I didn’t think there was much more to say about the cap, but an interesting point raised by Joe Coakley has persuaded me to return to the subject. I thought I could best respond by drawing the cap in context (i.e. as part of the complete bird); then it seemed a good idea to illustrate a few more variations by the same method . . . you can see the results below. I hope it will remind us that the cap is only 10% of the total Scale of Points, so let’s keep things in perspective.
1. This is the ideal clear cap, as defined by the LCA Description of the Ideal Lizard Canary. It is an oval shape, with a well defined lash over the eye, and meets the beak half way up the upper mandible. It is the illustration from Canary and Cage Bird Life that I featured in Part 5.
2. This is the ideal clear cap as described by Blakston in the nineteenth century. It differs from the LCA ideal only where it meets the top of the beak. This creates a perfect oval on the crown of the head, which many find attractive
3. In this version the front of the cap comes down to the bottom of the upper mandible, touching the mouth. These caps are dangerously close to becoming bald face (see variation 6 below). Unlike bald face, however, this should not lead to a disqualification because the clear feathers do not run below the eye. In my experience, birds with this sort of cap often have no eyelash, which makes them look worse. Points should be deducted according to the circumstances of each case.
4. Here the front of the cap touches the beak in accordance with the standard, but the eyelash is too coarse. A minor fault because the light feathers remain within the normal boundaries of the cap.
5. In this variation, the cap touches the eye. In theory, points should be deducted according to the extent of the loss of the eyelash, but in practice, the fault tends to be either a minor or a major one. There is little in between.
6. This examples shows a ‘bald face’, where the clear feathers run below the eye. A very serious fault; the bird should be disqualified.