John Ward


 Clearwings are one of the latest mutations to have arrived in the U.K. from the Continent in the last few years

It appears that at the present time there are two types of the Clearwing mutation, one that originated in Holland, and the other from Belgium,

The main difference in the two being, that whilst the Belgium model has the typical lacing effect on the underside of the belly, the type favoured in Holland has an almost white belly with no markings.

The Dutch type is the one most likely to be found in the U.K at the present time; I have heard that there are moves afoot in Europe to combine the two types and to accept the Dutch Standard. Although I have not heard from anyone to confirm this.


Clearwings are available in Chestnut, Fawn, and Grey. As with all Bengalese mutations there are of course varying shades of these colours ranging from very dark to dilute.


The ideal clearwing Bengalese should have a normal coloured head, chin, throat, Upper breast, Rump, Tail and under tail coverts. 

The wings and mantel should ideally be white (or at least as light as possible)

Giving a nice contrast between the two colours on the birds.


It is thought the best way to breed clearwings is to line breed them, and then to select the birds with the lightest wings for your future breeding programme.

If possible you should try to avoid the use of dilutes when breeding Clearwings, as this  will eventually lead to the head and tail colours becoming too pale in colour.

You should also not be tempted to use any of the variegated colours in with your Clearwings, this is sure to cause you lots of problems with white feathers showing up in undesired places in the future.

In my limited experience with clearwings I have found that the wing colour on cock birds is more likely to be the colour required by the show standards, whereas the hens will have slightly more colour in the wings. Although this is not a problem when breeding clearwings, you may find it better to show two cocks, and only use the hens in the breeding room.

As with all other colours of Bengalese, Clearwings should be shown in matched pairs,

But to find a Cock, and Hen, with the same colour on the wings may be difficult particularly for the first year or so of breeding. Once you have bred your stock and selected the best coloured Clearwings to breed with for a few years, it may be possible to breed cocks and hens that have the same wing colour.

There is no reason why you should not show two hens, but they are most likely to be beaten by a pair with lighter coloured wings.

The Clearwing mutation is Recessive, so it is thought the best way to improve colour is to pair a Clearwing with a good coloured normal bird, ie. Self Fawn, if you are breeding Fawn Clearwings, Self Greys if breeding Grey Clearwings, and so on.

When using Self coloured birds in your breeding programme all the chicks bred will be visual self’s, but will carry the Clearwing factor in both Cocks and Hens.

Birds that carry the gene for another mutation in their make-up that is not visual, are said to be split and are shown; Normal/Split

The Clearwing Bengalese appear to carry the Pastel factor, so unfortunately the depth  of colour visible on your chicks are likely to vary considerably, and even nest mates can vary from very little colour to almost full colour.

One of the main features we should be looking for in the clearwing mutation is the contrast of colour between the wings and the coloured feathers on the rest of the bird.


So the darker the head, tail, etc, and the lighter the wings, and belly, the more striking the bird will look


Introducing self’s into your stud of Clearwings is not a quick fix; it will probably take one or two breeding seasons to reap the full benefits.


The following information should give you an indication of what to expect when you introduce Normal coloured birds into your breeding programme. 


1st year; Normal Self Fawn Cock or Hen X Fawn Clearwing Cock or Hen, will produce in theory. 50% Self Fawn/Clearwing Cocks, and 50% Self Fawn/Clearwing Hens. There would be no visual Clearwings produced from this pairing.


2nd year; pair best of your young split Cock birds to Clearwing Hens, and the best split Hens to your best Clearwing Cock.

You should then theoretically produce 50% Clearwings, (Cocks or Hens), and 50% Normal/Clearwings.


It is possible to produce Clearwings by pairing two split birds, but the chances are cut dramatically.

From this type of pairing you would theoretically, produce: 25% Normal/Clearwing Cocks, 25%Normal Cocks. 25% Clearwing Hens and 25% Normal/Clearwing Hens.


Only by test pairing the visual normals will you find out those that are split for the Clearwing mutation and those that are 100% normal.


Pairing Clearwing X Clearwing will produce 100% Clearwing Cocks and Hens.