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Colours For Beginners

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Colour for Beginners

Jim Hutton

 

It is sometimes difficult for the beginner to identify the various colours and varieties that are in the makeup of our budgerigars.

 

The original budgerigars that are in the wild, and the ones that were brought into this country in the early l900s, were all what is commonly known as Light Greens. Then along came the Yellows and in the early 1920s there were Skyblues bred, I think, firstly in Japan. In the 30s emerged the Opalines; in the 40s Australian and English Greys appeared on the scene. In the 60s we saw the emergence of the Spangles, and finally, the latest to rear its head is the Saddleback . At the moment there are so few of them, so it is safe to ignore them.

 

In this article we shall concentrate on three points,

 

the basic colours

the different varieties

sex linkage

 

Firstly, let me say that Green being the original colour, you can get Greens split for Blue, but you cannot get Blue, split for Green. It is just not possible to have any bird carrying the Green, Green must be visible.

 

Greens

Greens come in three different colours, you get Light Green, Dark Green and Olive Green. In each colour variation there is a darker shade than the previous one. Purely in the colour, you will have the genes which can breed as well as Greens but also can breed Blues.

 

Blues

Blues also come in three different shades, firstly you get Skyblue, which as the name suggests is roughly the colour of the sky, you get a dark blue commonly called Cobalt, and then you have the third blue, still darker commonly called Mauve. As I mentioned earlier, Blues when paired together cannot produce a Green. However if you pair a Blue and a Green together it is possible to breed Blues and Greens. To do this, the Green must be genetically masking Blue, otherwise the Green being dominant to the Blue, you will only get Greens.

 

Grey Greens

Grey Greens also come in three colour variations, again in light, dark and a very dark Grey Green. However, with Grey Greens there is an additional factor involved, Grey Greens are a mutant, being bred from a Grey and a Green, Grey being a dominant factor, cannot be carried in split form. So you cannot, at least in theory, breed Greys. However, Grey Greens are split for Blue, so when you pair two Grey Greens together, you can breed Greens, Grey Greens, Blues and Greys. There is another factor which must be taken into account, there is such an anomaly in Grey Greens and that is the fact that you can breed double factor grey greens, when that occurs you will usually breed only grey greens, I will go into more detail later.

 

Greys

Greys are like Blues, there are three different colours, light, dark and a much darker grey. It is possible to breed Blues and Greys from a pair of Greys. However they, like the Grey Greens, can also be double factor Greys, but I hope to go into greater detail later.

 

Lutino and Albino

Lutino and Albino are similar to the Green and Blue, except with all red-eyed birds, they are devoid of all colour pigment. They are yellow instead of green, white instead of blue, and of course, they have red eyes in lieu of black eyes. The difference being in their breeding characteristics. Red-eyed birds are what we call sex-linked, that is the females are always either Lutino or Albino, they are always visual and can never be split for Lutino or Albino, whereas the cocks can be either Lutino or Albino, as well as Green split Lutino, or Blue split Albino. So for example, you can have a Green cock bird split for Lutino, and he is capable of breeding Lutino hens even if paired to a Green hen, but to pair a Lutino hen to a Green cock, you will only breed Greens, the cocks being split Lutinos. The Lutino and Albino Breeders Society

 

Varieties

It doesn't matter whether you take Greens or Blues, there are a series of different varieties. I shall try to list them with their differing characteristics. They are not in alphabetical nor any other order, just as they come to mind, starting with:

 

Opalines

Opalines have the full body colour of Normals, but they differ in wing markings. Where Normals have black and yellow markings on their wings in the Greens and black and white in the Blues, the Opalines have black, but instead of either yellow or white, they have a diluted body colour. In addition, at the back of the neck they have a clear V, only the body colour is showing, no black markings at all

 

Cinnamons

Cinnamons have half the depth of body colour of the Normals. However, their wing markings are a light cinnamon-brown in lieu of black as in the normal colours. They are in all the normal colours including Grey Green and Grey.

 

Opaline Cinnamon

Opaline Cinnamons are a mixture of Opaline and Cinnamon, having half the body-depth of the Normal. However, the wings are similar to the Opaline, they however, have cinnamon markings in lieu of black, but they have the body colour instead of yellow or white, and also they have the clear V with body colour in lieu of markings.

 

Greywings

Greywings appear in all the normal colours, Green, Blue, Grey Green and Grey. They have a suffused body colouring and the wing markings are a pastel shade of grey on either a yellow or white background, depending whether they are yellow or white. The Rare Variety and Colour Budgerigar Society

 

Clearwings

Yellow wings are the Green series and White wings are the Blue series. They have either a bright green or blue body colouring. The wings should be either Yellow or White, depending on whether they are Green or Blue. Unfortunately, they no longer have clear wings, but tend to have suffused markings on the wings, some lightly-suffused and some so heavily-suffused that they resemble Greywings. The best way to identify them is to examine the cheek patches, Clearwings always have bright violet patches, greywings have pale blue cheek patches The Clearwing Budgerigar Breeders Association

 

Dilutes

Yellows are the Green version, Whites are the Blues. You can get Grey Yellows and Grey Whites. They should not be mixed up with Lutinos and Albinos who have red-eyes with a white iris. Yellows and Whites have black eyes with the white iris, the body colour of the Yellows range from a washed-out yellow to an apple green, the Whites range from a lightly-suffused blue to a darker blue, the wings are lightly-suffused.

