Wednesday, May 18, 2016


The Gloster Canary
 by, Mark Whiteaker
Trenton, Missouri

History tells us that the Gloster Canary originated in 1925 in England, and was first shown by Mrs. Rogerson. It was the result of crossing a small crested roller with a small border. The result of this cross was subsequently shown at the 1925 Crystal Palace National Show where fanciers recognized the bird' s potential. Through the years a standard of excellence has evolved.The attractiveness of this little bird was slow to be recognized in the United States.

In 1960, Margie McGee of California imported some glosters and began to boost the popularity of the gloster with articles in the American Cage Bird Magazine. These
articles were supported with photographs by Ed Grim. Margie also exhibited the gloster canaries in many shows. Margaret Gordon of Ashville, North Carolina, another pioneer of the breed,won many awards with her birds in the1960's. Among these awards was the "best of breed" in a National Show.

In the late 1960's and the early 1970's, articles about the gloster appeared in the ACBM, further encouraging fanciers to seriously consider breeding this attractive
little bird. These articles were written by such respected people as Harold Sodaman and the late Clifford Newby.

In 1970, Gerry Wolfendale of England, overseas chairman for the International Gloster
Breeders Association, encouraged Harold and me to establish a chapter of that organization
in this country. This was done and the orgainzation was known simply as the U.S. Chapter of International Gloster Breeder's Association. This organization has maintained a membership of well over 150 members. The U.S. Chapter sponsors the gloster sections of the National Cage
Bird Show where there are generally nearly 200 entries.

The gloster is now firmly established as one of the leading exhibition canary breeds
in the world. It heads the number of entries in many local shows and has in various
years lead in the number of entries at the National Show. At the 1976 National Cage
Bird show in Elizabeth, New Jersey, a gloster for the first time was named best bird in the show, and it was also awarded the Pat Scanell Memorial Trophy in recognition of the achievement.  Now that it
has finally broken the barrier, the little gloster will win many more "best in show" awards.

In the gloster canary, there really are two different type birds - almost two
different breeds of birds. One of these is the crested bird called the Gloster Corona (meaning crown), and the other is the plainhead or the Gloster Consort. In any discussion of the gloster canary, one should keep in mind the first of all the standard of excellence as recognized by the IGBA2 as well as other gloster organizations. The standard for both the consort and the corona calls for the body to be short and cobby, and with a chest nicely rounded and without prominence. It should have a short full neck and the back should be well filled, with the wings lying close to the body. The standard calls for the tail to be closely folded and well carried. It calls for
the plumage to be close and firm, giving a clear appearance of good quality and natural color. It also calls for the carriage of the bird to be alert and quick, with lively movement. It calls for the legs and the feet to be of medium length with no blemishes. The condition of the bird is to be healthy.
Perhaps the two most important characteristics of the breed are the head and the size. The standard calls for the corona (crest) to be neat, regular, unbroken, and round in shape, with a definite center. The eye is to be discernible, or in other words, the crest of the corona is not to cover or hide the eye. The gloster should have a short, petite beak. The standard calls for the head of the consort to be broad, and round, and to have a good rise over the center of the skull. It should show eyebrows or "brow," as it is commonly referred to. The standard refers to the size of the bird as tending to the diminutive. This requirement may well be one of the more controversial points of our gloster and perhaps one of its misunderstood or misinterpreted characteristics. When all of these characteristics
are found in a stud, we can say that the smaller the bird is, the better it is. For without these characteristics prescribed in the standard of excellence that set a gloster apart from other breeds, a small bird or a small crested bird is simply a pretty little canary and not a gloster. There are nice large birds with gloster characteristics. There are also small birds that do not possess the characteristics required to meet the gloster standard of excellence. Nowhere in the standard is a definite size specified. However, we hear and read that glosters should not be more than 4 1/2 or 5 inches in length. There is nothing in the standard that indicates that it is to be judged this way. The standard simply specifies "to the diminutive," which means that "all things being equal, the smaller the better.

During the slightly more than fifty years that this little canary has been in existence, it has made giant strides toward becoming one of the most desired and recognized exhibition birds. While there are problems in breeding glosters to the standard, the recognition and success of producing superior
quality birds is one of the rewards in breeding and exhibiting them.

In his article, Mark did not indicate that this Corona Gloster was bred and banded by him.
2 Standards of Excellence are available through most clubs and through membership in the International Gloster Breeders Association, Mark E. Whiteaker, 516 E. 7th Street, Trenton, MO 64683.

