Rainbow Budgies (A Comprehensive Guide)

Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Ali Shahid

Rainbow Budgie

A rainbow budgie stands out from the usual budgies. According to WBO Color Standard, it’s a mix of blue-based budgies with Opaline Whitewing Yellowface/Goldenface Blue. A Rainbow Budgie is only considered a true representation of the variety when it exhibits visible traits of Opaline, Whitewing, Yellowface, or Goldenface. In other words, these distinctive features need to be clearly evident for a budgie to be recognized as a genuine Rainbow specimen. 

The yellow color in a budgie’s appearance depends on the specific yellowface mutation present. For Yellowface Mutant 1, the yellow shade is akin to a lemon. In the case of Yellowface Mutant 2 double factor, the hue transforms into a buttercup yellow. 

Meanwhile, the Goldenface double factor mutation results in a deeper yellow shade. These variations in yellow coloring extend to certain facial areas like the mask, frontal, crown, and subtle undulations at the back of the head. Each of these regions takes on a yellow tint that corresponds to the specific form of the Yellowface mutant involved.

The colors they have are more subtle and varied, thanks to different mutations blending. This mix creates a distinct look, so no two Rainbow Budgies are exactly alike.  People breed them selectively, combining traits from blue-based budgies and yellowface mutants.

The result is a palette of softer colors that smoothly transition. Even though they’re called “rainbow,” it’s not about genetics; some owners just use the term if their budgie looks the part. 

What makes Rainbow Budgies special is their unique coloring, making them a sought-after choice for bird enthusiasts. Delve into the captivating world of Rainbow Budgies and explore the exceptional features that turn them into a natural spectacle.

The Genetics of Rainbow Budgies

Creating a Rainbow Budgie involves four specific gene mutations:

  1. Blue Series Mutation: This mutation sets the base color of the Rainbow Budgie. To produce one, both parents must be blue or carry the blue gene.
  2. Yellowface Type 2 Mutation: This mutation gives the budgie a yellow face. At least one parent needs to have this mutation for a Rainbow Budgie to be born.
  3. Opaline Mutation: This mutation softens the feather color, creating a pastel look. The male must be opaline or carry the opaline gene.
  4. Clearwing (Whitewing) Mutation: This mutation is responsible for the clear or white wings of the Rainbow Budgie. Both parents must be clearwing or carry the clearwing gene.

Combining these mutations results in a budgie with a blue body, yellow face, clear or white wings, and pastel coloring, earning it the name Rainbow Budgie. It’s crucial to note that these mutations must occur in a specific combination for a budgie to be classified as a Rainbow Budgie. Any deviation, such as adding a new gene or missing a required one, will alter the budgie’s classification.

The role of the blue-based budgie and the yellowface mutant is crucial in this process. The blue-based budgie provides the foundational color, while the yellowface mutant imparts the distinctive yellow face, both essential elements for creating a Rainbow Budgie. 

Various budgie mutations contribute to the vibrant rainbow colors, with opaline softening the hues and clearwing providing the clear or white wing pattern. The unique combination of these traits results in the striking and lively appearance of the Rainbow Budgie.

Breeding Rainbow Budgie

Breeding Rainbow Budgies requires thorough selection, focusing on parent birds with specific genetic traits. The breeding procedure is a nuanced and time-consuming endeavor that demands a profound understanding of budgie genetics, particularly the four key gene mutations contributing to Rainbow Budgies: Blue Series, Yellowface Type 2, Opaline, and Clearwing (Whitewing).

The breeding process involves strategic steps:

  1. Pairing yellow face and clearwing mutations: Initiate the breeding by pairing a male budgie with either a yellow face, opaline blue, or golden face with a female carrying the clearwing mutation. The resulting offspring should encompass yellow-face, blue, or golden-face male budgies, all split for clearwing and opaline. Female offspring should possess yellow face opaline mutation and be split for clearwings.
  2. Combining yellow males and clearwing females: Proceed to pair the male budgies from the initial breeding with clearwing females. This step plays a pivotal role in ensuring the presence of the clearwing mutation in the offspring.

It’s worth noting that breeding true Rainbow Budgies can be challenging, mainly due to the rarity of the clearwing mutation. The male parent must carry an opaline budgerigar mutation or be split for opaline. 

Both parents should exhibit shades of blue carry the clearwing mutation, or be split for either color. Additionally, at least one parent must unmistakably display the yellowface trait. This complex breeding process underscores the intricacies involved in producing authentic Rainbow Budgies.

