Second Best?

According to one definition I’ve found, Second Best means “not as good as the best and therefore not wanted as much”.  Another says “something that is not as good as the thing that you really want”.  Lizard canary breeders might beg to differ; who would not want this bird?

This non cap gold cock (yes, cock) is officially the Second Best Lizard canary in Great Britain this year.  It was Best Champion Lizard canary at the 2016 LCA Classic and beaten only by Darran Keeley’s non cap gold hen for Best in Show.

Its breeder was David Newton, one of the most accomplished and most likable Lizard canary fanciers you’ll find anywhere.  He keeps a very small stud (usually no more than six pairs) and aims to breed 20-25 birds a year, stopping half way through the second round if necessary.  His success was no fluke; David has been one of the top British Lizard breeders for many years.  I can’t think of anyone else who consistently produces such high quality from such low numbers of birds.

David Newton's Best Champion Lizard canary at the LCA Classic 2016
David Newton’s Best Champion Lizard canary, LCA Classic 2016

I rarely get the chance to photograph colour fed birds (1) but fortunately David lives not too far from me and I was able to ‘borrow’ his non cap gold cock for a photo session.  If this bird was Second Best, you must be wondering about the bird that beat it.  Unfortunately, Darran Keeley lives much further away and it is unlikely that I’ll have the same opportunity to photograph his Classic winner.  Those who are curious will have to satisfy themselves with the photo I took at the show.

Enjoy the photos because David has told me he won’t be showing this bird again.


  1. For the benefit of non-British readers, the colour-fed Lizards you see at British shows are yellow-ground birds that have been given Carophyll Red during the moult.

UPDATE 4 December 2016

I have learned that this bird was not Best Champion after all!  That award went to David Newton’s broken cap gold hen, which you can see in my report of the Classic.  I’m not going to rewrite the story, but at least I got the name of the breeder right.  Just goes to show that you shouldn’t believe everything that you read on the internet.

4 thoughts on “Second Best?

  1. I would be more than happy to take that ‘second best’ any day…

    Well done to David.


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