Above: Roller song contest amateur and champion classes are for unflighted birds bred in the summer prior to the show season. The birds must be owned, bred and trained by the exhibitor and wear an approved current-year closed ring, issued by the BRCA or NRCS to that exhibitor


THE LONG-HELD TRADITION of roller canary song contests is under threat from “falling numbers of members and birds bred”, warns the British Roller Canary Association (BRCA).

In a letter recently sent to affiliated members, the BRCA urges for keepers of rollers to exhibit their birds or face a “make or break situation”. The letter states: “Every member and bird counts in ensuring this more than a century-old tradition survives.”

Leeds Northern RCC and Wigan RCC constitute the BRCA. Jim Stidworthy, who is the secretary of Wigan RCC, explained: “A competition season of 17 shows between November and March, including four in Ireland, plus end-of-season winners’ song contests for BRCA News of the World and National Roller Canary Society (NRCS) Grand National trophies, places high demands on the remaining breeders as they try to keep the minimum class numbers entered.”

As the 2019/20 contest season approaches, the BRCA is encouraging all members to put into training and contest as many cocks as possible to make qualifying classes of a minimum 30 birds for the judges. The BRCA says this will “maintain the continuing uninterrupted award of the full range of BRCA trophies for amateur, champion and any age [AA] birds.”

Rollers may be entered in amateur, champion or AA classes, and by BRCA rules these may be combined. However, a qualifying class of combined amateur and AA birds depends on a sufficient number of AA birds supplementing the limited numbers of amateur birds being bred and trained.

In roller canary song competitions, appearance counts for nothing and performance is everything. Individual classes, of minimum 30 to 60 birds, are judged four birds at a time for their allotted 30 minutes. Judges award points to individual birds against their renditions of 12 possible song elements known as rolls and tours.

The BRCA’s letter continues: “It now remains for us to keep faith and make every effort to ensure enough birds are entered to justify the judges’ long distance travelling and time.”


More information

TO ENTER rollers in competitions, or to order rings, a fancier must be a member of an affiliated club (see below) and have paid an annual affiliation fee to the body from which the rings are ordered.

British Roller Canary Association

   Secretary Irene Westmoreland, tel: 01977 515 754.

National Roller Canary Society

   Secretary Frank Rowley, tel: 01922 691 887.

Wigan Roller Canary Club

Secretary Jim Stidworthy, tel: 01706 841 074.

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