Budgie Color and Color Mutation

Budgie Color and Color Mutation

In this article, we are going to cover all the mayor budgie color, Budgie Genetics & Incomplete Dominance on which all the other colors are based.

Being the most famous pet bird across the globe, budgies happen to be a hot topic among the breeder community. Always up for trying new color mutations to please the bird lovers, breeders are no less than scientists when it comes to understanding the genetics of the budgies. They know exactly how to experiment with the genes to have this little bird representing a particular characteristic, color. But who found out the core of our life; the genetics and for that matter, of the budgies’ too? Let’s know it all here.

For most of us, Budgies represent only green little parakeets. But these cute little birds have a range of variations in colors. Did you know that Budgies can be found in more than thirty recognized colors? But the fact is that all their colors are based on a basic palette of blue and yellow pigments, as blue and yellow together form green. And you’re familiar with the fact that green is the most dominant color in wild Budgies.

But there is a lot beyond these basics covering Budgies’ color and mutations. Basically, they are a mere classification and Budgie body color can be discussed under two broad groups:

Where the Green series manages to have all the yellow in it, the blue series have all the whites. Or, all the non-yellow budgies.

Budgie’s natural color is green.

Budgie Color Mutation

Budgies have been bred in almost every color of the rainbow except probably pink and red. Learning the color mutation of budgies needs wholesome research. However, we have tried simplifying it for you. Let’s dive into the colorful budgie world.

Budgies: The Green Series

budgie color

Light Green Budgies

This color is bright grass green. Being the original color of budgies, this looks lovely. It takes the presence of both blue and yellow to make this shade of green. There is no dark factor in it. In these budgies, the cheek patches would be violet and the tail, dark blue.

Olive Green Budgies

This one is a muddy green budgie shade, a combination of two dark factors. One can mistake this one with grey-green. But the cheek patches and long tail are enough to differentiate. Olive green budgie body is blotchy most of the time.

Dark Green Budgies

This color forms when one dark factor is present. This one is the intermediate shade of green budgies. They look darker than the light green ones and their tail and cheek patches are similar to that of an olive green budgie.

budgie color

Grey Green Budgies

This mutation has a slight grey wash over the green color of a budgie and creates a color similar to an olive green one. But they can be differentiated with cheek patches and tails. The grey-green may vary depending on the number of dark factors available.

Violet Budgies

Here comes a rich shade of green. After grey washes over the green base, a violet gene is the next. It can make a violet dark green budgie. In this mutation, the colorfulness of budgies will increase. As an example, a light green budgie with violet genes looks like a dark green budgie.

The Blue Series Budgie color

budgie color

Sky Blue Budgies

The lightest shade of blue, this budgie color is the most loved color mutation across the globe. The tone has no dark factor. It is a light green tone that is achieved after removing the yellow. Removing yellow leaves the budgie with a soft, lovely, and iridescent pale sky blue tone. Cheek patches of sky blue budgies would be violet and the tail would appear dark blue.

Cobalt Blue Budgies

A bit darker than the sky blue ones, the cobalt blue budgies are rarer than the former. The color features one dark factor. Again the cheek patches are bright yellow and the tail is dark blue.

Mauve Budgies

When two dark factors meet, they make this darkest blue, the mauve budgie. The bird may appear muddy and greyish. He will seem to be more blue than grey. Mauve budgie often looks patchy-colored.

Grey Budgies

Don’t confuse this grey budge with the grey-green. There is a grey wash over a blue body. And the outcome is a grey budgie. The tail feathers are black and cheek patches are blue or grey. Grey may vary in light grey, medium grey, and dark grey. It all depends on the number of dark factors added.

budgie color

Violet Budgies

In the violet gene, the whole body color of the budgie would turn violet but the tail would be dark blue. This budgie will appear full of dark and light violet wash over his body.

The violet gene comes from enriched and darkened base colors. A clue for the presence of the violet gene is that you may see a richer violet shade on your budgie’s neck region. Violet budgies are often a double factor of sky blue and cobalt violet.

How to Produce a Rainbow Classic Budgie color

A classic rainbow budgie is the next level of Budgie color mutation and is flaunted by breeders proudly. The rainbow budgie mutation can be said to be a yellow-faced blue series budgie with opaline whitewings. By hearing the word rainbow, you can imagine how beautiful this budgie would be. The soft combination of all the colors and textures seem perfect.

To produce a rainbow

Both the parent budgies must be whitewing or split for whitewing.
The male budgie must be opaline or split for opaline.
One of them must be a yellow face type 2 budgie.
Both male and female budgies must be blue or split for blue.

So following these color mutation rules, a classic rainbow budgie can be produced.

Most Common Mistakes in Budgie Color Mutations

When there is just a simple classification of the basic grouping of budgie mutation colors, there can be many such colors that may confuse you. For example, many people confuse between similar-looking colors. Here are some shades that may make you think for a while which color of a budgie is it.

budgie color
Budgie of Gitte Madsen

Budgies Mutation is easily mistaken between these color very often:

  • Olive Green & Grey Green
  • Mauve & Grey
  • Normal & Opaline
  • Grey-wing & Cinnamon
  • Lace-wing & Fallow
  • Dark-Eyed Clear, INO, & DF Spangle
  • Clear-wing, Greywing, & Dilute
  • Yellowface, Yellowface, & Goldenface
budgie color


These were the basic budgie body color mutations. A wide range of all these thirty budgie colors is a great exploration. And we have covered all the major budgie colors on which all the other colors are based. Budgie mutation is a colorful and beautiful transformation to an already cute budgie. Mutation just adds more charm to the most loved bird pet in the world.

