World Show 2017, part 1: a few facts and many opinions

The 2017 show was held in Almeria, Spain.  Around 26,000 birds in total with, I’m told, 224 gold and silver Lizards and 92 blues on display.  The results can be found here.

My observations:

The venue:

A large two-tier building, fully glazed at each end.  The exhibition birds were on the upper level, sales birds and merchandise on the lower.  Fortunately the Lizards were at the northern end, so enjoyed natural light without being in the sun; the best lighting I’ve seen at a World Show.  The views of the sierras were a bonus.

The judging:

Carlos Lima judged the golds.  His performance was generally sound, apart from his disregard of faulty or missing eyelashes.  More than one gold medal winner benefitted from his blind spot.

Clear cap gold hen Lizard canary from Stefan Sonntag, individual gold medal winner.

I haven’t been told the name of the person who judged the silvers, which is probably just as well.  The scoring was all over the place.  The biggest error was Giorgio Massarutto’s broken cap silver cock which displayed the best spangles of all the birds at the show, but was awarded only 88 points.

Clear cap silver hen Lizard canary from Jules Etienmne. Individual gold medal winner.
Broken cap silver cock Lizard canary from Giorgio Massarutto. 88 points.

The highlights:

  • The Spanish breeders: young, friendly, and enthusiastic passionate about the Lizard canary.
  • The warm welcome from the Club Amigos del Canario Lizard, who invited all the Lizard breeders to join them for wine, cheese and jamon serrano on Saturday; a very enjoyable get-together.
  • The show hall and the quality of the light.
  • The high standard of the golds, especially the clear caps. Many birds were of medal quality, but inevitably missed out.
  • The improvement in the Spanish Lizards in recent years.
  • The spangles of Giorgio Massarutto’s broken cap silver cock; one of the best I’ve seen in recent years.
  • Giorgio’s audacity in including a clear cap silver cock amongst a stam of hens.
  • The darkness of the beak of Jose Escarabajal’s silver hen.
  • In addition to the medal winners, I would like to congratulate Bart Deckers and Vincent Coquet who both sent teams of splendid birds but missed out on medals.
Clear cap silver hen Lizard canary from Bart Deckers.
Non cap gold hen Lizard canary from Vincent Coquet.
Clear cap silver hen Lizard canary from Alfons Tebroke. Stam bronze medal winner.
Clear cap gold hen Lizard canary from Jules Etienne, individual silver medal winner.
Clear cap silver cock Lizard canary from Giorgio Massarutto.
Clear cap silver hen Lizard canary from Jose Escarabajal

The disappointments:

  • The quality of the ground colour was only ‘average’, sometimes poor.
  • The standard of the rowings was not as good as in previous years, both in quantity and in quality.
  • Common faults: over-capped birds, faulty or missing eyelashes, crossed wings, light bellies, pale vents, a tendency to ‘tramlines’ on the back, pale legs, stripes on the breast rather than individual rowings.

The low point:

There were deaths amongst the Lizards at the show, including birds from Alfons Tebroke and Bart Deckers.  I was told that there was a cold draught coming from an open doorway during judging, but this has not been confirmed as the cause.  Will COM act responsibly, investigate the fatalities, and provide an explanation to their unfortunate owners?

Of course not.


  • The above are personal opinions.  I hope to be proven wrong on an investigation into the fatalities.
  • Please bear in mind that I was looking at the birds a week after judging; Lizards can change a lot in that time.
  • Most of the photos were taken without flash, under a mixture of natural and artificial light; not the best conditions for accurate colour.

Looking ahead:

Next year the World Show will be held in Cesena, Italy. The standard of the Lizards should be even higher.


My thanks to Joe Coakley for contributing his photos of the birds.  More photographs will follow in Part 2.

Correction: Giorgio Massarutto’s broken cap silver is a cock.  My thanks to Antonio Petraroli for pointing that out.

3 thoughts on “World Show 2017, part 1: a few facts and many opinions

  1. I agree with Huw the best venue I have been too for a world show. The welcome from the Spanish Lizard breeders was fantastic. I agree with Huw about the judging, too many over capped birds and lack of definition on the spangles in many birds. But overall another great experience.. Looking forward to Cesena in 2018. David.

  2. Primeramente quiero agradecer a Huw su gran trabajo en este Mundial de Almeria, donde gracias a el personas que no han podido asistir y amantes de este nuestro CANARIO LIZARD puede llegar, sobre todo quisiera dar las gracias por su gran amabilidad asi como a Stan Bolton, donde gracias a vosotros nos disteis una gran clase sobre el Lizard, el CLUB NACIONAL AMIGOS DEL CANARIO LIZARD os consideramos parte de la historia viva de esta maravillosa raza.

    1. For the benefit of readers who do not know Pedro, he is the President of the Club Amigos del Canario Lizard, that gave all the Lizard breeders a warm welcome at the World Show.


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