Anyone who has had any contact with the Lizard canary breeders in Italy will be struck by how young they are. One of the youngest and most successful is Paolo Vicidomini. He is not well known in Britain, but he deserves to be. You can get to know him better, and see the quality of his birds, in this interview with Angelo Citro.
Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you bred canaries, and the Lizard canary in particular?
My name is Paolo Vicidomini and I live in Montecorvino Rovella, a small mediaeval village in the province of Salerno. I am less of 30 years old, I have a degree in economics and business. I work as a business consultant in Salerno. I started to breed in 2009, since then I breed only Lizard canaries.
What attracted you to Lizard canaries and what convinced you to breed them ?
Simply because I have always considered the Lizard canary as a particular species not just a simple canary. His unchanged secular tradition makes him a unique canary.
Where did you buy your first pair?
I bought my first pair in a bird shop Massimo Sconza in 2009. The following year I bought a pair from Dr. Angelo Citro and a silver hen of my friend Paolo Leone. Since 2011 I use inbreeding.
What have been your major successes at exhibitions?
I won 6 titles of Regional Champion, various nationals and international shows both in individual category and stams. The main achievements I got at the International Show at Reggio Emilia 2014: best single gold with a broken cap of 94 points and best stam gold with a non cap gold stam with 371 points. At Pesaro in 2015 Italian Championship: I won the Best Silver Lizard canary 94 points (with a male! HE) and two second places with two stam one silver and one gold.
Do you prefer the judgment by comparison or by points card?
I prefer the judgment by comparison. At the same time I believe that a good judgement sheet (prepared carefully and well) allows at a breeder (especially when he is young) to understand which characteristics need to be improved or which characteristics are worse.
How should be your ideal Lizard ? What do you think of the cap?
Although the standard provides a Lizard with clear cap, I prefer the charm and beauty of the non cap. I believe that without a well-designed cap, silver or gold, on the back, chest and head is something exceptional and unique. I consider the cap of the Lizard a real mystery. I happened, in fact, to couple two subjects without cap and got 4 sons all with a clear cap.
What do you think of the size and shape of the lizard?
I consider them to be two fundamental components for the selection and establishment of my own strain. In Italy, however, lately there is a tendency to exaggerate about the size and shape of the Lizard ignoring other features such as oxidation.
Do you use yellow colourant ?
I am extremely opposed to any type of colour feed, I believe that with the selection and a natural diet you can still get a great background colour.
The colour feeding in Britain has become in this period a much debated topic, I know that in Europe Lizards are exhibited without colouring them in red, and you?
I do not use any type of colour feeding. I believe we should abolish the artificial feeding both yellow and red. I can not find anything nice in a Lizard coloured in red.
According to the British colour feeding in red highlights the spangles and the rowings. What is your opinion?
Maybe they are right, personally I would have difficulty selecting a lizard only on the basis of spangles or rowings. The red masks the true ground color of the Lizard, which is for me an indispensable factor for the selection.
You breed blue Lizards. What is your opinion about permitting them at the Italian National show?
I normally, have only one blue lizard hen that I pair with a silver cock. I am careful not to cross the blood lines, because I believe that the blue Lizard blue pollutes the purity of the classic Lizard. I hope that this practice, however, shared by many breeders who may not exhibit like me, will soon be abolished on a scientific basis so as to raise the blue lizard more quietly and more at the light of sun.
Which breeders do you think are the most representative of the Lizard canary in Italy?
Surely Domenico Mungiguerra, Fabio Macchioni and Giorgio Massarutto for achievements both nationally and internationally, and Dr. Citro Angelo for the commitment and the passion lavished during his presidency and his participation at the Lizard Canary Club Italia (L.C.C.I).
What do you think of L.C.C.I. ?
I was a member of the L.C.C.I. for several years, but since last year I decided not to join for some difference of opinion with some other members.
What steps should be taken by the L.C.C.I. to have more following?
In my humble opinion, the L.C.C.I. should relinquish the organization of the old show (for example Bologna has lost 50% of Lizard canaries entries) and promote the knowledge, the protection and preservation of the breed through technical meetings, debates and demonstrations.
- My thanks to Angelo Citro for conducting the interview, and for his translation into English.
- My thanks to Paolo Vicidomini for the photographs.