Dark-Eyed Clear Budgie: An Old Variety Revived
When looking at the variants that are covered by the color criteria established by the Budgerigar Society, it is difficult not to wonder why some types are popular while others are not. In point of fact, some are quite close to being extinct.
This is due to a number of factors, including the appearance of a new mutation, a loss of interest, a failure to make progress, an inadequate supply of stock, and most importantly, an absence of encouragement from a variety of official agencies. The loss in popularity of specific kinds is helped along by all of these factors.
The “Dark-Eyed Clears” and the “Continental Clearflights” are two examples of such kinds that were briefly recognized and successful in the 1950s and 1960s but have since faded into obscurity. The Violets, the Mauves, the Olives, the Fallows, the Dutch Pieds, and the Brownwings are among the other types that have fallen to their lowest point. These are only some of the examples.
The Rare Variety and Colour Budgerigar Society deserves all of the credit for rekindling people’s interest in these varieties, and it stands to reason that the Specialist and Rare Variety Open Show, which is dedicated solely to showcasing rare and unusual colors and breeds, will contribute significantly more to the success of this endeavor.
1988 was the year that I first became interested in the Dark-Eyed Clears (DEC). Despite the fact that I am renowned for my awareness of and interest in “lesser kinds,” the ones I had seen in the past were of such bad quality that I, along with others, ridiculed the variety and the owners of the animals, because the animals were of such terrible quality.
My good friends Geoff and Cherril Bunker, who were at the time in the process of moving house to the West Country, gave me two white DEC cocks. At the time, they were in the middle of the move. The two cocks were related to one another and were of adequate quality. When displayed in the Recessive Pied class on two separate occasions, one of those cocks was incorrectly classified, despite the fact that it had been entered in the appropriate class. I needed a new challenge, and I maybe wanted to do my part in promoting variety, so I took them on. Both of those factors led me to accept the offer.
What are They?
Dark-Eyed Clears, from their name, are budgerigars of clear yellow or white, free from any markings and colour pigmentation. This purity of colour covers the entire body and wings. They resemble the Lutinos and Albinos except in the eye. They share a common ground with Recessive Pieds, insofar as they have the solid black eye without the white iris ring; hence at times they are referred to as a “Black-Eyed Clears”. Like the Lutino and Albino the DEC can mask any colour. For instance, a Yellow DEC could be in fact, an Olive Green DEC or a Light Green DEC. The shade of yellow in this case will be deeper and richer in the Olive than in that of the Light Green.
The Budgerigar Society 1994 Colour Standards (for the Yellow variety) defines them as follows:Mask, frontal, crown and general body colourPure buttercup yellow throughout and free from any odd green feathers or green suffusion.
Note: The intensity of body colour varies in depth according to the number of dark factors in the make-up of each bird. WingsPure buttercup yellow throughout, free from black or grizzled tickings or green suffusion. Cheek PatchesSilvery white. Primary wing flightsPaler yellow than rump colour. Primary tail flightsPaler yellow than rump colour. CereFleshy-pink in cocks, brown in hens. BeakOrange coloured. Feet and LegsFleshy-pink. EyesDark and solid in colour without a light iris ring.
|Size,shape,balance and deportment||Size and shape of head including mask and spots||Colour||Variety markings|
N.B.Points for depth and clarity of colour.
There aren’t that many records relating to their beginnings. It appears that they were first used around the year 1948 in Belgium, and then a couple of years later in Denmark as well. A breeder noticed that these colors were beginning to develop in his aviary. At that time, he was breeding Danish Recessive Pieds with dominant Continental Clearflights on the colony system.
The appearance of those DECs caused some confusion, in the sense of genetics, as to why two different types of pieds, one dominant and one recessive, should produce a bird free from any color pigmentation, just like Redeyes, Lutinos, and Albinos are. This confusion was caused by the fact that the DECs were dominant. Therefore, it is appropriate to refer to them as a synthetic color or a color created by human intervention, which is the consequence of the combination of two distinct types of pieds.
It took some time to figure out which gene was responsible for controlling their production, but by the 1950s, both the Continental Clearflights and the Clearflights themselves were very popular. It was discovered that mating a Clearflight with a Recessive Pied would result in half of the young being Clearflights and the other half being Normals, with all of the kids being divided for the Recessive Pied trait. It was also observed that a certain percentage of the young will be DEC if a Clearflight split for Recessive Pied is bred back to a Recessive Pied. This was discovered through further research. In spite of their superficial resemblance to Pieds, these Clears are actually the Recessive Pied form of the Continental Clearflight, or, to put it another way, a “Clearflighted Recessive Pied.”
Due to the paucity of available written data about them, it took me some time to comprehend the genetics governing their mating behavior. In point of fact, such DECs are birds that have in their genetic make-up one dominant gene (the gene for Clearflight), as well as two recessive genes (genes for the Recessive Pied). One type of gene will become dominant, leading to the production of a number of different varieties, but this depends on which mate they are partnered with.
For instance, the recessive genes will be activated in the coupling of a DEC and a Recessive Pied, and the pairing will have the same effect as matching two birds with the same recessive gene makeup or two Recessive Pieds together. Theoretically, this form of mating will result in an equal amount of DECs and recessive pieds being produced.
