Last Updated on April 20, 2022 by Ali Shahid
Budgies indeed come in a variety of different colors. Some are very common and some that are very rare. Having said this, it is possible that you already have a familiarity with some of these color variations of the budgies. But do you know which one is the rarest budgie color? If this is something you do not know, then you have come to the right place.
Anthracite budgerigar color mutations hold the title of the rarest budgie color. In a similar manner to the violet budgerigar mutation, the mutation in budgerigars causes the color of the bird to change. In general, anthracites are characterized by dark gray or black feathers, sometimes with some white depending upon the individual budgerigar.
There is a belief that this mutation originated in Germany, and that it is mainly associated with that area of the world. The majority of owners interested in obtaining an Anthracite have to import the birds from Germany to acquire these budgerigars.
I have established that the Anthracite and English Grey are identical in terms of their description and genotype, to the extent that it is now possible to determine. Recently, it has certainly become increasingly clear that the Anthracite is merely the modern version of the English Grey.
Physical Appearance of Anthracite budgies
The anthracite budgie possesses black coloration throughout its body including the back, chest, flanks, and belly. There are usually equal amounts of black coloration in all the body parts. Anthracite budgies are some of the most colorful birds.
On their head, neck, back, and wings they will be marked with black spots. Generally, the body colors are white or yellow, but the black markings can cover the white or yellow portion of the body.
The flight and tail feathers are black, as are the spots along the throat. Depending on the main color of the budgie, the face mask can either be white or yellow. In addition to the legs and feet, the ears and eyes are black with an iris made up of white.
History of Anthracite Budgies
Hans-Juergen Lenk of Germany 1998 discovered a new body color in some of the Budgerigars he had bred that were different from all those he had bred previously. Anthracite was named by him due to the appearance of the color on the body, the rump, and the chest is very close to black.
Germany’s Gerd Bleicher purchased anthracite chickens from Hans-Jürgen Lenk back in 2003. To decode their genetic inheritance, Gerd Bleicher conducted in-depth tests with them.
As a result of these pairings, we have the following results:
- Anthracite works as a standalone factor, very similar to violet working as a standalone factor.
- It is similar to the dark factor in that a single dose of this factor acts similar to a sky blue plus single anthracite, in the physical world that appears to be cobalt at first glance. One of the main indicators to see if the cheek patches are anthracite-treated is that they have a black sheen around them.
- Among the anthracite budgerigars, the double-factor anthracite is the most visible one.
- While anthracite is dominant to gray, it has nothing to do with the gray factor.
- It can be combined with a wide variety of other colors and varieties, such as all kinds of Pieds, Spangles, Clearwings, Opalines, among others.
- The green series of budgerigars can be bred using anthracite. In this case, it is difficult to determine the true genotype.
Genetics of Anthracite Budgies
This mutation occurs spontaneously in the wild-type allele and has an almost dominant relationship with the mutation occurring in the anthracite allele. As the result of a sort of domino effect, there is one factor (heterozygote or SF) that produces a visible result if it is presented as a single factor, however, a differential result is produced if the same factor is presented as a double factor (homozygote or DF).
There are two alleles at the Anthracite locus in the green series varieties, with one coming from Anthracite and the other coming from wild-type. As a result, the body color is darkened to a shade slightly darker than Dark Green and has a much deeper intensity.
This sample has two Anthracite alleles, giving the DF Anthracite Light Green a green hue with an almost olive undercurrent. The variety belongs to the blue series and has one anthracite allele and one wild-type allele.
As a result, it has a body-color that resembles a deep Cobalt blue in appearance. The DF Anthracite Skyblue with two Anthracite alleles is the actual Anthracite variety, the original Anthracite variety that has a gray body color with mauve overtones, and has a darker body color with almost a black undertone.
A Budgerigar can never be split for Anthracite because the Anthracite factor is always visible in every part of the bird. A heterozygote of Anthracite is a second-order mutation that occurs when some recessive mutations occur in an allele of Anthracite.
There has been some speculation that a single Anthracite mutation can have a similar effect to the Dark variant, in that it can change an original Skyblue into a Cobalt, as it did on the English Grey.
The Anthracite is quite similar to the English Grey in terms of material properties. A cobalt appearance reminiscent of a sky blue which contains a single anthracite factor is identical to that of the English grey and it is exactly what was suspected to be anthracite.
There has not yet been any research that has been conducted regarding the interaction of the Dark and Anthracite budgerigar mutations. As a result of the combination of these two factors, it is expected that the body’s color will become even more intense.
How to breed an Anthracite budgie?
As it is well known, Anthracite mutations are recessive mutations. The only way to breed budgies with a visual appearance similar to an anthracite one is to have both parents with anthracite genes.
A variety of mutations including anthracite, opaline, yellow face, spangle, and pied can be added to the anthracite mutation. Breeding anthracite mutations in combination with green and blue series have become a new challenge for the breeders of these beautiful birds.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.