Rainow Budgies Variations

Since the rainbow budgie is a combination of various mutations, it is expected to also exhibit a number of variations. The following are some of the most popular variations of the rainbow budgie:

1. Blue Series Rainbow Budgies

Blue Series Rainbow Budgies have a cool blue color, ranging from sky blue to grey. These budgies stand out with their soft body color and pattern, thanks to the opaline mutation. The clearwing mutation lightens up their wing markings. On top of that, they sport a yellowface mutation that gives a yellowish tint to their face.

2. Grey Rainbow Budgies

Grey Rainbow Budgies are basically Blue Series Rainbow Budgies but with an extra touch of grey. This dark factor mutation changes the main color to grey. The grey factor can come in single or double forms, impacting how strong the grey color appears.

3. Green Rainbow Budgies

Green Rainbow Budgies are part of the green series and come with the golden or yellow face mutation. This tweak transforms the face color into a yellow or golden shade, creating a vibrant contrast with the green body color. The mix of these mutations gives the bird a colorful, rainbow-like look.

4. Diluted Rainbow Budgies

Diluted Rainbow Budgies show a softening of color across their feathers, thanks to the dilute mutation. This mutation tones down the strength of the body color and markings, resulting in the gentle pastel effect that defines Rainbow Budgies.

5. Rainbow Spangle Budgies

To get Rainbow Spangle Budgies, you pair up birds with the spangle mutation instead of the clearwing gene. The spangle mutation messes with the pattern and color of the wing markings, usually leading to a spotted or marbled look. These birds keep the opaline and yellowface mutations, but the spangle mutation adds an extra twist, making their feathers more complex.

6. Pastel Rainbow Budgies

Pastel Rainbow Budgies stand out for their gentle, watercolor-esque tones. These birds probably carry a mix of opaline, clearwing, and yellowface mutations, along with an added dilution effect that gives their overall color a soft touch.

Each of these variations comes from a particular mix of genetic mutations. The traditional Rainbow Budgie is described as a yellow-faced blue series opaline clearwing. Nevertheless, breeders often explore various mutations to craft fresh and visually captivating versions.

It’s crucial to emphasize that having all the needed mutations in the right blend is essential for generating a genuine Rainbow Budgie. Divergence from this combination might yield birds resembling Rainbow Budgies but not meeting the true criteria.

Physical Appearance of Rainbow Budgies

According to WBO Color Standards, Rainbow Budgies have the following coloring:

FeatureDescription
MarkingsLight touch of yellow on the cheeks, back of the head, and neck, visible on white areas near the markings.
WingsFaint hint of yellow on white edges around minimal body color markings.
Primary Wing FlightsGrey/white.
Primary Tail FeathersNeutral with ground or body color suffusion.
Secondary Tail FeathersBluish/grey at the tip, allowing an overlay of yellow on the white areas.

Rainbow Budgie Size

The Rainbow Budgie species can either be an American, an English, or a combination of both kinds of birds. The average American budgie is usually between 6 and 7 inches long and weighs between 30 and 50 grams.

In the meantime, English budgies can reach a length of 10 inches and weigh between 40 and 63 grams. In some cases, you might find a cross between these varieties. If you plan to purchase a rainbow budgie, you will need to find out what kind of bird he or she is to determine the size of the bird.

It is estimated that an American budgie with a weight of 60 grams would be grossly overweight, whereas an English budgie with a weight of 30 grams would be significantly underweight. Knowing how large your budgie should be can assist you in keeping your pet at the proper weight, thus preventing serious health problems down the road.

Caring for Rainbow Budgies

Taking care of Rainbow Budgies goes beyond just providing food and shelter. To ensure their well-being and happiness, consider these essential aspects of proper budgie care.

A Balanced Diet

Maintaining optimal health for Rainbow Budgies requires more than a simple seed-based diet. A diverse approach, including pellets, veggies, fruits, and sprouted seeds, is recommended. Sprouted seeds, rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes while low in fat, offer a nutritional boost. Keep veggies raw to preserve nutrients, and give fruits sparingly as treats due to their high sugar content. Consulting with a veterinarian ensures a tailored diet that suits your bird’s specific needs.

Addressing Common Health Issues

Rainbow Budgies can face common health problems like obesity, often stemming from an imbalanced diet. Respiratory issues, mites, and feather plucking are also concerns. Prevention involves maintaining a balanced diet, minimizing stress, and ensuring a clean living environment. Regular check-ups with a vet are vital for early detection and intervention.

