As bird owners we absolutely love how beautiful our birds are.
They come in all sorts of colors, often bringing a bright spark to our homes.
Red, blue, yellow, and grey, we love them all and appreciate the beauty of our birds.
My friends know that I am an avid parakeet enthusiast.
If there is anything to know about parakeets, I will find out.
They are looking for a new parakeet and they asked me about the most and least common colors.
This question isn’t one I had considered before, so I knew I had to go and investigate.
Here are my results. What is the rarest parakeet color?
Anthracite parakeets, a dark charcoal grey color, is one of the rarest colors for a parakeet. Other rare colors can be rainbow, clearwing, and lacewing parakeets. These rare colors are caused by genetic mutations, so a rare color can become more and more common over time. For example, rainbow parakeets are becoming more common.
Parakeet colors are extremely variable, and so it is challenging to define exactly what a “rare” color is for these beautiful birds.
Parakeet color variations are caused by genetic mutations.
This means that selective breeding can lead to one color becoming more and more common.
In this article we will explore parakeet colors, how they emerge, and how they’re categorized.
We will also dive more deeply into the world of rare genetic mutations leading to some very unique parakeet colors.
What are the most common colors for parakeets?
For captive parakeets, colors fall into two basic categories, white-based and yellow-based.
White-based parakeets include all lighter colors like blue, grey, violet, and white.
Yellow-based parakeets include colors like light and dark green.
Green is thought to be the original parakeet color, and it is the most common color you’ll see among wild parakeets.
This is so that the birds can blend in with the trees.
Common markings for green parakeets include blue cheeks, yellow stripes and a yellow head, and blue tail feathers.
Green parakeets can be light, dark, or olive green.
Green parakeets are more common because these genes are dominant.
Blue is another common color, though it is slightly harder to breed for because the genes for blue parakeets are recessive.
Blue parakeets also come in three shades and they often have markings that include a white head, blue stripes, spots, and purple cheeks.
What are some of the less common colors?
Purple parakeets tend to be less common than green or blue.
Though it is becoming more common, purple parakeets are often still considered a rarity.
These beautiful birds have darker cheek markings, black-tipped tails, and white trim.
Their purple genes are semi-dominant.
The anthracite parakeet mutation is one of the rarest colors.
These birds have very dark grey or black feathers, including some white markings. It is thought that this mutation began with breeders in Germany.
As such most owners who live elsewhere will have to import their anthracite parakeet.
Similar to the anthracite budgie, blackface parakeets are also quite rare.
They first appeared in the Netherlands in the 1990s.
They are grey with intricate white markings and a black head and face.
This is a very distinctive color variety.
Are male and female parakeets usually different colors?
Parakeet feather color is not related to gender.
Their color type is a result of breeding and genetics.
However, its color will impact your ability to determine the parakeet’s gender.
You can visually sex a parakeet by examining the cere, the band of raised skin above the bird’s nostrils.
Note that this method is only possible if your bird is over 12 months old.
If the cere is white, light tan, or light blue then your parakeet is female.
If the cere is pink, blue, or purplish then your parakeet is male.
Feather coloring is relevant because birds with diluted color, including albinos, won’t who any change to their cere color when they reach maturity.
Another clue may be the vibrancy of your bird’s coloring.
In the wild males do tend to have more vibrant feathers than females.
However captive parakeets especially have been bred for bright distinctive coloring, making this method unreliable.
Will parakeets change color as they age?
The biggest change will occur when your parakeet molts for the first time.
Depending on color, this can change their appearance quite a bit.
For example, they may become brighter, and more colors may emerge.
In the case of the golden face budgie the first molt is very dramatic, with yellow emerging all over their body.
Parakeets can also change as they age.
Their standard coloring can begin to spot or look “pied” as they age.
Their colors also may end up looking less vibrant as they age.
However, these changes do not necessarily happen across the board, each bird ages in their own way.
How do I breed parakeets for a specific color?
Breeding for a specific color can be a little challenging and requires some knowledge of genetics.
Color variation stems from genetic mutation, so it’s important to understand dominant and recessive genes at least at a basic level.
Selecting your mating pair is the most important step, and you must know what color you are hoping to produce.
For example, if you are breeding for white budgies you must have two white budgies as parents so that the recessive genes will be expressed in the offspring.
You can also take dark factor into consideration when breeding for a specific color.
This refers to how dark a color is expressed.
A white budgie would not show any dark factor, while a green budgie with low dark factor would be light green and a green budgie with high dark factor would be closer to olive green.
It is important to remember that while it is fun to examine the different color combinations we can find in parakeets, color does not indicate anything else about your bird.
It is definitely fascinating to see where your parakeet fits in the big wide world of parakeet genetic and coloring!