Budgerigar Photography – Heads or Tails?

A question frequently posed to all budgerigar magazines and now this website is:

Why is only the top end of the bird(s) displayed in budgerigar photographs?

As I was the founder and editor of Budgerigar World Magazine, I perhaps was also “guilty” of doing exactly the same as many other photographers in concentrating on the bird(s) from the perch upward, but I had my views at the time which I will come to later.

Mick Freakley. leading breeder and official Budgerigar Society photographer, kindly supplies me with a great many photographs, so I decided to request him to answer this good question on behalf of Budgerigar.co.uk .

The Freakly Point of View

Below are four pairs of images to illustrate why, in my opinion, the camera concentrates on the top end of birds for public viewing.

Four are full length and four are cropped for comparison purposes.

As far as I am concerned, any full length image lacks impact.

The Grey Green cock featured here is the Best in Show bird from the 2010 Budgerigar Society Club Show – shown by Les Martin of Studham in Bedfordshire. A bird in the super class.

In the full length view you can clearly see the two tails are present. If it did not have these in the first place you would not be looking at the major part of the bird.

My personal choice is to see all birds from the perch upward in a photograph.

I did a series of full length photographs at the request of the UK Budgerigar Society for them to consider their possible use in their magazine. This followed a complaint that only “cropped ” images were being used all the time.

Obviously all judges will have penalised any suggestion of a dipped tail or a badly hinged tail while judging, so as winners are always the subject of published photographs, it can be accepted that the tail is / was right and in line with the body axis at the time.

The other three birds featured in this article clearly illustrate my point.

Please click on an image to enlarge it.

Summary by Gerald Binks

I have to say I am in full agreement with Mick.

Anyone can breed a body, whether big or small, but it is the detail in the head and top end that is essential to be pictured in all photographs.

That said, when I was the editor and photographer of Budgerigar World magazine, I began the series of featuring, say, four birds to a page and either judging them myself or inviting other judges to do the same: pointing out the good points and bad points on each bird – and, on occasion, complete with tails!

This feature was very popular with beginners and novices, so I propose to introduce it on this website at a later date.


Filed Under: Beginners



About the Author: Gerald Binks began breeding budgerigars when he was 12 years old and is now arguably the most knowledgeable budgerigar fancier in the world. He has bred his fair share of Best in Show birds, judged in no less than 20 countries, founded the World Budgerigar Association, and has published two of the three classic books on the hobby. His stud in the UK attracts fanciers from near and far and is always high on the list for those wishing to purchase BA23 quality budgerigars.

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  1. Darryl says:

    Maybe what would also be good to see, is putting The Ideal next to the full photo?

    The top end is very important, but so to is the balance.

    New Zealand

  2. James Campanelli says:

    Thank you that helps to answer my question.

    The format in these 4 images is the perfect example of what I would like to see – but I can see the practicality of it.

    The prospect of the feature mentioned above interests me.

    It always helps to have visuals and tutorials.

    James Campanelli

  3. James Campanelli says:

    I could not agree more Darryl.

    Too many times I see great head on a sloppy body, wings sticking out over the back, concave back line, angled front lines, squatty posture and more “flaws” in what is supposed to represent The Ideal and the bird judged to be closest to The Ideal.

    Photographs are meant to share and document the success of the breeder with those that could not see the bird in person.

    As large a head as the Gray Green (above) has, with the posture of the wings, I would have to think long to put it above the Gray, that is showing smooth back and front lines, width, depth of mask, color, markings and spots all in the one bird, along with good posture and a whipped together look of wings and tail.

    JMHO (Just my humble opinion).

    James Campanelli, USA

  4. Dear Gerald

    Photography is an art.

    This is a magnificent article and I am glad to see the Mick Freakly’s photography and your analytical opinion.

    Kindly allow me to share my personal experience – because I was the first breeder to write the ‘rules’ for an Internet Budgerigar Show in Pakistan. I was the Project Head & Creative Director, and with the help of my associates, we personally approached a few breeders after searching the Internet and collected all the related information.

    We then did an analysis (especially on the ‘photography’) and discussed the matter with:

    • Han Schrijver
    • John Z
    • Nigel Tonkin
    • Betty Berry
    • Gordon Davis
    • Stephen (Tintin Canada )
    • Didier Mervilde
    • Dewayne Weldon

    We discussed the ‘pose’ and how many photos would be needed to enable us to judge a bird properly.

    We concluded thus:

    1. Frontal view of the face/mask.
    2. Side view of head showing back skull.
    3. Full length view showing size of the bird.

    That was the true turning point for the E-Judging and still photography.

    We introduced an new award – Best In Photography (BIP) – and the entire concept was based of education & learning. Now Dewayne Weldon’s Judge’s Report is serving as a “bible” for the new breeders and is one can that can be easily understood.

    Our hobby is full of fun and learning – there is a bright future for the ‘photographer’. As an example, I recently saw Alan Bundy’s photo gallery – it is wonderful.

