Show Standards of A.C.S.

Nancy A. Reed



The following ACS Cockatiel Show Standard is presented for the '78 show season. As this is our first year in having an official Cockatiel Standard, there are some rulings that must be tried in practice and perhaps corrected or updated in the future. We have endeavored to cover obvious aspects and foresee future aims in breeding expectations of the Cockatiel, and thus present what we hope is a comprehensive and helpful foundation for the Cockatiel Show Standard. We would greatly appreciate feedback following the '78 show season, especially in regards to strengthening and further defining specific areas which we may not have foreseen.

It has also been mentioned that we point out, most especially to movice exhibitors, that at present birds need no to be banded or even bred by exhibitor. Also, that the purpose of a Standard is to aim for the "Ideal" Cockatiel. It is not expected that any one bird will meet all criteria. Therefore, do not discount showing a basically good bird only because of some minor fault(s). How many times has one heard someone say, "My bird at home would have beaten the winner!" If a perfect bird is shown under a Standard, then the Standard's aims are not high enough! Perfection should be unobtainable, therefore, we show our best, in hopes that our bird is better than the next guy's best. And that's what makes competition fun: getting closer to the ideal than someone else. If only an ideal bird can be shown, there should not be a single bird in any show!

The Cockatiel will be judged on the show bench by the comparison method. This means judging each bird individually against the next, rather than judging each bird individually against a chart of specified point distribution. By comparison and process of elimination, the best bird finally emerges.

However, having a Standard Point Chart for reference is valuable to both the exhibitor and judge in placing the proper emphasis on the various aspects that are to be considered at show time. At this writing we have not finalized such a chart.

For the interim, without specific points allotted, may we suggest the following aspects given in order of importance:

Conformation, Condition, and Deportment (steadiness on perch, "showmanship"). These are generally agreed to be considered the three most important factors to be judged. Continuing in order of importance would be Coloration and the cleanliness and suitable proportions of the show cage.

Using such a "breakdown" chart is most especially handy when choosing which birds to take to a show. For instance, a major fault in color would be as detrimental as say a major (or possibly even a minor) fault in conformation.

GENERAL CONFORMATION The Cockatiel Standard drawn by Dr.

Walter LaYoy should be closely observed, as a visual illustration is always better than a lengthy verbal description.

The Cockatiel is illustrated as a long bird, of graceful proportions, but of good substance (full bodied). Measuring from the top of the shoulder curve to the tip of the wing should equal the measurement from the top of the skull to the vent, and again from the vent to the tip of tail. In other words: length of wing, body, and tail should be the same. A goal of a 14" bird (not counting crest) is desired.

Crest: Being the main physical trademark of the Cockatiel, this should be given specific consideration. It should be long (goal: 3" on a proportionately large bird), but at the same time, of good density, graduating evenly from the longest filaments down to the shortest towards the rear of the skull. It should be a very showy feature, curving proudly yet gracefully from the top of the cere, and the "fillers" fanning out to give fullness.

Head: This should be large and well rounded (especially no flat spot on top or back of skull). The eyes should be large, bright and alert, and placed at mid-point between front and back of skull. The brow should be well pronounced, and especially when the head is viewed from the front, should protrude enough to indicate good breadth between the eyes, and an almost "hawk-like" apearance. The beak should be clean and of natural length, and tucked in to the extent that the lower mandible is only partially visible.


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