 

Recessive Pieds

Recessive Pieds come in all the normal colourings, including Cinnamon, Opaline etc. The colouring is irregular patches of yellow and bright grass green. On the wings, it is mainly yellow with black undulations in a random pattern. Eyes should be solid black without an iris. In the Blue series substitute white for yellow and blue for green. They are also non sex-linked, but I shall cover that later.

 

Dark-eyed Clears

Dark-eyed Clears, as the name suggests, are yellow in place of green and white in place of blue. They have black eyes with no iris and they are non sex-linked, similar to Recessive Pieds.

 

Fallows

Fallows are a variety and not a colour. They cover the whole range of colours. The way to describe them is that they are basically, a lighter than normal body colour, and in place of black markings on the wings, they have light brown markings. There are two varieties, namely, the English Fallow, which has plum-coloured eyes without an iris, they are non sex-linked. The other is the German Fallow which also have the plum eyes, but they have an iris and they are sex-linked. The Rare Variety and Colour Budgerigar Society

 

Dominant Pieds

Dominant Pieds are also a variety, coming in all the colours previously mentioned. They are however, different from the varieties previously mentioned. They are neither sex-linked nor non sex-linked. They are what is known as a Dominant variety. What that means is, that when paired to a non-Pied, they will produce approximately 50% Dominant Pieds and 50% Normals. None of the young can be split for Dominant Pied. The markings should be in the green coloration, and the body should be solid green, with irregular patches of yellow, they should have a patch of yellow at the back of the head but this is now optional. The wings should have patches of yellow, with the flights being grizzled, the feet are a mottled pink and the eyes are black with a white iris. In the Blue series substitute white for yellow.

 

Spangles

Spangles are another Dominant variety. They appear in all colours and varieties, and they have the same breeding pattern as the Dominant Pied ie., they produce 50% Spangles when paired to a non-Spangle partner and again they cannot be split for Spangle. In the Green series they have a bright green body colour, however, the wing markings differ from Normals in that the black and yellow wing markings of the Normals are reversed in the Spangle, they are yellow and black instead. The other peculiar feature of the Spangle is the fact that when two Spangles are paired together you get some of the young devoid of the normal Spangle markings. In the case of the Greens they are yellow all over, including the wings, whereas Blue series are all white. The correct definition for such a bird is a Double Factor Spangle. The Spangled Budgerigar Breeders Associaton

 

Yellow-faces

Yellow-faces are another Dominant variety. Obviously, they only appear in the Blue series. They can be also in the Green series but it is extremely difficult to identify them. In the Blue series they should have a yellow face in lieu of the white, the yellow should go over the head to the back of the neck, it is a major fault for the yellow to extend into the body shade.

 

Crested

Again, the Crest is a variety, and can be seen in all colours and varieties, including Spangles. They should have all the features of normal colours, but they should have a crest or tuft on the top of their heads. They are a non sex-linked variety.

Now, we will try to group together the various varieties, at the same time, endeavouring to give the various sex patterns of the varieties, including the various anomalies that can turn up. It is a known fact that the Green is normally dominant to most other colours. The anomaly can be when paired to a Grey Green, then you will get a percentage of Greens and Grey Greens. It is not possible when you pair two Blues together, to produce Greens. A bird can never be split for Green. Now, when you look to other matings, that is when interesting results can happen. This is where sex-linkage plays an important part. When two Normal birds are paired together, (what we mean by Normal is that they are not split for any colour or variety) then all you should get from the mating is all Normal birds. For example, take a pair of Greens and you will only get Green chicks. However, if either one of the Greens, or both of them, were to be split for Blue, then you will get Greens and Blues. The Green chicks, instead of being Normal Greens would be Green split Blue. Let us take it a stage further and try to identify some of the other varieties and their effect on the breeding pattern.

 

Normals

Today, there are very few birds that you could say are pure Normals. What we mean is, there are not many birds that are not carrying something else in their genes. It is possible for a bird to be carrying, in a hidden form, colour and variety. For example, cock birds can carry numerous genes for a series of varieties, and will require test mating to establish them.