    Finally, we involved every breeder in this exercise and delivered a 1st National Level Show in 2009-2010 with the help of international breeders friends.

    Kindest regards
    Habib Ur Rehman, Pakistan.

  5. Here i would like to share few own bred – Dark Green Normal Cock.

    Painting Style & Negative Style – For examine the development as per Standard.


    Black & White – To judge easily.


    Original in Colour


    Analytical Photography


    I have just done all work as per tip for photography given by Dewayne Weldon as under:

    Tips for photography:
    I am certainly not a professional photographer, not even a good amateur one. With a little patience
    and attention to detail, however, most anyone can to an acceptable job of photographing budgies. I find
    that using a tri-pod to hold the camera at the same level and exact distance from the show cage for all
    photographs is a great aid. Place the camera close enough to the show cage that the bird fills the entire
    frame. Pay particular attention to lighting so that there are no shadows to detract from the bird
    itself. Check each photo to see that color is accurate and adjust as required. Be sure that the camera is
    in perfect focus so that every detail is sharp and clear. Take numerous photographs of each bird and
    eliminate all but the best (easy to do with new digital cameras)

    Do not rush. Allow the birds to settle down and relax. Some birds easily adjust to the show cage, others
    require extensive training.

    BA23 ( Mr.Gerald Bink’s bloodline ) helping me directly in establishing HBO STUD specially Normal variety.

    I personally need critically feedback from Gerald.

    Thank you.
    Habib Ur Rehman – Pakistan

  6. Another experience of broadcasting with Miller Richard UK Champion this joint program organized by Pakistan Aviculturist Guild (PAG) Lahore in collaboration Pakistan Avicultural Foundation http://www.paf.net.pk for connecting breeders across country and internationally source of transmission was https://www.zoom.us/ through Lahore via connecting log-in ID(s) here would like to answer few rapid question specially for clearing concept of ‘live streaming’ broadcasting and how Pakistan Avicultural Foundation educating breeders with technology for future advancement and how interpretation/explanation may change conception in the hobby while demonstrating and during ‘display’.

    What is transmission?

    – the action or process of transmitting something or the state of being transmitted technically.

    What is broadcasting?

    – broadcasting is the distribution of audio and/or video content or other messages to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum (radio waves), in a one-to-many model. Also with matching frequency deliveries.

    – transmit (a programme or some information) by radio or screen or television.

    What is a streaming video?

    – Streaming video is content sent in compressed form over the internet and displayed by the viewer in real time. With streaming video or streaming media, a Web user does not have to wait to download a file to play it. Instead, the media is sent in a continuous stream of data and is played as it arrives.

    What is an audio stream?

    – streaming audio. A one-way audio transmission over a data network. It is widely used to listen to audio clips and radio from the Internet on computers, tablets and smartphones. That a instant part of live streaming overall behind screen also ‘chat’ to be included by means of communication.

    What is a streaming service?

    – streaming or media streaming is a technique for transferring data so that it can be processed as a steady and continuous stream. Streaming technologies are becoming increasingly important with the growth of the Internet because most users do not have fast enough access to download large multimedia files quickly.

    How does live streaming video work?

    – In streaming video and audio, the traveling information is a stream of data from a server. The decoder is a stand-alone player or a plugin that works as part of a Web browser. The server, information stream and decoder work together to let people watch live or prerecorded broadcasts.

    What videoconferencing?

    – telecommunication in the form of a videoconference.

    What telecommunication?

    – communication over a distance by cable, telegraph, telephone, or broadcasting.

    Youtube is providing free option for broadcasting also helping in developing modes of communication and that’s was adopted.

    Please check and feedback: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfvvAHCnGUk&feature=share with support of PAG & PAF IT Team.

    Thanks to Miller Richard UK budgerigar champion and his father for wonderful lecture and presentation on ‘feathers farming’.

    Thank you.
    Habib Ur Rehman – Pakistan

  7. The Voice of Budgerigar: http://www.voiceofbudgerigar.com/sbsk/Index.html

    Virtual/Online Judging Show rules – Pakistan Avicultural Foundation http://www.paf.net.pk purpose to help worldwide budgerigar and feathers friends also to share technical breeding knowledge. For any help and assistance you may contact freely.

    Habib Ur Rehman – Pakistan

  8. Habib Ur Rehman says:

    میگاپکسلز کسی کیمرے کی تصاویر کی کوالٹی میں اہم کردار ادا نہیں کرتے: ماہرین

    https://www.bbc.com/urdu/science-50456352?ocid=socialflow_facebook&fbclid=IwAR0nWUVis16G3BCBp4PyjReMAg60L-L_iqV6SOnSMJ6W-SbLaTgQnb50sUU (Copied link with permission)

    The BBC Urdu web-link on for common person understanding about megapixel camera or it’s use. Translation available on website.

    Stay connected with http://www.budgerigarworld.com and http://www.paf.net.pk Learn techniques of keeping and breeding birds within leading world corporate culture for better tomorrow.

    Habib Ur Rehman – Pakistan

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