Budgie Genetics Incomplete Dominance

Father of Budgie Genetics

An Austrian monk, Gregor Mendel was the first history in mankind to explain and name the science of acquiring features as genetics. His study was used by Dr. C. H. Cremer and Dr. H. Duncker in 1920 for decoding the genetics of budgies. The laws set by them have since been universally applied to predict the color of the offspring from the parent pair. Though an ocean of deep knowledge, we’ll here touch the most relevant branch of budgie genetics: the incomplete dominance. This is a very genealogy theory that has earned this small little bird humongous fame in the pet world.

What is Incomplete Dominance?

If you are a budgie lover, you’ll know the basics about the Dominant or Recessive genes. As a quick recap, the offspring may carry a dominant+recessive gene from his parent; a dominant+dominant gene; or a recessive+recessive gene. In the cases where the dominant gene will be present, it is sure to have a win and appear in the offspring; like in the first two instances given here. But in the case of the third scenario of recessive+recessive, only the recessive trait will win. This is called ‘Complete Dominance’ of a trait. But this is what does not happen in Incomplete Dominance.

Incomplete Dominance occurs where, unlike Complete Dominance, no one trait completely wins over another. A third intermediary trait is formed which happens to be a certain combination of each of the parent genes. Such a dominance mechanism is seen in the polygenic trait inheritance, i.e. color of the eye or skin. It is also known as Partial Dominance or Semi-Dominance but should not be confused with Codominance.

Incomplete Dominance vs Codominance

Incomplete Dominance is many times thought to be the same as Codominance. Though both are a bit similar to each other, there is still a major difference between both; their outcome. Where in an Incomplete Dominance, the resultant trait is a blend of both the parent traits, there is no such blend seen in the Codominance. Both the traits of the parent genes can be seen individually side-by-side without producing the third trait by merging into each other seamlessly.

Budgie Genetics & Incomplete Dominance

The concept of Incomplete Dominance in Budgies got highlighted due to the experiments happening around the color mutations of them. The color of your budgie can be predicted with this concept easily. Understanding it viz-a-viz budgie colors would help us nailing the way incomplete dominance occurs in even other hereditary traits. Let’s get started about it

1.There are 3 shades of budgies; light, medium, and dark. What color the offspring will inherit, depends on the gene of the parents. The presence of Dark (D) genes in any of the parents would make the chick Dark. And if there are no-dark (d) aka light genes, the result will be an only light color.

To make it easier:

  • 1 Dark parent + 1 Dark parent (i.e. both parents are dark) = Dark shade Offspring
  • 1 no-dark parent + 1 no-dark parent (i.e. both light parents) =Light shade Offspring
  • 1 Dark parent + 1 no-dark parent = Medium shade Offspring

2. This is how all the colors of the budgies are categorized:

  • Light-colored budgies: Light Green & Skyblue colored budgies fall in this color category.
  • Medium-colored Budgies: Dark-green & Cobalt budgies fall in this color category.
  • Dark-colored Budgies: Olive & Mauve budgies belong to this color group.

This color genealogy is further explored to affect the color of the offsprings and produce a new combination.

3. To have the desired color of an offspring, breeders base their breeding by selecting the pair that will eventually give the desired outcome. Here is an example of how it works:

Budgie Genetics Incomplete Dominance

  • In the top boxes, one parent gene has been entered and on the boxes on the left-hand side, genes of the other parents have been written. So, combining the presence of each box gene from the top+left side gives us the resultant gene. Say, two dark-factors green colored would give us the Dark shade aka Olive in the offspring. This shows the Incomplete Dominance of green color by forming a third shade by blending the original two.

4. Talking about the percentage of any parents’ gene that is passed onto the offspring, it is purely governed by the Mendelian theory of genetics. How much percent of the gene will be passed have been calculated based on the experiments performed over a wide range of different budgie pairings. Though practical results may vary from the theoretical findings, the following table gives us a general expectation of cross-mating various color shades:

Budgie Genetics Incomplete Dominance

5. From here on, the chart is further carried on by the breeders, say for breeding a Cobalt Hen Budgie & a Cobalt Cock budgie, the prediction would be made by combining the parent genes from top & left and so on.

6. Similarly, other characteristics like eyes, etc. of the budgie offspring can be predicted based on this chart of Incomplete Dominance.

Summing Up Budgie Genetics Incomplete Dominance

Though complicated for new budgie lovers, for budgie color aficionados, understanding the genealogy behind what drew them here has always been a subject of fancy. The table aka the Punnett Square always helps a great deal in understanding it the easy way.


Alen AxP is an experienced budgie owner who is passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise on budgie care. Through their articles and resources, they provide valuable insights and practical tips on topics such as diet, housing, and health, to help other budgie owners create a happy and thriving environment for their feathered friends.

5 thoughts on “Budgie Color and Color Mutation

  1. Pingback: Rare Budgie Colors
  2. I would like to tell you that two female budgies, one yellow and one completely wiite shared a nest successfully to raise five yellow budgies and one pale blue and white They worked as a team to raise their family and did not fight at all. The father was a green-black father who assisted with the raising of these birds. Lovely to watch. regards, Patricia Kennedy Western Australia.

  3. Pingback: Uncommon Budgie Colours - PB-NEWS
  4. Pingback: Black Budgie is Anthracite Budgie Color Mutation
  5. Pingback: Male vs Female Parakeet: How to Identify the Differences?

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