Spangles: a personal overview
Cage & Aviary Birds|December 24, 2019
FRED WRIGHT relates a budgie story of over-exploitation, consequent problems and abundant potential for the future
FRED WRIGHT

SPANGLES first appeared in New Zealand during the late 1970s and then soon after that in Australia. Before long they were brought to Europe by Rolf Christen and they went to Reinhard Molkentin in Germany.

The history of the early days of spangles seems to be viewed through rose-tinted glasses by various people who wish to make claims. The fact is that it was in Reinhard’s birdroom that they were paired with his best birds – and it was he who made massive steps forward with the variety.

With spangles, the vital fact to remember is that they were paired with his best birds and it’s the pedigree of those top-quality birds that sit behind all spangles. Reinhard and Jo Mannes brought the first spangles to the UK and placed them in the hands of Doug Sadler and Alf Ormerod. Alf spotted the opportunity to make money and accordingly mass-produced them, selling everything he could breed for £100 – a lot of money at that time.

It’s easy to look back and see what could have gone wrong, but the fact is that the spangles were paired to absolutely any colour and variety. The initial birds were normal spangles and the markings – spots and wing markings – were characteristic. There were clearly defined spangle markings on the wings and the spots were bull’s-eye spots: clear in the middle, black on the outside. There is little doubt that it was the pairing of the variety into cinnamons, opalines and others that has decimated the spangle markings.

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