GSB Q & A – Part 3 – Fanciers

Questions to Gerald Binks courtesy of the UK Budgerigar Forum website,, organised by Mick Freakley.

Q1: Which contemporary breeder is the best in your opinion and could you please explain the reasons why you think his or her birds are better than the rest?


I have just been across to Jo Mannes’ aviary to buy in outcrosses. There is little doubt that in modern times he has led the hobby in Europe as a skilled breeder and is totally focused on his work, with his wife’s help.

I have allowed myself to spend a great deal of time founding the Budgerigar World Magazine; showing how an exhibition should be presented; writing continuously (including books); as well as trying to breed quality budgerigars.

That was a mistake! I should have focused entirely on the birds – but it is my nature to help everybody, so I do not regret it.

Jo has a lot of dark factors around, but the top birds are super, as always, and importantly – balanced and without any signs of long flighted characteristics which are creeping into many studs. Judges must be aware of this and keep their eyes open.


Q2: In the UK whose studs do you admire? Also have you got your eye on any up and coming fanciers / partnerships with regard to a possible future at the very top?


There are perhaps less than ten breeders, maybe just five, who possess the right birds for modern budgerigar improvement. I have my eye on them, but cannot be drawn on naming them.


Q3: The modern exhibition budgerigar seems to be changing rapidly, especially over the past 5 years. Which breeders do you think take the credit for this and in your opinion how has this been achieved?


Jo Mannes, Daniel Lütolf and Les Martin are but three in the last few years, but there are others in Europe that I have not seen, so I cannot give a complete answer.


Q4: During your time in the fancy, which birds have been ahead of their time and have taken the hobby to a whole new level??


One has to go back to Ken Farmer of Luton who took what is still today, “The English Budgerigar”.

That is featured in my book, The Challenge.

Joe Collyer in Surrey was the next. He bred a nest of Grey greens and a grey – far ahead of their time, but poor by today’s standards – these are also in The Challenge.

Harry Bryan and Maurice Finey were the next two to advance the quality dramatically and then Jo Mannes came along, followed by Daniel Lütolf and now Les Martin.

There are others who have seriously contributed, but only these have made massive jumps in quality in their time and Les Martin continues that process.



Filed Under: BreedingProfiles



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.

RSSComments (1)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Ian Gordon says:

    What about James Moffat?

    Consistency personified.

    With all due respect, Mr Martin has some way to go.

    Ian Gordon, United Kingdom

Leave a Reply