Judging Budgerigars


Anyone may assess budgies… but how many can do it to the delight of all exhibitors? There are very few – if we win, he’s a good judge; if we lose, he’s a terrible judge; there are always much more losers than victors. The hapless judge is doomed to lose.
If we are honest with ourselves, a good judge is one who looks at the birds in the same way we do, and hence is more likely to rank the birds in the same order as we would, but sadly, few individuals perceive birds the same way.

When someone is requested to place the prizes at a show, they are being asked to express their own judgment on the birds that have been presented in front of them. They are not claiming to be infallible; they are just expressing their viewpoint. If they are personally satisfied with the placement of the rewards and can explain why, the task has been completed to the best of their abilities. The most essential person for judges to satisfy is themselves.

It is possible that their aptitude is poor in certain areas, but there is no reason for exhibitors to exploit them. If you don’t agree with someone’s judgment, don’t show up for them since they plainly don’t see the birds the same way you do. In the long run, if the majority of exhibitors agree with you, that judge will get very few engagements. Similarly, if his placements are generally popular, he will get more interactions.

Beginners, in especially, might be dissatisfied with their show results. They are baffled by the judges’ decisions. In such cases, it’s a good idea to gently inquire as to his reasoning; it’s possible that he saw something that you didn’t, or that you’re both on entirely different wavelengths. If such is the case, it is clear that you are not seeing the birds in the same manner.

If, after much deliberation, you still believe you are correct, stick to your guns and choose your birds accordingly. If you believe you have a good bird but it fails to do well in its first few shows, don’t lose up; try a few more; you could discover a judge who views birds in your manner.

There is a school of thinking that believes that poor breeders never produce good judges. In other words, people who are unable to appropriately evaluate their own birds in the breeding room are unlikely to be able to accurately judge those on the show bench. This idea has considerable merit, although there are several major outliers.

The bird that refuses to act properly while being assessed is the source of many troubles. A bird that is on the floor or all over the bars of a cage cannot be evaluated. It may have a great mind, but what about type and demeanor? If the judge dismisses it, he may become a laughingstock later when it behaves and stands there looking every inch a Best in Show winner while wearing a codding card. However, if he puts it up, it may slump over the perch and seem unwell.

Some exhibitors are at fault here since they have never tried to educate their birds and instead expect the judges at the first few shows to do it for them. Some birds cannot be taught to behave and may be best left alone to reproduce.

In our opinion, the worst judge is the one who goes to the show seeking for the great winning bird that has won the past three times out, believes he has located it, only to realize afterwards that it fell a place the day before and missed the event!

Three times out, he believes he’s located it, only to learn that it fell a slot the day before, causing him to miss the performance!

Finally, remember that, despite much evidence to the contrary, judges are human people with emotions who, if possible, would want to satisfy all exhibitors. So, even if you believe he should be handed a white stick rather than a judging stick, be respectful when you ask him, Why?

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