Main Budgie Colours

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Light Green- AKA normal green or wild type

This is the original mutation of budgies - this is what is seen in the wild in Australia. The Green budgie is Yellow Based, with blue feather structure in the body feathers which results in the normal green budgie- remember being taught at primary school- blue and yellow make green!


General body colour: Rump, breast, flanks and under parts are light green and of even depth of colour all the way through.

Markings: The stripes on the head (known as bars) and markings on the wings are black with a yellow outline.

Mask: is generally buttercup yellow with 6 small black dots.

Cheek patches: violet.

Eyes: Black with white iris as ages.

Cere: blue in cocks, brown in hens.

Primary tail feathers: dark blue.

Feet and legs: blue/grey.

Black Dog

Dark Green

Dark greens are light green birds with 1 dark factor. This means they appear darker than the light greens in their body colour.

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Olive Green

Olive greens are light green birds with 2 dark factors. This means they appear an olive green in their body colour.

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Grey Green

Grey Greens are similar to light green birds, except they are an even grey green colour, have grey cheek patches instead of violet and black primary tail feathers, not blue. They are created by having a grey factor being added.

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Sky Blue- aka normal blue

General body colour: Rump, breast, flanks and under parts are skyblue and of even depth of colour all the way through.
Markings: The stripes on the head (known as bars) and markings on the wings are black with a white outline.
Mask: is generally buttercup yellow with 6 small black dots.
Cheek patches: violet.
Eyes: Black with white iris as ages.
Cere: blue in cocks, brown in hens.
Primary tail feathers: dark blue.
Feet and legs: blue/grey.

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Cobalt

Cobalts are sky blue birds with 1 dark factor. This means they appear darker than the sky blues in their body colour.

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Mauve

Mauves are sky blue birds with 2 dark factors. This means they are even darker than the Cobalts. They are often confused with Grey Budgies.
Mauve Budgies have blue cheek patches, where Grey Budgies have Grey- Silver Cheek Patches.

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Lutino

A lutino bird is actually from the green series budgie. It is pure yellow and has red eyes. There are other yellow budgies which have dark eyes- but these are different mutations and not lutinos. They have silvery white cheek patches and fleshy pink legs. The beak is generally an orange colour. Adult cocks do not turn the usual blue in the cere, but stay a fleshy pink.

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Albino

Same as Lutinos, but all white and from the blue series.
Lutinos and albinos are knowns as ‘inos’.

 

Colour Changing Factors

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Violet Factor

Violet is actually a colour ADDING gene, rather than a colour in itself. It is often hard to see if your bird has a violet factor, unless it is paired with cobalt bird which will help bring out the beautiful vibrant colours. The skyblues can also be visually obvious but in a much more subtle way. They are the same as the skyblues but with a violet body colour.

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Grey Factor

Grey is also a colour adding gene, rather than a colour itself. It is a dominant factor. In the green series, it creates grey green budgies, but int eh blue it creates the grey budgies. Grey budgies have grey cheek patches.
The Grey Factor comes in 2 forms - Single Factor and Double Factor - You won't know if your budgie is SF or DF unless you breed it though. For example: If you breed a Grey Budgie to a Non Grey budgie and only get a few Grey Budgies your Budgie is SF(single factor) Grey, If you breed a Grey budgie to a non-grey budgie and get all grey budgies your budgie is a DF(double Factor) Grey.

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Dilute

Dilution is effectively the opposite to the dark factor! Dilute budgies are washed out all over. The head and wing markings are very light, and the body colour is about 80% diluted (washed out).

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Greywing

Grey wing makes the wing pattern and barring grey instead of the normal black. It also dilutes (or washes out) the body colour about 50%.

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Clearwings

Clearwings have very light or no markings on their heads and wings, their body colour is brightened instead of lightened or diluted. The blue series can be known as white-wings and the green series as yellow-wings.

 

Additional Mutations

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The Opaline Gene

Opaline is when the main body colour "bleeds" through to the wings. On a non-opaline budgie, the wings would be black with a white outline (on the blue series) but on an opaline budgie, there would be black markings and the main body colour only.
This mutation is what we call sex-linked. This means that most of the time a visual opaline is generally a hen, although this is not always the case. To get cock opaline, both parents must carry the opaline gene. The Female would be a visual opaline and the male could be either visual or split for Opaline.
Split means they carry the gene but do not show it. This means they will still pass it on to their offspring, despite you not being able to see it yourself! Only cocks can be split opaline- hens are either visual or do not have the gene at all.

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The Cinnamon Gene

Cinnamon is also an added gene. It turns the usually black markings in a bird to brown. The budgie will also have a rich plum coloured eye, although this will only be visible whilst it is still in the nest. Cinnamon is also a sex linked gene, meaning that cocks can be split to it (hide it) but the hens cannot- if they do not have brown markings- they are not cinnamon.

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The Spangle Gene

The spangle gene means that wings are mainly white outlined in black - instead of the normal black wings outlined in white.
This mutation comes in a Double Factor form and a single factor form.
The DF means that the bird will be all yellow or all white (depending on whether from the blue series or the green series) making it look like an albino or lutino, except they have black eyes, not red. DF spangles still get iris rings unlike a Dark Eyed Clears that are the same but without the iris rings.