Where we match a DEC with a normal (non-pied or split for Recessive Pied) to make Clearflights, this is when the confusion occurs. Despite the fact that we began with a DEC, this coupling will not result in the production of any more. In point of fact, the pairing will result in the production of Clearflights as well as normals, all of which will be split for Recessive Pied. The dominant Clearflight gene will become active in this form of pairing, and the pairing will be the same as that of a Dominant Pied to a normal. As a result of the fact that the DEC carried two recessive genes that were in a concealed form, these genes will continue to be present in the progeny in a concealed form as well; hence, all of the progeny will be split for the recessive pied trait.
However, the dominant gene on both sides will be activated when a DEC is paired with a Clearflight split Recessive Pied, making this pairing quite similar to one in which Dominant Pied is paired with Dominant Pied. This mating will result in the production of DEC, Clearflight, and normal; both of the latter will be split for Recessive Pied due to the recessive genes present in the DEC, and because the recessive gene is present on both sides, Recessive Pieds will also be produced.
It is fascinating to observe how the DEC’s dominant and recessive genes behave differently depending on whose mate they are associated with. Due to the existence of a dominant gene in the DEC make-up, this gene can be present in either a single or double dose, however the effects of either are aesthetically indistinguishable from one another. The Pied genes remove the pigment melanin from the Pied patches, which is how they exert their effect. It would appear that neither the recessive nor the dominant Pied genes are capable, on their own, of completely removing all of the pigment. However, the presence of two recessive and one dominant gene is sufficient to bring about total removal.
If you are not already perplexed by the genetics, then the table of expectations that follows might be of some use to you in comprehending the interbreeding of the three different kinds with one another.
The DEC can be produced using a wide variety of different pairings, all of which are outlined in the table that can be found below.
|Clearflighted (sf) × Recessive Pied||50% Clearflighted/Recessive Pied|
50% Normal/Recessive Pied
|Clearflighted (sf)/Recessive Pied × Recessive Pied||25% Recessive Pied|
25% Normal/Recessive Pied
25% Clearflighted (sf)/Recessive Pied
25% Dark-eyed Clears
|Clearflighted(df) × Recessive pied||100% Clearflighted (sf)/Recessive Pied|
|Dark-eyed Clear × Recessive Pied||50% Dark-eyed Clear|
50% Recessive Pied
|Dark-eyed Clear (sf) × Dark-eyed Clear (sf)||50% Dark-eyed Clear (sf)|
25% Recessive Pied
25% Dark-eyed Clear (df)
|Dark-eyed Clear (sf) × Clearflighted (df)||50% Dark-eyed Clear (sf)|
50% Dark-eyed Clear (df)
|Dark-eyed Clear (sf) × dec (df)/Recessive Pied||25% Dark-eyed Clear (sf)|
25% Dark-eyed Clear (df)
25% Clearflighted (sf)/Recessive Pied
25% Clearflighted (df)/Recessive Pied
|Dark-eyed Clear (sf) × Clearflighted (df)/Recessive Pied||12.5% Dark-eyed Clear (df)|
25% Dark-eyed Clear (sf)
12.5% Recessive Pied
12.5% Clearflighted (df)/Recessive Pied
25% Clearflighted (sf)/Recessive Pied
12.5% Normal/Recessive Pied
The single factor as well as the double factor The clears produced from the aforementioned matings are genetically identical to one another.
Will there be advancements made by the Dark-Eyed Clears during their second revival? This will have to be seen in the future, and it will rely on the level of interest displayed by other fanciers in this particular type. I am aware of the fact that I have a strong interest in them. They present a fresh obstacle for me to overcome, and the development I’ve made in the past three breeding seasons has been fairly observable.
The Specialist and Rare Variety Open Show, of which I am the show organizer, provides separate classes for them rather than grouping them with the Recessive Pieds as is done in all other shows. This is because the Specialist and Rare Variety Open Show focuses on rare and unusual varieties. My little Yellow DEC cock placed third in the line-up for the Recessive Pied breeder CC in the exhibition that was held in 1989. He was awarded the title of best DEC in show and went on to achieve the same level of success as an adult the following year. At a different regional championship event, the same same bird finished in second place in the breeder CC line-up. In every way, this was a satisfying achievement for me.
In the year 1988, I decided to breed one of my most successful Recessive Pied hens with the better of the two DEC cocks that I had bought. This breeding pair was successful in producing three White DEC hens in addition to some Recessive Pieds. Again, breeding the best of those hens to one of my best Recessive Pied cocks the next year resulted in the production of three Yellow DEC cocks, one of which was described in the previous paragraph. Because of the high quality of those DECs, I prefer to utilize them as partners with recessive pieds rather than splits in my breeding program. Because of this, there is never any manufacture of splits that are of a lower grade, and as a result, there is never any waste.
Because there is little food waste associated with DECs, there is a significant amount of potential for the Recessive Pied breeder to become involved in the breeding of DECs. They are shown in the same class as the Recessive Pieds at the shows. They did end up winning CCs allotted to them in conjunction with the Recessive Pied, back in the early and middle part of the 1990s, thanks to the understanding and admiration shown by the judges.
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