Exhibiting our canaries is an important side of the hobby for many people.
To succeed on the show bench it is imperative to take matters seriously, both as an exhibitor and as a judge.
Judges are simply experienced fanciers who are asked to give their honest opinion of those birds in front of them, by assessing which in their opinion most closely resemble the ideal model for that particular breed.
The more competitive shows will engage champion specialist breeders as judges, whilst smaller shows may relax these rules.
Exhibitors should always remember that judging canaries is not a paying job – the judges are forgoing their right to exhibit their own birds for the common good, often without charging a fee whilst incurring out of pocket transport and possibly accommodation costs at the same time.
Some shows allow fanciers to oversee proceedings whilst judging is underway. Watching quietly from the wings is the best way of learning how your exhibits have performed, (other than by stewarding!) but moving about constantly, making noises or overloud comments within the judges earshot is completely unacceptable.
It all adds greatly to our hobby, and whether the show is the first you have ever attended, or merely another in the long line of exhibitions held over the years, most fanciers will admit to a feeling of anticipation, as show time draws near.
Taking wins and losses gracefully is the mark of a true fancier. Canaries are living jewels, and will change in the blink of an eye, so it is only reasonable that they will win one week and lose the next. They may even be placed in a different order two weeks out of two by the same judge, but remember, their condition may have altered, the lighting or atmospherics will have altered, and their competitors will have changed – as may their own behaviour at the crucial moment. Results cannot be taken for granted in the more competitive shows, which is one of the reasons our hobby remains such a draw for established fanciers, both at home and abroad.