Geoff Capes – Passionate and Competitive – Terry Tuxford UK

Who really knows Geoff Capes? I was really lucky last year to spend a few days with Geoff which was completely unrelated to Budgerigars. The time was spent chatting, reminiscing and me acting as Geoff’s ‘warm up man’ for him talking about Manual Handling and the importance of doing the right thing to prevent injury.

So what did I learn? There are a couple of words that I can use with confidence; passionate and competitive. As a sportsman Geoff was fiercely competitive, challenging both himself and the other athletes and this is a trait that makes him the man that he is today; larger than life and keenly motivated.

Geoff is one of the few sportsmen that have become “celebrity” and then maintained it over the years. However, that said, he is still fundamentally a true son of the Lincolnshire fens – a country boy at heart with a passion to breed great budgerigars.

The Start In Budgerigars

When asked how he got into budgerigar breeding Geoff said, “My father had bred them, but it was an incident in the Police Force that was to actually bring alive my interest.” he said. Indeed, the incident turned out to be a warrant that as a Police Officer he had to serve on a certain chap, the warrant was for a minor incident of not paying a fine, but as he was at the gentleman’s premises he was immediately taken with the budgerigars that were all in his living room.

“Could I have a look at your birds?” asked Geoff when the man opened the door. An hour later, Geoff, remembering why he was there in the first place, turned to the man and said, “Oh, by the way, I’m here to arrest you.”

The man went with Geoff to the police station and the matter was quickly dealt with, but the man and Geoff became friends with him even buying Geoff his first three breeding pairs of Budgerigars.

A True Hobbyist

I was both surprised and pleased to discover that Geoff is a true hobbyist. Despite his background his birdroom is functional but modest – what I would describe as a proper birdroom. He talks about and handles his birds with an enthusiasm that is quite rare these days and clearly has great ambition.

For many of us we would associate Geoff with the Recessive Pied, so I did expect to see an aviary full of this variety, supported by some good quality splits. However, to my surprise there were also many really good mainstream variety budgerigars in evidence, especially Cinnamons.

Geoff’s budgerigar management is best described as conventional – wooden cabinet type cages, external nest boxes, inside flights, heat and light etc but what is not conventional is the level of fertility achieved. Box after box stuffed full of chicks; clearly good health and fertility feature in this man’s stud.

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Terry Tuxford About the Author:

Terry Tuxford first began breeding budgerigars in 1979 and joined the BS in 1980. He was elevated to Champion in 1985 when he went into partnership with Brian Poole. This partnership is probably one of the longest existing partnerships in the UK hobby today having lasted some 27 years so far and is still going strong. Terry and Brian are also partnered by Yvonne Tuxford who joined the BS in 1990.


Terry demonstrated his penmanship early in his budgerigar career and wrote in the second edition of Budgerigar World. Little did he realise then that in just over 8 year’s time he would become editor following a 20 month apprenticeship with founding editor, Gerald Binks. Terry went on to edit a total of 245 editions up to May 2011.


In 1993 Terry took his Budgerigar Society Judges final examination and was awarded Subsidiary Judge of the Year and has gone on to judge the Budgerigar Society World Show on three occasions as well as many top shows at home and abroad. He is also an accomplished speaker and has been a guest at societies throughout the UK as well as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and many other European countries.

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