 

Sex-linked

Sex-linked varieties are numerous, and what we mean by sex-linkage is the simple fact that, when a variety is sex-linked, only the cock birds can carry the genes in a split or hidden form. For example, the following table should show it clearly. The following list are the varieties that are sex-linked.They all have the similar breeding characteristics, in as much that only the cocks can carry the variety in a split or hidden form. The hens cannot carry the variety in a hidden form, they must be and only can be visual. In the following list I will show not only the breeding characteristics of Opalines, but all other sex-linked varieties as follows:

 

Opalines

Opaline Cinnamons

Opaline Greywings

Cinnamons

Lutino

Albino

Lacewings

German Fallows

The Opaline

 

Non Sex-Linked Varieties

The following list is the varieties that are non sex-linked:

Greywings

Clearwings

Yellows

Whites

Recessive Pieds

Dark-eyed Clears

English Fallows

Crests

 

I have covered most of the normal coloured birds and varieties, obviously there are a few I have left out, such as Clearbodies and Saddlebacks, being fairly new varieties there is plenty of time to elaborate on them at a later date. As with the expectation tables, I have deliberately left out the percentages you are expected to get. Like all theories, they are worked out of an expected 100 birds, therefore, what you can expect to get in one nest bears no resemblance to what you get if you bred 100 from that particular pair.

 

I only hope the position is a little clearer for our Beginners and I have not clouded the rather complex situation.

 

Colour for Beginners by Jim Hutton

Edited by daz

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Daz this is a really clear and easy to follow guide to understanding how the mutations work, I was facinated by the post and have now saved the link for regular reference! One small question I would like to ask is, if a cock is split for anything, does it actually show in his colours, or is it a surprise when the babies hatch??

:)

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no way to tell by looking at the bird. You know know split when you know the history of the bird. If you odn't know then it's all a fun surpirse.

 

I can't believe I didn't see this daz :dbb1: good post.

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Is it possible to get a YF type 2 spangled pied??? *dreams*

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Yup! They're the absolute cutest birdies! :dbb1:

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Right then... the search is on!!! :dbb1:

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Riebie just look at bea sig and there is your dream bird :dbb1: (ozzie)

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Oh :dbb1: I thought green budgies always had yellow faces... *adds Ozzie to steal list* Bea's not going to be too happy with me :devil: Are they always only yellow & green or can you get blue ones too??? Guess I still have heaps to learn!

 

Sorry about your beautiful budgie Daz ;)

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Ozzie's actually a goldenface not a green:

ozzie-dude023Custom.jpg

You can see the blue in this picture waaay better. :D

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Mine is a parblue. (Partially Blue Partially green) it's caused by the goldern face bleeding into the blue causing the green tinge

 

Bea is that a yellow stripe across Ozzie's chest :)

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Yeah.....why?

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I didn't know she was a dominant pied.. Thats how observant I am these days :)

Edited by daz

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Oh, (Laughing out loud)! Yup, he's my gorgeous little spangle pied. :)

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aww that one I saw at the shope looked like Ozzie but more blue on the bottom half and very pastal shades :)

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head over to my site Paddle I have a genetics page with pictures if you wish to look.

 

Just click my sig.

Edited by Nerwen

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Dilutes

Yellows are the Green version, Whites are the Blues. You can get Grey Yellows and Grey Whites. They should not be mixed up with Lutinos and Albinos who have red-eyes with a white iris. Yellows and Whites have black eyes with the white iris, the body colour of the Yellows range from a washed-out yellow to an apple green, the Whites range from a lightly-suffused blue to a darker blue, the wings are lightly-suffused.

 

Hi, I was just wondering about something here. We have an Albino cock bird that is pure white but with a blue sheen to the feather, but he has black eye's with a white iris. Is he a normal albino, or is he something different?

Thanks Sandy, Josh's mum...

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If he has black eyes not red then he isn't an Albino. With the ring it rules out DEC. He could be a double factor Spangle or as you pointed out a dilute. Does he have any light markings on the wings?

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also as an add on to what Nerwen has said.....does he have a blue cere ?

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Here's a photo of him...

Sandy

albinohead.jpg

 

whitebudgie.jpg

 

Also, here is a photo of a new cock bird that we got yesterday. A Texas clearbody... He's very nice and very big.

P1060568.1.jpg

 

And the hen that we've put in with him....

skyspanglehen.jpg

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He might be a black eyed self.

Description of a black eyed self:

 

A black eyed self bird should have their back, rump, breast flanks and underparts all an even shade of colour throughout.

 

 

MARKINGS: Faint markings are found on their cheeks, back of head, neck and wings.

 

 

EYES: Dark with a white iris ring.

 

 

LIGHT YELLOW (Buttercup) : has white suffused or pale violet cheek patches and a neutral tail feather suffused with ground colour.

 

 

DARK YELLOW: has white suffused or pale violet cheek patches and a neutral tail feather suffused with darker ground colour than that of the Light Yellow variety.

 

 

OLIVE YELLOW: has white suffused or pale violet cheek patches, and a neutral tail feather, suffused with darker ground colour than the Dark Yellow variety.

 

 

White: has white suffused or pale violet cheek patches, and a neutral tail feather with ground colour suffusion.

Edited by Nerwen

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Hi Guys,

I have had some babies hatch recently and one has its eyes open and they are red,

does that mean it is yellow or white?

This is the Dad & Mum (Dad on the left the yellow one)

 

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj183/k...ie/DSCF1556.jpg

Thanks,

Kirsten

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Its going to be white :o

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Dad's Split for ino.

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