GOULDIAN STANDARD

Mike Fidler

Recently I have been approached by avicultural bodies from a number of countries seeking input into producing a show standard for the Gouldian.

Perhaps even better,at least from most peoples point of view, they all wanted to avoid a distorted standard which attempts to turn a dingo into a bull dog.

We have what is probably the worlds most beautiful finch, but there is always the temptation to exaggerate one feature or another in an attempt to create an ‘improvement’.

  Many years ago a European breeder produced a ‘bull necked’ strain which he claimed improved the display of the turquoise head band. Unfortunately, one of his birds won the Gouldian class at the World Show which for a while started a trend of producing distorted monstrosities. Fortunately, this produced a back lash which resulted in a number of European countries producing a standard which was based on the wild type and has now been universally adopted through most of Europe.

The UK’s Australian Finch Society was probably the first to produce a standard which since has been much copied and / or used as the base with some minor changes or additions.

Very kindly, I have been given permission to publish it again in the hope that those that have no access to a standard will find it useful.

AFS GOULDIAN FINCH STANDARD- REVISED 1991

GENERAL STANDARD COCKS

Body

The shape should be elegantly tapered to the tail, the body should be substantial

but not cobby. The line from the beak over the crown, nape, back, rump and tail

should be smooth with no breaks. The line from the lower mandible, over the

chin, throat, chest, abdomen, vent and to the tail should be smooth and flowing.

Nipped necks, dropped tails, pouted chests and cocked tails are all faults.

Wings

The wings should be held close to the body and the tips should meet at the upper

tail coverts. Drooped and crossed wings are a fault.

Tail

The two central tail feathers should be elongated, separated and running parallel

with each other. Tail feathers running together or splayed are a fault. The tail

wires should be as long as possible but the other tail feathers should be in

proportion to the body.

Size

Length approximately: 14 cms. (5.5 inches). Small birds often lack vigour and do

not show well. Colour is of equal if not more importance than size and poor

coloured ‘double buff” birds should be avoided.

GENERAL STANDARD HENS

Standard as for the cock except that the two central tail feathers should not be as

long. Hens tend to be a little heavier than cocks and a well built bird is desirable.

COLOUR STANDARD BLACK-HEADED COCK

Head

The forehead, crown, ear covets, chin and throat should be deep black with a

slight glossy sheen. A line of sky blue at the edge of this black extends from the

throat right around the back of the head. The edges between the blue band and

the black should be sharply defined. On the throat, the line of blue should be

sharply defined from the chest colour but should extend and merge into the

green of the side of the neck and the mantle.

Wings

The wing coverts should be dark grass green with a slight glossy sheen. The

primaries should be dark grey, almost black, with a lighter edging to the flight

feathers.

Chest

The deep violet breast should extend from the sky blue throat band to a line

running between the lesser wing coverts across the chest. This line should be

clear cut and in some instances may have a reddish tinge. Below this line and

running over the abdomen and flanks the colour should be deep buttercup

yellow gradually fading to pale buff, light grey, faint pink or white in the area of

the vent as do the under tail coverts (depending on genetic pedigree).

Back

The blue band behind the head colour merges with the gassy green of the mantle

and the back. This area should carry a gold suffusion, more intensive on the

mantle and approaching the rump.

Rump

This should be light sky blue.

Upper Tail Coverts `

Light sky blue, some white frosting on the edge of the feathers is acceptable.

Tail

Black.

Beak and Legs

Upper and lower mandibles should be pearl white with either a red or yellow tip.

Legs flesh coloured, nails hom coloured.

Eyes

The eye should be black with a thin flesh coloured eye ring.

COLOUR STANDARD RED·HEADED COCK

Head

The forehead crown and ear coverts deep scarlet red, which should be evenly

coloured with no black or orange flecking. Chin and throat deep black, with a

black line continuing around the head. This is fringed by a further line of sky

blue, which extends and merges into the green of the side of the neck and the

mantle. The red, black and sky blue markings should otherwise be sharply and

clearly defined. All other areas as for the Black-headed Cock.

COLOUR STANDARD YELLOW-HEADED COCK (OR ORANGE-HEADED]

As for the Red-headed Cock, but red replaced by either Old Gold Orange or Deep

Golden Antique Yellow.

COLOUR STANDARD WHITE-BREASTED COCK

As for normal coloured cocks but chest purple replaced by clear, intense white as

is the vent area and under tail coverts. Head colour in the Yellow-headed bird is

a Bright Buttercup Yellow. All others colours appear luminous.

COLOUR STANDARD HENS

As for cocks except that chest purple is much paler, the mantle and back lack

the gold suffusion and the whole plumage is duller and lacks the gloss of the

cocks. The abdomen of the White-breasted hen is pale lemon.

100 POINTS FOR STANDARDS

Colouration 25   Condition15 Stance 15 Head & Body 15

Wings & Tail 15 Legs & Feet 5 Beak & Eyes 5 Showcage Requisites 5

The primaries should be dark grey, almost black, with a lighter edging to the flight

feathers.

Chest

The deep violet breast should extend from the sky blue throat band to a line

running between the lesser wing coverts across the chest. This line should be

clear cut and in some instances may have a reddish tinge. Below this line and

running over the abdomen and flanks the colour should be deep buttercup

yellow gradually fading to pale buff, light grey, faint pink or white in the area of

the vent as do the under tail coverts (depending on genetic pedigree).

Back

The blue band behind the head colour merges with the gassy green of the mantle

and the back. This area should carry a gold suffusion, more intensive on the

mantle and approaching the rump.

Rump

This should be light sky blue.

Upper Tail Coverts `

Light sky blue, some white frosting on the edge of the feathers is acceptable.

Tail

Black.

Beak and Legs

Upper and lower mandibles should be pearl white with either a red or yellow tip.

Legs flesh coloured, nails hom coloured.

Eyes

The eye should be black with a thin flesh coloured eye ring.

COLOUR STANDARD RED·HEADED COCK

Head

The forehead crown and ear coverts deep scarlet red, which should be evenly

coloured with no black or orange flecking. Chin and throat deep black, with a

black line continuing around the head. This is fringed by a further line of sky

blue, which extends and merges into the green of the side of the neck and the

mantle. The red, black and sky blue markings should otherwise be sharply and

clearly defined. All other areas as for the Black-headed Cock.

COLOUR STANDARD YELLOW-HEADED COCK (OR ORANGE-HEADED]

As for the Red-headed Cock, but red replaced by either Old Gold Orange or Deep

Golden Antique Yellow.

COLOUR STANDARD WHITE-BREASTED COCK

As for normal coloured cocks but chest purple replaced by clear, intense white as

is the vent area and under tail coverts. Head colour in the Yellow-headed bird is

a Bright Buttercup Yellow. All others colours appear luminous.

COLOUR STANDARD HENS

As for cocks except that chest purple is much paler, the mantle and back lack

the gold suffusion and the whole plumage is duller and lacks the gloss of the

cocks. The abdomen of the White-breasted hen is pale lemon.

100 POINTS FOR STANDARDS

Colouration 25   Condition15 Stance 15 Head & Body 15

Wings & Tail 15 Legs & Feet 5 Beak & Eyes 5 Showcage Requisites 5

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