Small birds are usually shown in "show" cages. Large birds are shown in suitably sized parrot cages. Finally, acclimate the bird to it show cage well before the show.

What does the judge look for?

CONFORMATION – How does this bird conform to the ideal bird of this specie? It is the most significant criterion, perhaps 50% of the weighting.

CONDITION – Is the bird too fat or thin, messed up or missing feathers?

COLOR – Is the coloration correct? Are the colors vivid and bright?

DEPORTMENT – Does the bird stand on its perch to allow it to be judged? (This is one area where you can work with your bird to improve its behavior.)

PRESENTATION – How is it presented to the judge? Cockatiels, lovebirds, budgies and similar sized birds are generally shown in show cages but there is no rule mandating it.

Birds are first judged in divisions. Then the best in each division competes to be best bird in show. The divisions are Softbill, Lovebird, Parakeet, Cockatiel and Parrot. There are three subdivisions in Parrot – South Pacific, Afro-Asian and New World. There is also a novice category for new showings or birds with clipped wings.

While the judging proceeds you can monitor how any particular bird is doing. The judge judges from left to right. When comparing two birds, the judge has the steward place the higher-ranking bird to the left.

Copyright: Birds of A Feather Avicultural Society August 1998

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