Sunday, August 22, 2010

Colours & Mutations (1)

Erlend told me he is curious about all the colours that a budgie can have, so I looked it up for him :)

There are not only colouration mutations, but also budgies with different kinds of striping patterns, and extremely rare variations. I'll summarize them in a few posts. This is the first one:

Colouration mutations

  • The wild budgerigar
The original wild budgerigar is yellow-based with a blue feather structure in the body feathers (the feathers located at the breast and belly area). This results in the classic green colouration of the wild budgie (yellow and blue makes green). The striping pattern on the head and wings are also of the normal type.

  • Base Colour
All budgies are categorized into one of two basic varieties: yellow-base or white-base.

A yellow-based budgie results in the classic green variety (the wild bugerigar) and a white-based budgie results in the common blue variety (picture on the left). You can see the base colours in the mask feathers (area above beak and ceres and also to the left and right of the beak) and between the black stripes of the head and the wings.

  • Dark Factor
All budgies have a level of "dark factor", going from no dark factor to two dark factors.
Dark factor basically is the same as the level of darkness in the blue feather structure in the body feathers. Wild budgies have no dark factor, so they are light green. One dark factor in a green (yellow-based) budgie results in a dark green colour.

This budgie has dark factor 1, unlike his ancestors from the wild

Two dark factors in a green budgie result in the "olive variety" '(see picture below)

The same goes for white-based budgies:

Left: Blue budgie with no dark factor = Sky Blue Budgie.
Middle: Blue budgie with one dark factor = Cobalt Budgie.
Right: Blue budgie with two dark factors: Mauve Budgie.

That is a lot of colours and information... and it's only the beginning! For more details, go to


  1. I'm always ready for more budgie awesomeness ;-) <3

  2. I got my first budgie last might and she loves to be with me (I think I won her over because she hung onto my glasses for like 5-10 minutes, and I've only had her for one full day.) I played her some budgie vids (might that have something to do with it?)and she went nuts, which I got a huge kick out of. I named her Alie and she was raised Catholic XP J/K. She actually enjoys being on me whenever I hold her and she's not freaked out. BTW she's a BEAUTIFUL Sky Blue. My very pretty girl will be spoiled for years. :)

  3. I think we have black-faced budgies here in Australia... green and now blue in a new badge of babies... :)