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Experience With Imports

In June 1984 I spent a couple of weeks in England to see the sights and some top budgies. I was living in Cincinnati at the time and after five years in the hobby was starting to get competitive at shows with a line I had developed with birds I picked up from Don Langell in Massachussetts… that were based on stock from Alf Ormerod in England and Jim Moffat, Scotland.

Alf Ormerod

Alf Ormerod evaluating birds with Eric Peake.

We based in Flint, N Wales near Chester with Eric Peake and with Eric’s contacts visited many of the top breeders of the time.. Alf Ormerod, Gordon & Sylvia Hallam, Pilkingtons, Gerald Binks and Geoff Corser to name a few. There was a Newcastles outbreak at the time that led to a ban on exports so we were able to visit and check out birds without any pressure to buy.


Sylvia & Gordon Hallam show a few of their birds.

Geoff Corser

Geoff Corser had some super birds too.

It was the visit with Terry & Claire Pilkington that I was most impressed. They had won the Club Show in 1982 and had been in the news for selling a bird for 3000GBP which was a record price in those days. They had super birds and I was really impressed with a number of grey greens that had just left the nestbox. They looked super, and out of habit I made a mental note of the ring numbers and wrote them down in a notebook later that day.

After the trip Terry and I would write frequently and he would keep me updated on the England show scene and how things were going in the breeding room, especially with that family of greygreens I had loved. In 1986 Pilkys won the Club Show again and their birds were in HUGE demand.


Clare & Terry Pilkington were on top of the Budgie World.

By 1987 I decided it was time to try importing a few birds to upgrade what I had, and contacted Terry. My budget was limited but Terry agreed to help with a few pairs. Everything he would send was out of “my greygreen family”… Eric Peake helped get the birds together for shipment, and got me really excited. “The birds are good, but I cannot believe that he included a young greygreen normal” said Eric. “It is a stormer”. True to form that youngster died in quarantine along with a hen, so I ended up with two pair.

Both pair did well in the breeding cage, especially a greygreen cock and cinnamon greygreen hen. The hen was nothing to get really excited about, and the cocks was a wide headed bird, not much blow, but had a huge body.. massive and heavy when held in the hand. They pumped out chicks, from memory well over 20 in that first season.

For the first two seasons the Pilkington birds were kept “pure” when pairing up but by 1989 I tried crossing them into my Langell line.. and whammo… One great nest after another.. Both families went back to Ormerod blood and clicked immediately.

In 1990 I won a couple of shows with youngsters from these birds.. but nothing huge. But I had a gut feeling something good was happening. We moved to Kansas and the birds kept producing. There were not too many shows in the area so in 1991 I set a goal of taking a strong team to the 50th Anniversary All American to see how they compared with birds from around the country.

Everything went well until a couple of weeks before that show when the weather changed and the birds went into an awful moult. By the time I boarded the plane I had a bird to enter for my son Josh, and a young greygreen that I thought was too young to seriously compete.

The youngster ended up placing second Best In Show from 1,056 entries much to my amazement (and many of the other exhibitors) and birds from the family won over 30 shows in the next 5-6 years, until unfortunately I had to part with them because of business commitments.

Bob Wilson with Best In Show Winner

Our birds won over 30 Best-In-Shows in the 90s, including Blue Chip EBS in Cincinnati.

All American

(Not a great photo.. but the best I have) - Second Best-In-Show - Indianapolis All American

The Pilkington outcrosses worked wonders for me when crossed with my Langell bloodlines. The big greygreen cock behind it all and the other Pilky birds were in the shipment for 75GBP a piece.. a long way from that records 3000GBP bird he sold in the early 80s.

Now you know why I am a firm believer in working with quality stock from good family backgrounds… even if the ones you can afford are not the best visually.

Templates in Time