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Dominant Pieds

Dominant pieds have a band across their stomachs of their base colour (white or yellow) and generally have a ‘thumb patch’ on the back of their heads. They have clear primary wing feathers being either yellow or white.
This mutation also comes in the Double Factor form. When a budgie is a DF  Dominant pied usually there are no markings and the birds is Mainly clear (White for blue series / Yellow for Green series) Double Factor pieds do get iris rings like DF spangles. The cocks can have either pink, blue or a mixture of both.

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Recessive Pieds

Usually recessive pieds have mainly all clear feathers except on the rump & sometimes there is color on the very lower part of the belly, their wing markings are random and are usually clear on the top half. They do not get iris rings. The cocks have a fleshy pink cere.

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Yellow Face Type 1

Yellow faced budgies (aka YF1) are exactly that- yellow faced! They are usually a lighter lemon colour, although the pigment can vary from bird to bird. You will also see some yellow in the bird’s tail feathers. In type 1, the yellow does not interfere with the rest of the bird’s body colour, unchanging it.  It can come in SF and DF- the DF actually cancelling itself out, meaning the bird does not show the golden face, but can pass it on to it’s offspring!

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Yellow Face Type 2

The Yellow face type 2 (aka YF2) also have a lemon colour to their face, however with the second type, the yellow runs through the bird’s body changing some of the body colour. In a normal sky blue bird this can give them a sea-green colour in some, almost bright green in others (depending on the amount that bleeds through). With some birds it only goes half way down their bodies, in others the whole way through!
If you add it to birds with white markings (or lutinos, DF spangles or DF dominant pieds), it can produce a creamy colour, which is known as creamino if with the lutino budgie. It can also combine with other genes, such as the dom pied, only effecting the white areas and leaving the blue almost untouched giving you a blue and yellow bird!

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Goldenface

The golden faced bird is a much deeper, rich yellow than the YF1 and YF2. It is limited only to the face and tail feathers.

 

The Rare Varieties

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Crests

There are three different types of crests: full circular, half circular and tufted. This gives the bird a ‘fringe’ on their heads.

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Texas Clear Body

The Texas Clear Body is a mutation that comes in both the green series and the blue series, although it is more obvious in the blue series. In the blue series, the rump is bright blue which slowly fades to white as it moves up the body. In the green series, the rump is green fading to yellow. They can have a wide range of colour intensity and some barely have any colour at the rump. They have black markings on their wings and back of the head (or brown if combined with cinnamon). They can also be combined with other mutations such as YF1, YF2, Golden face, opaline, etc. They have violet cheek patches. The Texas Clear body is sex linked, meaning hens cannot be split (hide) the genetics so it is either visual or doesn’t have it at all, unlike cocks that can have it int heir genetics and still pass it on to their offspring.

Cat Walking

Easley Clear Body

The Easley Clear body is similar to the Texas clear body, although the gradient from blue to white or green to yellow is generally on a lesser scale, but their colour should still increase it’s intensity as it moves down the body. Their cheek patches are the main difference, being smokey grey.

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Fallows

Fallows have red eyes and an orange beak. The hens have the normal brown cere, whilst the adult cocks have a fleshy pink colour. The tail and markings are usually greyish brown, a paler, greyer brown than a cinnamon budgie would have. The body colour is very reduced and can be quite pale, sometimes nearly white or yellow (especially if opaline is also present), but often it is strong enough on the rump to determine the true colour.  There are several fallow types; the German fallow, Japanese fallow, Australian fallow, English fallow and Scottish fallow.
The most common two are the English and German, they look very much the same except for the eyes. The German fallows have a darker red eye with a white iris ring. The English have paler red eyes with a similar red coloured iris ring, so it appears they are solid red.

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Rainbows

There are many that state they have rainbow budgies, but more often than not they have something very similar. A true rainbow is a complete mix of other mutations which are hard to combine! These are the opaline, clear wing, golden face genes on the blue series bird). Some use spangles instead of clear wings which are not true rainbows, but they are still very beautiful birds.

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Saddleback

The Saddleback budgie has the saddle or the V-area clearly defined, not because there are not any markings, but because of the fact that the markings in the saddle area are dark grey on an otherwise normal background (black-marked) bird. The bird also resembles an Opaline in that the head markings are minimal but where they do appear they are also dark grey rather than black. The bars in the bird tend to be closer together. The rest of the bird is like a normal budgie.

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Slate

The slate budgie is a slate blue colour. It has deep violet cheek patches and the body colour can vary. Slate can come in three depths of shade and in both the green and blue series and on all other mutations. However it is difficult to recognise a slate green, so most of the time only slate blues are known. This is another sex linked addition.

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Lacewings

Lacewings should be easy to recreate- they are basically cinnamon mixed with an ino (lutino or albino) which creates either an all white or all yellow budgie with brown wing markings. For some reason they are hard to breed, which is why they are classed as a rare variety.

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Helicopters

Helicopter budgies are so named due to their feathers that have mutated to create a helicopter chopper pattern on the backs of their wings.

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Blackface- aka coal face

A black faced budgie is one that has a lot of melanin which means that the black lines get thicker and more prominent. They are closer together, creating the look of a black face.

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Blackwing

The black wing is the same as blackface except the melanin effects the wings making them appear black instead of the face.

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Anthracites

Anthracites are only found in the blue series. They are much darker grey than greys, which is called an anthracite colour. They have a rich, dark anthracite cheek patch colour as well. They are a rare variety because they are notoriously difficult to breed, being one of the only mutations which never seem to follow the same rule twice! They are a very new variety in the UK, being around for around 4 years and very few being bred.