Cinnamon Clearwings
There is No Compromise
by Terry A Tuxford

Members of the CBBA will be aware of the changes in show classification that took place prior to the commencement of the 1994 Show Season, namely the removal of Cinnamon Clearwings as bona fide entries in the Clearwing Classes, now to be shown in the Any Other Colour classes. A straight forward decision one might think but one that has clearly caused problems for judges and exhibitors alike. Having exhibited, judged and visited a number of Championship and Area Shows in the past five seasons it is apparent that Cinnamon Clearwings are being exhibited incorrectly and that not all of the judges are spotting them, (or perhaps even care!)

As the rules concerning the Clearwing are quite precise it is up to the exhibitors to ensure that the judge is not compromised and conversely, judges must ensure that they "know one when they see one". To identify a Cinnamon Clearwing is reasonably straight forward in most cases, as they conform to the coloration of Normal Cinnamons but because of the addition of the variety Clearwing, it is perhaps not quite so obvious. Also, the addition of Cinnamon does produce a bird that looks like it has good clear wings. This may encourage the exhibitor to plead ignorance and take a chance, but not at substantial risk of being correctly wrong classed or considered a "blaggard and a bounder" by his fellow fanciers, should perchance he pick up an award.

For identification, the Cinnamon Clearwing will have a diluted body colour that is roughly 50% of the Normal tone. As many Clearwings today do not have full body colour this may not be immediately discernible but when coupled with very clear wings, the cinnamon factor may be suspected. Further indication will be in the cheek patch which will also be diluted in colour. A good Clearwing will and can always be identified by its bright violet cheek patch - this is of course so long as it is not a Grey or Grey Green, when a grey cheek patch will be observed. Whether or not cinnamon brown markings can be seen in the flight feathers etc. will be dependant on the quality of natural light in which the bird is being viewed. In good daylight the brown of the quill in the tail feathers will be quite obvious in the Cinnamon. Finally, pink feet are perhaps a less definite recognition point of the Cinnamon Clearwing but nonetheless are a clue as to the background of the bird being analysed.

Whether or not the correct decision was made when the Cinnamon Clearwing was relegated to the AOC Classes is open to personal opinion but so long as the current rule exists it is up to members of the CBBA to ensure that it is complied with, to the best of their ability. My personal view is that while the Opaline Clearwing is a considerable deviant from the Normal Clearwing and should be an AOC exhibit, the Cinnamon variant caused less problems when shown in Clearwing classes, as was the case up until 1994. In those days, from a judges view point there was no compromise because the Cinnamon was penalised for it’s weak body colour. However, from a purist point of view, there is only one Clearwing and that is the Normal.

©Terry A Tuxford 1999