HAMILTON & DISTRICT BUDGERIGAR SOCIETY INC.



Pied Budgerigars
The first pied Budgies were bred in the Netherlands by the late breeder Van Dijk in 1938. He started with a mutant male that had a yellow patch in the back of his neck. This male was crossed with a Lutino female, giving rise to the first pied (multi-patched) Budgerigar. Van Dijk continued crossing until he had Budgies that had white patches on a blue background and yellow patches on a green background.

There had been an earlier pied mutation in 1929, the two-colored Budgie which was blue on its left side and green on its right side. It was a remarkable phenomenon which, unfortunately, could not be maintained. English breeders continued working with the Van nijk mutation more than others. They developed two-colored pied Budgies that show a horizontal dividing line between the yellow and the green or the white and the blue. The dividing line splits the body in half at the height of the start of the thighs. These are the preferred pied Budgies. Many deviant Budgies have been called pied. For example, the erroneous designation includes birds that don't show color separations but have patches that preferably are spread evenly over the body. I saw a Budgie at the exhibition Aviurum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in 1953, which then already was identified as Danish pied. I would never have accepted it as such. The bird was white, with a few blue patches on the bottom of its body, on the wings, it had a symmetrical design of black patches superimposed on somewhat larger patches.

A more proper name for this bird would have been "Delft blue." The description was certainly appropriate. The heredity of normal pied is recessive, as you will note in the rules of heredity detailed below. Perhaps it would be useful to use the term "spotted" along with the term "pied" to describe birds that don't exhibit the distinguishing feature of the pied, namely the color separation at the level of the thighs. Too many birds now called Danish or Dutch pied lack this important feature. Below is a description of the various color combination of pied Budgerigars. Lightgreen, dark green, and olive green pied are bright yellow above the color separation at thigh level. Below it, they show a somewhat lighter shade of green than the green of the normal light green, dark green, and olive green Budgies. The color runs in a V-shape into the yellow-colored tail. Skyblue, cobalt and mauve pied are snow white above the color separation at thigh level. Below it, they show a somewhat lighter shade of blue than the blue of the normal skyblue, cobalt, and mauve Budgies. The color runs in a V-form into a white tail.

Light yellow, dark yellow and olive yellow pied are bright yellow above the color separation at thigh level. Below it they have a very light green color which runs in a V-shape into a yellow tail. White blue, white cobalt, and white mauve pied are snow white above the color separation at thigh level. Below that, they have a very light green color that runs in a V-shape into a white tail. The pied factor is inherited as follows: Pied x pied produces all pied.
Pied x split for pieds produces half pied and half split for pied.
Pied x normal produces all split for pied.
Split for pied x split for pied produces 25 percent pied, 25 percent normal, and 50 percent split for pied.
Split for pied x normal produces half split for pied and half normal.

The two last matings are not recommended because there will be normal and split for pied Budgies among the young that can't be distinguished from one another. Test matings would be needed to determine which of the young carried the pied factor. An example of a pied mating, borrowed from F. S. Elliott would be: Pied skyblue/white x pied light green/white.
Without the pied factor, this mating produces:
Light green/blue, light green/white, skyblue, skyblue/white, light yellow/white and white blue.
That, in other words, would be the result of the cross of skyblue/white with light green/white. After adding the pied factor, we get the following results: Pied light green/blue
Pied light green/white
Pied skyblue
Pied skyblue/white
Pied light yellow/white
Pied white blue
Note that we added "pied" to all the designations. As stated, mating pied with pied produces all pied young.

Danish Pied and Dutch Pied Budgerigars
Danish pied Budgerigars (sometimes called Harlequins) originated during World War II from a mutatin among birds owned by the director of the Helsinki Zoo, Mr. C. Enehjelm. The mutant was yellow with a green underside and an asymmetric black patch on the breast, head, and wings. This conforms to the concept of "pied." The mutation is a very interesting one. It seems to consist of a number of linked recessive factors, factors that only appear together and furnish the proper color and design. Why the mutant was called Danish pied remains a mystery. Finnish pied would seem more appropriate. The notable feature of the variant is its apparently enlarged eye, compared with birds of other color variations. This is an illusion, caused by the black eye ring, or periophthalmic ring, characteristic of this variant. The black patch, which originally was asymmetric, now also occurs in symmetric form. I suspect that in the future, once the line is purified through lengthy selection, the symmetrical design will be mandatory. The patch normally is deep black as if the black coloring (melanin) had been concentrated on these few small patches. The legs of Danish pied Budgies are pink.

Danish pied quickly became a favourite the world over. Today, the best Danish pied are bred in Belgium and Switzerland. The line does not yet breed pure, and it will probably take lengthy selection to achieve consistency. As a result, two Danish pied birds can differ considerably from one another. The one basic requirement remains a demarcation in color at thigh level and a design of (preferably a limited number of) spots on the head near the eye and on the wings. Danish pied, like Dutch pied, is recessive.

Dutch pied (or white and yellow clear-flighted) resembles Danish pied to a great extent. Both are recessive to "not pied." The color demarcation of Dutch pied lies somewhat higher. The eyes of adult Dutch pied are gray. The primary flight feathers are white in blue-colored birds and light yellow in the greens. There is a light patch of varying size at the back of the head (especially noticeable in normal greens). Normals have dark tails with others showing white or yellow. Often one tail feather is dark, the other white. A cross of Dutch pied with Danish pied results in black-eyed yellow birds without the green reflection. The rules of heredity for Danish pied follow those for previously discussed pied variants. In the rules, just substitute Danish pied for every mention of pied. For example, Danish pied light green/blue x sky blue/Danish pied white produces (without the Danish pied factor): Light green/blue, light green/white, skyblue, and skyblue/white.
Adding the Danish pied factor, we get:
Danish pied x split for Danish pied, which yields half Danish white and half split for Danish pied.
The results of the cross turn out to be:
Half light green/Danish pied blue, light green/Danish pied, white, skyblue/Danish pied, and skyblue/Danish pied white.
And half Danish pied light green/blue, Danish pied light green/white, Danish pied skyblue, and Danish pied skyblue/white.

Australian Pied Budgerigars
One of the newest mutations in Budgies is the Australian pied. It originated in Australia and at first viewing seems a mutation of the well known blue-whitewing and green yellow-wing. The white Australian pied Budgie has a white head with standard markings. The wings are white without markings. The breast and tail have the color of the blue series (light blue, cobalt, mauve, and violet), but under the upper edge of the forewings, a white finger-wide band runs across the breast. The green Australian pied has a yellow head with standard markings and the wings are yellow without markings. The breast and tail have the color of the green series (light green, dark green, and olive green). Under the upper edge of the forewings, a yellow, finger-wide band runs across the breast. Australian pied Budgies often have the same round patch on the back of the head seen in Dutch and Danish pied. Breeding the Australian pied also is as difficult as breeding the Dutch and Danish pied. The color band has to be broad and horizontal and must be set off sharply against the blue or green. A serious breeder will have to exercise rigorous selection. Crossing Australian pied with other pied variants is not recommended. Australian pied has the usual "pied" heredity:
Austr. pied x Austr. pied produces all Austr. pied.
Austr. pied X split for Austr. pied produces half Austr. pied and half split for Austr. pied.
Austr. pied x normal produces all split for Austr. pied.
Split for Austr. pied x split for Austr. pied produces 25 percent Austr. pied, 25 percent normal, and 50 percent split for Austr. pied.
Split for Austr. pied x normal produces half split for Austr. pied and half normal birds.
The last two crosses are not recommended because they produce both normals and splits that are not visually distinguishable.

E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca

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