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Fred has been breeding Budgerigars for more than 45 years. He started breeding these birds as pets when he was at school in 1961. Within a year or two he joined a local club and was soon breeding exhibition birds – but continued to breed pets to support his exhibition interests and still believes that this is an ideal way to start with Budgerigars. Even if the interest is just in exhibition stock, he believes the way forward should always be to breed and sell ten, to buy one good one!

Fred says his early success with Budgerigars was partly due to a 25 win with a premium bond which provided the money for materials to build a small birdroom and aviary. From that point, he never looked back. He joined his local cage bird society and was lucky enough to meet up with a couple of Budgerigar breeders who set him on the right road with quality birds – and advice. Fred describes the early days as being put onto the tramlines by three top Budgerigar fanciers and not being allowed to fall off. The help, advice and encouragement were greater than the birds they provided.

He worked his way through the sections, winning at all levels. He took the advice and did the job slowly. Once these three fanciers could no longer help him with the supply of birds, they introduced him to other fanciers who could. One was Bill Watson, another was Jack Freshney and the other was Maurice Finey. During the intermediate section days it was Maurice that provided the quality birds that helped Fred make progress. When Fred entered the champion section in 1972, he joined into a partnership with Bill Watson which lasted for some 17 years! During the 1970s the partnership bred and benched some of the best Light Greens in the UK.

Following a couple of years without a partner, Fred joined forces with a good friend Ron Pearce but this only lasted a few years and Ron decided to “go it alone”. While they were breeding and showing together they achieved much success on the show bench including best in show at the London & Southern Counties BS Open show with a Light Green cock and best young bird with a Cinnamon Dark Green hen at the same show in 1996. Together they were awarded many Challenge Certificates.

About Fred Wright
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In recent years Fred has worked and bred Budgerigars without a partner. Ten years ago Fred began to purchase birds from Jo Mannes in Germany and has returned at regular intervals to make further purchases. These imports have done well for him and the type of birds Fred breeds has changed. The stud is dominated by birds with a modern, European head and face. The feather quality is good, so the colour of the birds is a major feature. The birds excel in “width of face” and “top end”.

Fred’s aim with Budgerigars for many years has been to build a large stud of quality Normal Budgerigars. After years of breeding and showing, his interest in the showing of these birds became far less important for him. The aim was to breed when the birds were is the best condition for breeding – and that was always in the spring and he carried on breeding right through the summer and did not take the last boxes down until September or even October. With the emphasis on breeding, the interest and drive to show them has slowly disappeared. Fred now says he really shows his birds to stay on the BS judges’ panel – and judging is something he really enjoys. His diary gets filled up many months and sometimes years ahead with judging engagements.

At the end of 2002 Fred’s birdroom was hit with a virus and more than half the birds were lost in four months. He found this extremely depressing and has been fighting hard to get back to the position he was at during the autumn of 2002. It was back to the pedigree books, and to use some birds that under previous circumstances would not have been used for breeding. The original Mannes blood bred true and better birds than could ever have been expected, but that is something the Mannes stock does when it is paired correctly.

While this virus had hit the birdroom, Fred had birds in quarantine that he had previously purchased from Pat & Gerald De Beer in South Africa. They were birds that were totally unrelated to his own stock, so were complete outcrosses. They were much longer, and carried more feathering, especially around the face – these were features that he intended to introduce. But having lost so many birds, these outcrosses became far more important than had previously been anticipated.

Six years down the line, Fred has re-built and re-grouped. He does not believe he is totally back to the position he was at when he was hit by the virus – but not far off! The stud is dominated by top quality Normals in all the main colours with a few Opalines and a handful of top quality Cinnamons.

Fred’s aim has never been to breed two or three super birds a year – it’s been to establish a very large stud of top quality Budgerigars. Usually, in excess of 300 Budgerigars are bred each year. He loves to show his birds to visitors and one of the comments made by many people is that it’s one of the better studs in the country, but disappointingly, they rarely get seen on the show bench.

Working with Clubs and Societies

Fred has always been committed to working with local clubs, his regional society, the London & Southern Counties BS and the national body – The Budgerigar Society. He is past Chairman of the London & Southern Counties and was a member of the Budgerigar Society’s General Council for many years.

His writing

Some 20 years plus ago, he was encouraged to write for magazines about Budgerigars. Since then he has become a prolific writer and has articles published all over the world. Together with Roy Stringer, Fred wrote a series of books – the “All About …” series of nine books about all the colours and varieties of Budgerigars. These books have become extremely popular.

Every article that Fred has written has been about promoting Budgerigars, their care and management – and not about promoting himself. He was trained as a teacher and all his writing is about “educating” people about Budgerigars.

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