SHOWING A SLIGHT COLOR VARIATION?
by M. Salmones
After breeding the Peachfaced Opalines for quite some time, I noticed something different in some birds which came from a specific pair of Opalines. The birds looked different from my other Opalines. These Opalines are from the Green series, they are Medium Green which obviously intensifies the red color on the head as well as the green on the body. However, the birds have a yellow band around the back of the neck.
It seems that the yellow outlined at the edges was already there when the first Opalines appeared, however, these birds are showing much more yellow. I quote Doug Bedwell's description of the Green Opaline in his original article: "The lower back of the head and upper back of the neck are outlined at the edges in an even lighter yellow-green."
It was not until the third clutch when I noticed the yellow on the young birds. The first two clutches the pair produced blue Opalines in different shades, (almost whitefaced with a very very slight (almost non-existent) shade of washed out peach on the forehead. The rest of the hood is white.
These blue Opalines do not have the peach color as the normal blue Opalines.
I have been working to increase the size of the regular Opaline without using Longfeathered.
I want to stress that although I breed Longfeathered Opalines and I have been breeding them for quite some time, these birds have absolutely no Longfeathered in their bloodline. My Longfeathered Opalines are from a completely different bloodline and kept separately from my regular Opalines.
Those familiar with the Longfeathered can easily see that these birds do not have the obvious Longfeathered characteristics and by size alone one can not determined that a bird has Longfeathered.
to take one bird (eight months old) to a local show, my intent was to see if the judge had
seen others like this one. As it turned out, the judge had not seen an Opaline with that
much yellow on the neck. Although the bird I took was eight months old, it was banded
04 because at the time it was born I had not received the 05 bands. I had
other older birds from a different clutch (same parents) but the younger one had better
size and deportment.
Adding Longfeathered to the birds mentioned above, you can have three different shades of colors all over again. The differences may be slight in some cases but nevertheless, they are different. Therefore, causing confusion on the show bench, especially when not all the colors are there to compare.
The Opaline mutation alters the basic pattern of pigmentation, when you add any other factor it creates another variation. The yellow around the collar may be a variation from something the birds are carrying. As I mentioned before, the pair which has given me the yellow collared Opalines also gave me Whitefaced Blue Opalines. If there's anything different with the Blues it is not visible since their hoods are white. Perhaps when all of these breed we may be able to see what the offsprings will produce.
So back to the birds in question ... why is the yellow showing more on these Opaline birds? Can it be Lutino in the background? What is causing these birds to show the yellow?
Was the Opaline some kind of a crossover because the paternal grand-father was a Lutino?
Background on these birds:
Male is Medium Green/Opal/Blue/American Dilute Green.
on the male from maternal side:
Hen is Medium Green/Blue Opaline
on the hen from maternal side:
It is very easy to sit in front of the computer and play breeder, however, it is a different story when you actually breed and then you can actually share your experiences.
I know of many people who write articles and spend much of their time on the Internet preaching about breeding and genetics when in fact they have no "hands on experience." This means nothing to me. It is simply like giving an expert opinion when in fact the person talking about it has never been involved in the actual experience. Talking and writing about it does not make you an expert ...... experience does.
I say this because I would like opinions from breeders and judges about these birds. I do not want to sound rude, but please, I would like to hear from those real breeders who have had experiences in actually breeding the Opalines.
The terminology used in this article to describe color mutations is in accordance with the correct terminology used by the African Love Bird Society.
© Didier Mervilde
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