Mystery Bird Named
By the late Cyril Rogers 1968

After judging at a show I was brought a bird to look at by a new breeder who wanted me to name the bird’s colour and suggest possible matings for next season. He was rather pleased with the bird and not a little intrigued by its sudden appearance. The parents were a Greywing Dark Green cock and a Yellow Wing Dark Green hen. The pair were quite prolific and had produced some 7 youngsters from their 2 nests. The first nest consisted of a Normal Yellow Wing Green and 2 Greywing Greens and in the second nest were 2 further Yellow Wings, a Yellow and this dark bodied bird with Greywings. This chick was quite unlike either parents, being darker all through, and it was this "new colour" that puzzled the breeder.

It is some few years since I have actually seen such a good example of the variety, which is known as Full Body Coloured Greywings. The appearance of this bird from such parents is quite expected and in fact one would have thought the pair would have produced more. With single nests of course the percentages of individual expectations vary very considerably. This variation must always be borne in mind when any results from a single pair are analysed.

The reason why the other colours appeared in greater numbers was that both of the parent birds were "split" for yellow but had they been pure then all their chicks would have been of this full bodied Greywing colour.

It is only when the Clearwing and the Greywing characters are combined in a single bird that we get an entirely new colour development. In fact it is the only crossing of budgerigar characters where this particular form of combining of two colour forms appear. At one time considerable numbers of these birds were bred out, nowadays they only seem to happen on odd occasions in this country, although I believe they are still bred quite considerably in Australia.

Genetic Exercise

The breeding of Full Body Coloured Greywings makes a very good genetics exercise for any breeder who wishes to see the colour results of the crosses develop clearly in the breeding room.

For the sake of clarity I will take the pairing of say a pure Greywing sky blue cock to a pure Whitewing sky blue hen. By pure in this case I mean that both the birds are not "split" for any other colour characters. In the first season from this cross, all the young that are produced will be Full Body Coloured Greywing Sky Blues, that is to say they will have an almost full depth of Skyblue body colour with corresponding dark blue tails and check patches and all their undulations will be grey and not black. These birds can of course vary somewhat in their depth of overall colouring according to the depth of colour carried by individual parent birds. This slight difference in colouration can be observed in every and all varieties and is not peculiar to one colour.

For the next season the breeder can make four different pairings that will all give different results. Two full body coloured Greywing Skyblues paired together will give 100% Full Body Coloured Greywing Skyblues. A Full Body Coloured Greywing Skyblue paired to a Normal Greywing Skyblue will give 50% Normal Greywing Skyblues and 50% Full Body Coloured Greywing Skyblues. When a Whitewing Skyblue is paired to a Full Body Coloured Greywing Skyblue the result is 50% Whitewing Skyblue and 50% Full Body Coloured Greywing Skyblue. The fourth pairing of Full Body Coloured Greywing Skyblue to Normal White Skyblue gives 50% Whitewing Skyblue/White and 50% Greywing Skyblue/White.

The following season the breeder can, amongst other matings, pair together a Greywing Skyblue/White and a Whitewing Skyblue/White as an experiment to show how impure birds breed differently to pure birds. From this cross it is possible to breed Full Body Coloured Greywing Skyblues, Normal Greywing Skyblue/Whites, Normal Whitewing Skyblue/Whites and Normal White Skyblues.

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