The Fallows
By Cyril Rogers

The first report, which came to Great Britain of the appearance of a red-eyed mutation was from California, USA when a Mrs A R Hood gave details of two red-eyed birds that appeared in her aviary during the 1931 breeding season. It would seem that these two red-eyed birds (they had not been named at the time) were produced from two pairs of normal light greens, one being of the usual yellowish green body colour and greyish brown markings and the other had a bright yellow body with only the faintest of faint undulations. From another pair four further red-eyed chicks of the yellowish green body colour and greyish brown undulations were bred. The clear yellow bodied chick was undoubtedly the fallow form of the normal light yellow and as both yellow and fallow are recessives both parents of one of the pairs of light green must have been carriers of yellow as well as the new mutant colour. Although Mrs Hood sold these birds to other breeders nothing more was heard about these American Fallows for many years and nothing was known as to how they would react when paired to the German and English mutations.

The above mentioned mutation must have been the early example of red-eyed birds with markings although clear red-eyed specimens (lutinos) were bred in the later part of the 1800’s. However, a single red-eyed marked bird was bred in Switzerland in 1929 but died before it produced any young. It is always possible that fallow birds had been bred before these dates but had not been recorded or established. This could have happened as in the early days of budgerigar development breeders knew nothing about genetics and the workings of colour characters.

At the present time it is hard to believe that in the 1930’s Fallows were one of the most popular exhibition varieties and very large classes were often seen. One of their special features was their unusual colouring and, of course, their red eyes which at that period was rarely seen, as the inos were only just being developed. The colour of these Fallows, now known as German Fallows, varies with the amount of the dark character they have in their make-up. With the light greens the body colour is a very yellowish green, deeper on the rump and flanks and the markings are a greyish brown varying in depth with different specimens and strains and the long tail feathers are somewhat like those of the cinnamons. The dark green is even more of a deep yellowish dark green and the olive green is a beautiful rich golden orange shade, on the chest is deep yellow olive - a truly lovely colouring.

The Blue Series

In the blue series the sky blues have a pale whitish blue chest and lower parts with the rump and flanks carrying a stronger light blue shade. The cobalts have a pale cobalt shade and the mauves a rather nice lilac tone much paler on the upper chest. With the violet cobalts the colouring is rather difficult to describe as the shading differs much with the individual specimens. There can be a fallow form of all existing varieties and only a very limited number of some forms have ever been produced and this gives a lot of scope for breeders in the future. In the early days of the German Fallows some very interesting colour forms were produced by the keen breeders of that period. By combining the German Fallows with dilutes and cinnamons the synthetic Albinos and Lutinos were bred, such birds were very much like the real thing.

As far as I know specimens of the Cinnamon Fallow whites or yellows have not been produced in this country for a very long time. Should any colour breeder have the stock needed for such a breeding programme the final outcome would be most pleasing. In the course of breeding such birds cinnamon white/fallow and cinnamon fallow/white are also bred and these can be useful stock for further experiments. During this breeding season more fallow stock should become available as through the efforts of the Rare Variety and Colour Budgerigar Society more fanciers have taken a keen interest in breeding the many fallow forms. With a little luck in the breeding quarters we may soon see a great many more Fallows in breeders’ aviaries and on the show benches.

Contents Page