Editors's note: Mark Whiteaker has the coveted record of breeding the best Consort Gloster in 1970, 72, 73, 74, and 78. He was awarded the Kellogg Trophy for 1973, 1975, 1976, and 1977. With a record like this, it is easy to see why he was asked to contribute to the Canary Issue of Watchbird. It might also be of interest to note that all of the winning glosters mentioned above have been hens.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Benefits of Sesame Seeds During Breeding Season

Sesame seeds and their benefits for the breeding season!
Sesame seeds are tiny, flat oval seeds with a nutty taste and a delicate, almost invisible crunch. They come in a host of different colors, depending upon the variety, including white, yellow, black and red.
Sesame seeds are highly valued for their high content of sesame oil, an oil that is very resistant to rancidity. Sesame seeds are the main ingredients in both tahini and the Middle Eastern sweet treat, halvah.
 Not only are sesame seeds an excellent source of copper and a very good source of manganese, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.
 There is a little bit of controversy about sesame seeds and calcium, because there is a substantial difference between the calcium content of hulled versus unhulled sesame seeds. When the hulls remain on the seeds, one tablespoon of sesame seeds will contains about 88 milligrams of calcium. When the hulls are removed, this same tablespoon will contain about 37 milligrams (about 60% less).

Whether purchasing sesame seeds in bulk or in a packaged container, make sure there is no evidence of moisture. Additionally, since they have a high oil content and can become rancid, smell those in bulk bins to ensure that they smell fresh.
Unhulled sesame seeds can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Once the seeds are hulled, they are more prone to rancidity, so they should then be stored in the refrigerator or freezer

IGBA USA Chapter Affiliation with the Gloster Fancy Canary Council UK and the World


                                      GFCC - Gloster Fancy Canary Council UK and the World
                                                    Gloster Fanciers Unite
                                                    Nick Barrett Chairman

The objectives of the Gloster Fancy Canary Council UK, are that we bring together the specialist clubs and societies throughout the world to maintain the standard of the Gloster Fancy Canary as
de-fined as in the rules laid down by the Gloster Fancy Canary Council UK.

We are pleased to announce that IGBA-USA Chapter, is the first ca-nary club in America to affiliate with the Gloster Fancy Canary Council UK and The World. Our panel of judges and our logo has been accepted by the council and will be published shortly. We have also received our certificate of affiliation.

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Selecting your Glosters by Wallace & Storey

Selecting your Retained Gloster Canaries
Retaining Gloster Canaries for use the following and subsequent years depends on one main philosophy, "always retain the best". By always retaining the best you are not depleting the gene pool or having to constantly look for replacements. Other aspects to be taken into account are the retention of only the very best of the cocks and a sufficient number of hens to be able to give the required options needed during the breeding program. Cocks retained must be the best and variety is not an option to be enjoyed in small studs if exhibition is the prime concern. Options come from the hens and fancy's and fads can be considered when retaining hens.
1. Yellow feathered.
2. Cinnamon.
3. White ground, either variegated or self.
4. Grizzle.
Other options are a variety of feather types among the retained hens. This is important if balance is to be achieved in the stock. Numbers of course depend on personal circumstances and the level of commitment the fancier gives to the fancy. To summaries this brief article the following key points have been highlighted.
1. Always retain the best of the stock.
2. Do not release too many young hens.
3. Only retain the very best of the cocks, second best is not good enough.
4. Always retain a sufficient stock of hens which includes 50% young stock.
1. The retention of a variety of feather types. (This could also be a priority.)
2. Retaining cinnamons, whites, grizzles and clearer bodied birds to run along-side the main-steam buffs and three part dark birds.
3. Retaining a percentage of yellow feathered birds to the stock balance.
1. Yellow feathered Glosters should be retained at around 10% of the total stock. If the depth and quality of the stock is allowable a higher percentage could be retained. But keep a balance.
2. Yellow bred buffs should be retained at around 25% of the total number of hens.
3. A cut-off point where insufficient numbers are bred to carry the stud forward is about 50. Under this number the amount of options available is limited.
4. A satisfactory number of young bred should be 80-100 to give the stud the balance to improve without continually sourcing new stock. A further paper on the subject by WALLACE & STOREY is available and entitled " CREATING A STUD OF GLOSTER FANCY CANARIES. " Previously published in " CAGE & AVIARY BIRDS " January 15th. 1994.
Copyright © 2002 North of England Gloster Club & Ian Dufour. All rights reserved

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mondial World Show 2016

Collection of winning birds entered into the World Show held this year in Portugal.
Pictures courtesy of Gary Morgan, President of the National Cage Bird Show Club.

Good Breeding Stock

 When choosing good stock for your aviary always get the best you can. It takes years of    knowledge,time and experience to get the show birds we all so desire. Below is a picture of a blue  white consort cock bred by Barbara Gray from Champion Bloodlines.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What a Good Gloster Should look like

Champion Bloodlines
Breeder Barbara Gray

Beautiful type representation of what a Gloster should look like.

