Bird’s eye view: London Fancy look-alikes

A photograph of a white ‘London Fancy’ appeared on Kanarioloog last autumn, but was soon taken down.  I feared that might be the last we would see of the bird, but thanks to friends in Spain and Belgium, I have managed to track it down.

According to my information, the bird is a hen and was bred by a Belgian breeder from a cock agate eumo recessive white x hen agate recessive white split for eumo.  While it looks like a London Fancy, it is not the true race: there are two clear feathers in its tail; it has dark red eyes; the legs and claws are flesh coloured.

It has no known connection with Piet Renders’ strain, but shares one of its essential characteristics: the bird moulted from dark to light during the moult.  The term ‘dark’ is relative; being a eumo, the juvenile melanins were presumably no more than fine grey stripes.  Whether the loss of melanin was caused by a mutation or a metabolic malfunction is not yet known, but that should become clear as the breeder attempts to fix the trait.

This is not the first new colour London Fancy look-alike to have appeared in the last year.  Cage & Aviary Birds published photographs of a bird (bred from a red ivory agate opal x red ivory agate split opal) that also lost most of its melanins at the first moult, resulting in a rose coloured canary with dark wings and tail.  Very attractive and equally mysterious.

Could this be more than a coincidence?

Footnotes:

  • My thanks to the breeder of the eumo LF for permission to publish the photograph.  He wishes to remain anonymous.
  • Thanks also to my friends who did the investigative work, I am merely taking credit for it.

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