The Former Battery B Aviary

Registered with the American Budgerigar Society

Battery B is now closed, and all available birds have been sold or donated to deserving aviaries or people, except for two favorities! This was due to a lack of time and the desire to move on to other hobbies. The friends we made and the good times we had will always be fond memories, and I'm leaving these pages up to commemorate those good times.

We've been raising birds since 1996 and are enjoying them immensely. On the other hand, our basement sounds like the pet section at K-Mart. That's where the resemblance ends. Our birds are from the English Budgerigar strains of some champion breeders. Regardless of how we do at shows, we get a lot of enjoyment out of watching the birds fly, interact, and raise babies.

Battery B is named in honor of Mustache Ike, my second great grandfather, Ira Miles Slawson. Battery B of the 4th US Artillery (part of the Iron Brigade) is one of the units he served with during the American Civil War. Ike took the wound that would kill him 22 years later at the Battle of Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862. This once forgotten soldier persevered as a farmer and father for many years until his injury got the better of him. He died in prison with the name of his Savior on his lips. For more information on Mustache Ike, go to:

Valuable and Good Service

photo copyright 1998 by Philip J. Tobias

The Upstart and the Patriarch! On the left is Sharpe, named after Bernard Cornwell's character, and he is making his presence known to Romeo, one of our aviary's original founders and father of our most recent Champion, Buffy. Sharpe won the Futurity event at the Great Lakes Budgie Society 1998 show, his first. In October he took Best Novice at Motor City Bird Breeders and 8th Best in Show, making him our 4th Champion. Visit the official page of the GLBS:

photo copyright 1999 by Philip J. Tobias

Here's Sharpe a week after taking Best Novice the 1999 GLBS show. He's 18 months old here and a bit different than his picture above!


On the weekend of July 1-2, 2000, Sharpe took Best Intermediate at the Blue Chip Show and Best Intermediate and 9th Best in Show at the Great Lakes Budgie Society show in Cincinnati. He has won my first leg to Champion, and he is now out to stud!

See Sharpe and the rest of the year 2000 show team on The Millennium Team page.

photo copyright 1998 by Philip J. Tobias

Here is Big Mac, waiting to be judged at the 1998 Blue Chip Exhibition Budgerigar Society show over the July 4th weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio (actually Erlanger, Kentucky at the Airport Holiday Inn). Note the folded over tag. This is the identity of the bird, and it identifies only that the breeder is a Novice and that the bird should be judged in the section for Lt. Green Males who are over a year old. Birds are judged based on their own merit. There are different divisions for Champion, Intermediate, and Novice breeders. Some shows also include Junior and Rare divisions. We currently show in Novice and Junior. The divisions are further divided up into sections, and the sections into classes. Mac became our 1st Champion bird by winning 9th Best in Show and Best Young in Show at the 1997 Mid-West Cage Bird Club. He's also an excellent father: Sharpe is one of his sons.

photo copyright 1998 by Bob Wilson

This is Big Mac after judging at Blue Chip, where he took Best Novice. That's me (Phil Tobias) holding the rascal. Note the show tag is ripped open, as one of the final ceremonies after the judging is completed is to read the names of the breeders whose birds have placed. Blue Chip was a big day for us, as Derek's only entry, Cincinnati, took Best Junior. My birds also took 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, Best Hen and Best Young.

photo copyright 1998 by Philip J. Tobias

Big Mac, 1997-1999

Sorry to report that Big Mac passed away on Aug. 15, 1999. He had been acting weak since January. He has set a tough standard for any of my birds to surpass. As a show bird, he won Three Best Novices, placed on the top bench twice, and performed well in every show he was in. He won my first leg in advancement to Intermediate. As a parent, he was always faithful in his duties and completely trustworthy in the care of his chicks. His son Cletus won the Best Novice at Blue Chip in 1999, gaining my second leg to Intermediate Status. His son Sharpe won the Best Novice at the 1999 Great Lakes Budgie Society show, gaining my third and final leg for Intermediate Status. Big Mac and Buffy's son Johnny Reb took second place Novice at GLBS '99 while their daughter Alafair took 3rd, Best Novice Hen, and Best Novice Young. I will miss this delightful bird who was responsible for me getting hooked on exhibition. Big Mac is gone, but his offspring will carry on the Big Mac Attack!

photo copyright 1998 by Philip J. Tobias

Big Mac on duty in late October, 1998, with the first of two clutches from his last mating.

photo copyright 1998 by Philip J. Tobias

This is Cinci, Derek's bird which took Best Junior at Blue Chip 1998 and at the Indiana Budgerigar Society Show in Marion, Indiana, on Labor Day weekend in 1998 (She is a Sky Spangle Hen ). After a very successful 1998 season in which Derek's birds won Best Junior in all three shows they entered, Derek is retiring from exhibition. He may stage a comeback, one never knows, but for the meanwhile he is enjoying himself throughly in high school and at his job at the movie theater.

photo copyright 1998 by Philip J. Tobias

Buffy is the daughter of the Grey Green at the top of this page, and she is Derek's first show bird, hatching in the summer of 1996. At the GLBS show in August of 98, she not only won Best Junior and Best Junior Hen, she took 3rd Best Hen in Show, placing her on the top bench and earning her the status of Champion. She's our third champion.

Buffy has now retired from show. Her offspring from the October through January mating with Big Mac, a natural and a selective pairing that generated from all the shows they attended together, have done very well at the 1999 Blue Chip and GLBS shows. Derek's 1993 Camaro is this very color. Does that mean it's the Buffymobile? His license plate number begins with his band code, 7D.

photo copyright 1999 by Philip J. Tobias

Johnny Reb (54T-51-98), 2nd Novice GLBS. He's a Grey Green normal, just like his mother and grandfather.

photo copyright 1999 by Philip J. Tobias

Alafair (54T-06-99) took Best Novice Hen at '99 Blue Chip and '99 GLBS, where she also won Best Novice Young. She's a Cinnamon Opaline Grey Green. Photo taken August 1999.

photo copyright 1999 by Philip J. Tobias

This is Stephen, 86M-77-96. He is the father of Spring, Perdu, Summer, Blackbeard, and Harper on the Champions page. Bred by Bill McCollister, he is one heck of a good father.

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