Last Updated on June 25, 2022 by Ali Shahid
Various budgerigar mutations can alter the color or appearance of budgerigars, the most famous of which is the Opaline budgerigar. The top mutation of this budgerigar variety is the Opaline phenotype.
The combination of Opaline birds with Yellowface II and Clearwings varieties has produced some amazing rainbow budgies.
In addition to being one of the more common varieties of birds, the Opaline budgie is often crossed with other types to produce some very beautiful birds. The problem is that it is sometimes hard to see the pure ones without any other types present.
There is no need to worry though since this article is all about opaline budgies. This article will answer any questions you have about opaline budgies.
Appearance: Opaline vs Normal Budgie
Many of the characteristics of the Opaline mutation are present invariably, although their intensity varies. Those in non-Opaline show the most significant effects in the striations along the neck and between the wings.
This striation is very much diminished in Opaline birds, with most being almost absent, particularly on small birds with yellow feathers.
Opalines extend the cap further back on top of their heads, merging into a twisted ‘V’ shape between the wings and an area of the same color as their bodies.
The striations in this area vary greatly from bird to bird, but the original mutations, particularly the Australians, have distinctive V-shaped striations.
Dark gray or black markings appear on the wings of non-Opalines, but the barbs on the Opaline wings take on the same color as the upper body.
An opalescent effect is produced by this mixture of body colors in the wings, which is the reason it was originally called opaline budgies. In the original specimens, the wingbutts had extremely little black pigment, creating the thumbprint pattern.
Since the Budgerigar Standard specifies normal wing markings for the Opaline, these thumbprints are now less frequent than they used to be. Budgerigars have 10 primary flight feathers and 10 secondary flight feathers.
From the 2nd primary feather to the 8th secondary feather, there is a clear central band on each dark gray feather. In folded wings, these clear areas cannot be seen, but when the wings are stretched horizontally, these clear areas are more easily recognizable.
From above, it would appear to be buried under coverts, but from beneath it is visible. This wide clear band is present on Opaline’s flight feathers, and it has a greater surface area than any other band.
A clear zone extends from the midpoint to the shaft of the flight feather, with only the distal half dark. Since it is broader, it is visible under the secondary and primary coverts of the folded wings of the Opaline as a small patch.
A similar pattern appears in all wing feathers, but most obviously in the primary and secondary coverts of the wing, as well as on all six tail feathers, where feathers 2-6 carry a similar clear band.
An Opaline tail feather’s first (longest) feather carries a blotchy clear area that varies in extent, and suffusions of body color that are limited in non-Opalines are increased in Opalines.
Typically, Opalines have a more vibrant body color than corresponding non-Opalines, particularly in the nest feathers and on the rump. Melanin content is reduced in the contour feather barbules.
Last, but certainly not least, is that the Opaline (and the Cinnamon) have very reflective feather coloring on the young ones. The Opaline’s scales are white, as opposed to the usual grey, and this makes it possible to identify them at a young age.
A common misconception is that Opaline budgies are not hands-on pets and don’t require constant supervision.
Especially if kept in a pair or colony, it is an excellent “watching only” pet, but it is fairly easy to tame and can become a faithful, loving pet for a patient owner.
It is important to remember that Budgies are social animals and won’t thrive in an isolated environment. When given enough contact, budgies can remain friends. However, if you prefer a “pet-quality” bird, the best choice is often to get a lone parakeet.
It is not a problem for parakeets to live with children as long as the children are respectful towards them. Small birds such as these can easily get into trouble with a noisy child. All pets must be kept under adult supervision at all times.
This bird’s beak is not as strong as that of some of its other contemporaries of the same size. However, it has the potential to hurt little fingers that are more sensitive.
Opaline budgies, as well as other varieties of budgies, make the best-talking birds among the parrots because they possess the ability to learn words, phrases, and whistles with little effort.
In one instance, there had been more than one thousand words repeated by the budgie! Speaking ability is something that males are better at, but females are also capable of working out a few words and can whistle well.
Opaline Budgie Genetics
It is a gene that is inherited as a Sex-linked Recessive trait. X-linked recessive means that it lies on the X chromosome. Here are some of the common genetic combinations of opaline budgies.
- It is a fact that when opaline budgies are bred with other opaline budgies they will produce 100 percent opaline budgies as a result.
- When Opaline cock and Normal hen are crossed, they will produce 50% Normal/Opaline cocks and 50% Opaline hens.
- If the normal cock and the opaline hen are bred together, 50% of the normal cock and 50% of the opaline hen will be produced.
- When a Normal/Opaline cock is crossed with a Normal hen, the outcome will be 25% Normal cocks, 25% Normal/Opaline cocks, 25% Opaline hens, and 25% Normal hens.
Different Opaline Budgies Color Variations
- Opaline Light Green
- Opaline Dark Green
- Opaline Olive Green
- Opaline Grey Green
- Opaline Sky Blue
- Opaline Cobalt
- Opaline Grey
Care and Feeding
Opaline budgies have the same life expectancy as other budgies. These birds typically live between seven and fifteen years, but sometimes their lives are shortened if they are mistreated, injured, or lack knowledge about birds.
It seems that many people see the little bird as a “throw-away” pet because of its low cost and limited care requirements.
In addition to obesity, fat tumors and liver disease, poor foot health, and scaly skin, Budgies are also prone to intestinal parasites and all of these conditions require veterinary care.
It has been observed that most budgies eat seeds and plants for their sole nutrition. However, you should also offer them fruit, vegetables, and pelleted foods to make sure that they are well-nourished.
A budgie’s diet is primarily based on seeds, thus causing them to have tumors, goiters (due to lack of iodine), and other illnesses related to nutrition, such as psittacosis and mites attached to their faces and legs.
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.