When Breeding Glosters one must have good stock.

                                         Look for good type and feather quality in your birds.

                                         The picture of Barbara Gray's Gloster here is the ideal.
                                         Note: that it is a white ground bird and shows exceptional type
                               and feather quality that only comes from years of experienced breeding standards.

Posted by Candace Pezzuti
January 19,2016


It has been with great interest that I have read through the columns of Cage and Aviary Bird, the various opinions of Gloster Contributors of recent weeks.
There seem to be some views that quality of feather has gone out of fashion.
If I may, I would like to submit one or two opinions of my own. Firstly, the Gloster Canary should be a small diminutive bird, jaunty in action, bright and alert. So how do we achieve this? All successful strains of livestock are produced on pedigree and blood lines, not indiscriminate pairings by which I believe many of our Show Canaries are produced.
If beginners and new-comers to the Fancy had the eyes and experience of long time fanciers, far more of them would produce successful studs of birds.
They would understand the required type and hopefully what exactly quality of feather is, and be able to combine the difficult merger of type and the so often, in the Gloster Fancy, neglected quality of feather.
I feel that many breeders both Champion and Novice, carry out the procedure of double buffing to create cobbiness, desired in the laid down standard of excellence.
However, the offspring of these “double buff” birds go on to be again “double buffed”, so often without the knowledge of the back breeding OR parentage. What has been achieved -a canary with long and very often course feather, and in many cases feather lumps. Poor ground color, the green and blues appearing to be brown: with the buff birds giving an appearance of being almost white. Excessive feather along the flanks, will certainly cause these birds to carry their wings down, bad tails are also common place.
So often the mealy yellow Gloster is seen at the shows, this bird is undoubtedly bred from years of “double buffing” finishing with a touch of yellow!
With my own birds I have not purchased an outcross since 1969. deciding at that time I could produce the desired type to be successful. This type with the correct use of yellows, should create the kind of Gloster.
In my own room I would use approximately 30% visual yellows or yellow bred birds from a pairing which included a yellow parent.
In conclusion, Gloster Fanciers learn from yesteryear– remember the Norwich Crests and Norwich Plainheads, before correction. Did you ever see lumps on a Lizard Canary? Remember what the old Borderman said - “Type without quality is worthless”!
So often it has been seen that when a Gloster goes up for Best Canary in Show, it has been rejected by the judges with the words “No polish - No quality”.
Thank goodness we have some judges who combine type with quality. These Fanciers will ensure the continued success story of the Gloster Fancy in the Future.

N.J. Barrett
17th June 1987
Cage and Aviary Magazine

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Origin of the Gloster Fancy Canary

The Origin of the Gloster Fancy Canary.
Cage and Aviary Birds
21st May 1970.

In late July 2011 a letter appeared in C & A Birds from a lady indicating that her brother had past issues of the magazine if anyone would like them. She gave a telephone number for her brother in South Shields, Tyneside. I rang the number and spoke to a Mr Gorman and we arranged to meet. He was in his seventies and the owner of a pet shop in South Shields and his father had kept Roller Canaries up to about 1975.  He said that I could take as many copies of C & A Birds that I could carry as he had copies from the 1920s onwards. I duly scoured the boxes for those issues that would be of importance to me and any with relevant information on Gloster Fancies.
Copies I was looking for were the ones with colour plates from the late sixties to the early seventies and those around 1926. I could not find the earlier copies in the boxes I looked in but those from the late fifties came readily to hand. I am talking hundreds and hundreds of issues so I packed a few hundred and said my good byes. That evening I scattered the issues on the lawn and dated them picking out the ones important to me.
Some great issues in perfect condition with colour plates and articles.

The colour plates that I was looking for were the pair of Glosters and the yellow cinnamon border cock of Bruce Suttons. Both copies I found but the Gloster plate was missing. Never mind I still had my original Gloster plate, but my plate of the cinnamon cock was faded due to being framed in my bird room over many years. But yes it was there the original plate from the 2 May 1968 issue that was one of my inspirations. Bruce Sutton’s article and plate took the reader back to the Nationals of the forties, fifties and sixties. Heady stuff for an impressionable young canary fancier.

But it is the 21 May 1970 article that gives us an insight to the early days of the Gloster Fancy. A meeting was arranged by Brian Byles, a future C & A Birds editor, with Mr Widdows, Mr Lockstone and Mr A, Phillips, the then secretary of the Gloster Fancy Canary Club, at the Cheltenham home of Mr Widdows. Also in attendance was Mr Gerry Wolfendale who had made the journey from his Chalfont St. Peter home for this April meeting with the afore mentioned. Gerry was an exiled North Easterner and I had many conversations with him at the Nationals held in Birmingham when he would man the Canary Council stand. Gerry never forgot his roots and he loved to talk about the Gloster canary and its development.