Enriching Lives with Toys and UV Exposure

Toys aren’t just for fun; they play a crucial role in a budgie’s mental and physical well-being. Ensure a variety of safe toys, replacing any that show signs of wear or damage. UV exposure is equally important, especially for budgies without access to natural sunlight. Introducing a full-spectrum UV light designed for birds, used for 10-12 hours daily, aids in vitamin D synthesis, contributing to overall health and happiness.

Behavior and Socialization of Rainbow Budgies

Rainbow Budgies, like other budgies, love being around friends and family. In the wild, they hang out in big groups for company and safety. As pets, they enjoy having friends, whether they’re other birds or people, and it’s not good to leave them alone for more than 6-8 hours. They’re cool with different lifestyles and can live happily in pairs or small groups. 

If you just have one budgie, it needs more attention from you to stay happy and entertained. Now, about mirrors – they might seem like a cool idea for your budgie’s cage, but they can actually make them feel lonely and not so great.

Budgies really like shiny stuff, and when they see themselves in the mirror, they might think it’s another bird. This can make them less social, cause behavior problems, or even hurt themselves. But if there are a couple of budgies in the cage, the mirror is just a fun thing and won’t mess up their socializing. 

Taming and becoming friends with your Rainbow Budgie takes time and being consistent. Spend some quality time with your budgie every day. Creating a bond with your budgie is super important for teaching it how to talk. 

The closer your budgie is to you, the more it’ll try to learn to talk and communicate. If you have a bunch of budgies in one cage, they’ll probably hang out with each other more than with you. If you want them to learn to talk, you’ll need to work with each one separately, away from their bird buddies.

Rainbow Budgies for Sale and Price

If you’re interested in getting a Rainbow Budgie in the United States, there are a few good places you can check out. Golden Feathered Aviary has them in the range of $100.00 to $200.00. Birds by Joe doesn’t give a specific price but mentions they have Rainbow Budgies for sale and that they can become great talkers. 

At Bird & Beyond, you can find Cotton Candy English Budgies, similar to Rainbow Budgies, for $150.00. If you’re into something a bit fancier, Parrot Crown sells Rainbow Hagoromo Parakeets (a type of budgie) for $250 each. 

Remember, prices might vary depending on factors like the bird’s health, age, color, how rare it is, and the reputation of the person selling it. For the most accurate and up-to-date info, it’s a good idea to get in touch directly with the seller or breeder.

Frequently Asked Question

Can Rainbow Budgies Talk?

There are many reasons you should not choose a rainbow budgie if you are looking for a bird to talk to. There is nothing wrong with mimicking sounds, whistles, and songs if your budgie is happy, but unfortunately, they are not able to learn words.

In other words, it has nothing to do with their intelligence and is not a reflection of the ability of their vocal cords. I have found the best way of teaching your budgie to whistle is to play the tunes for him or her on a loop so they are aware of what you want them to do.

What is the lifespan of Rainbow Budgie?

The lifespan of rainbow budgies can be extended by 10-15 years if they are properly fed and cared for. Before you make your purchase, you should ensure that you have found a reliable breeder who takes pride in having healthy and long-lasting birds. If you do this, it may extend your pet’s lifespan by several years.

Are Rainbow Budgies Rare?

 In comparison to the lacewing, fallow, and saddleback budgies, rainbow budgies do not appear to be uncommon. The reason rainbow budgies are not rare is that they are highly sought after.

Due to the high demand for these color variations, many breeders are now willing to invest the effort and time needed to breed them. This does not make breeding rainbows any easier, but it does make it more challenging.

The fact of the matter is that there are four different mutations, two of them are recessive, and one is sex-linked. According to our research, the breeding process takes a considerable amount of time and effort.

Conclusion

Having a Rainbow Budgie is super rewarding! These little birds are like living rainbows, all colorful and eye-catching. Plus, they’ve got these awesome personalities – they’re smart, social, and can become real pals with their owners. They’ll do cool stuff, play around, and even try to copy sounds or talk.

But, owning a Rainbow Budgie means you’ve got to take care of them too. Being a responsible owner means making sure they stay healthy and happy. That means giving them good food, regular check-ups with the vet, and making their living space interesting with lots of chances to hang out. It’s also about understanding what they need socially, like having bird buddies around and being careful about stuff like mirrors that might mess with their mood.

Taking on these responsibilities is like a promise to give your Rainbow Budgie the best life. And in return, they’ll be your buddies, keep you entertained, and give you the joy of watching their awesome colors and lively personalities every day.

Author

  • Dr. Anees Ashraf

    He is a veterinarian by profession currently working in a vet clinic. He loves to treat and breed parrots to produce different mututions.

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