Continental Clearflights

By Cyril Rogers (1991)

During the nineteen twenties and early thirties a few Green birds were to be found in each large batch of Budgerigars imported from Europe that had a number of clear yellow feathers in their plumage mainly on flights and tail. However, it was not until the nineteen forties that a true breeding race of birds was established in Belgium by Mon. R Raemaker; these birds are now known as Continental Clearflights. Clearflights can be produced in all other mutations except, of course, the Inos.

During my exchange of letters with Mon. Raemaker he told me that he had evolved the Clearflights by selection pairings from green birds having clear yellow feathers on flights, tail and head. He did not say just what birds he used for his matings except they gave a very good percentage of birds that were very well marked. I have a strong feeling that the stock used by Raemaker were poorly marked specimens of Clearflights that he selected from the green birds with foul yellow feathers. We know that a mutation cannot be established by selection and therefore Mon. Raemaker must have used actual Clearflights for his selective pairings.

We now know that Clearflights can be perfectly marked birds and through to all different degrees of markings to those with only a head patch. When I was breeding numbers of Continental Clearflights some years ago I found that the best percentage of birds with good markings were obtained by mating reasonably marked cock birds to hens that had only a head patch.

Some time after the Australian Dominant Pied mutation appeared on the show bench and in breeders aviaries in this country a further Clearflighted mutation was reported as being bred in Australia. These birds were a little different in their marking which were confined to the flight feathers only - the head patch and clear tail were absent. There is a good colour plate in Blandford's "Budgerigars in Colour" by the German bird artist Herman Heinzel indicating just how a perfect example should be coloured. Although this race was Dominant like the Continental form they did not seem to find favour with breeders here and at the moment they seem to have been absorbed by the other pied birds.

In the early nineteen fifties a further Clearflighted kind appeared - this time they were sex-linked and their overall colour was more dull and not so strong as the other two mutations. I have no details of where these birds came from but I obtained a Green cock and a split cock from a London dealer. During that season I bred a number of hens from the split but the Clearflighted cock I only got one normally coloured cock. This bird proved to be a split as he produced two hens the following year, both Blue Clearflighted. Owing to shortage of aviary space I disposed of all these birds to a breeder from Surrey. I am wondering if any fancier can throw any light on these two races of Clearflights?

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