I will try and give an abridged version of the article which takes us back to the twenties / thirties and Mrs Rogerson, Albert William Smith, A. E. Widdows and A. (Bert) E. Lockstone.

Mrs. Rogerson was a wealthy Cheltenham landowner who had ranges of aviaries devoted to the breeding of birds that tended to the diminutive. It was this interest that led her to breed the Gloster.  An article written by J. H. Madagan towards the end of the Second World War states that Mrs Rogerson first conceived the idea of producing a new breed of canary during the 1914 – 1918 war. Her inspiration was a breed of birds called “Cornubians” raised by a Mr Luke. These were produced from very small Borders but they made little headway and soon died out.

 Mr Madagan (a greatly esteemed Border Fancier from Cheltenham) continues: “Many fanciers and others imagine that the Gloster was produced from crested Rollers, but this was not the case. Mrs Rogerson purchased a couple of pairs of small Norwich Crests and paired these to the smallest Borders Fancies she could get. The Cheltenham CBS held an open show at the Rotunda Tavern Cheltenham, and at this show was staged the finest Norwich Crests in the country; beating the Palace show for numbers. The winning stud came from Exeter and it was from there that Mrs Rogerson laid the foundation on which to build the Gloster Fancy. It took her four years to produce her Ideal.”

The next thing was to get them on the show bench. Mrs. Rogerson exhibited her two crests at the 1925 Crystal Palace show where A. W. Smith was the show manager. In his book the Gloster Fancy Canary Mr Smith outlines the story of that day. Mr Smith goes on to relate how Mrs Rogerson visited the show and made herself known to him. He introduced her to Mr John McLay, a renowned Crest fancier from Scotland, who said he would like to help Mrs Rogerson all he could. However it is here that Mr Smith and Mr Madagan differ. For Mr Smith states that it was indeed from “the smallest of Rollers and Borders that she produced her sweet little specimens.” A. W. Smith was responsible for giving the Gloster its name and for bringing in the terms Corona and Consort. He also drew up the scale of points. It is indicative of the part this fancier played in the establishment of the Gloster that he was elected president of the Gloster Fancy Canary Club in 1932. (In 1970 he was still a vice-president)

The first patronage show of the GFCC took place at the Drill Hall, North Street, Cheltenham on November 4-5 1936. It attracted 41 entries in six classes. Both Mr Widdows and Mr Lockstone remembered this event. The schedule/catalogue names the first Gloster exhibitors – J.W. Youldon, B. Powers, H. Snow, H. Bradley, A. E. Lockstone, F. Hyett, Madagan & Bowd and A. E. Widdows. It included classes for pairs. The first Gloster FCC rule book was issued to members in 1932 with the subscription set at 3s 6d. (17p) Mr Lockstone still has the original show cage designed by Mrs Rogerson – which he showed to those present with a certain amount of pleasure. Until 1940 the show cages were painted in a variety of colours. “These looked horrible” Mr Lockstone said. It was left to him to select a standard colour. He chose Brolac eau de nil which was still in use in 1970.

Mr Widdows told Mr Byles how he first became interested in Glosters. He was a postman and his duties took him to Mrs Rogerson’s house. That is how he first met her and consequently became interested in the “wee canary”. He joined the Gloster Fancy Canary Club soon after it was formed and became secretary in 1938. He was also responsible for maintaining interest in the breed during the war years by guaranteeing prize money at patronage shows. It was he who called a meeting at the end of the war and made the club active again. Mr Widdows stayed as secretary until 1954 when a bout of ill health forced him to relinquish office.

Both Mr Widdows and Mr Lockstone say the “Gloster should be to the diminutive with the length not more than 4 3/4 inches. Today’s Glosters are hollowed backed, lack rise on the shoulders and show too much beak”. (That cannot be said of the present day Gloster Fancy which is well filled in and round with rise over the back and

A snippet from a forty year old C & A Birds which gives us an insight into the early years of the Gloster Fancy Canary. Many of our senior fanciers will still remember those mentioned in the article and it is by others endeavours that we today enjoy a wonderful canary.

This interview and subsequent article by Mr Byles in 1970 gives us an insight into the early years of the development of the Gloster Fancy. Further information can be sourced by reading Mr Smiths book The Gloster Fancy Canary published 1958. Also John Cross’ The Gloster Fancy Canary published 1978 giving useful detail on the breeding of the variety. Later publications by Nick Barrett / Chris Blackwell in 1990 and again in 2009 by Nick & Annalain Barrett are the definitive reading for the enthusiast.  These books are generally available at Worth the time and money.