The Opaline budgie is a particularly common variety and is often combined with others to create some very lovely birds. However it is sometimes tricky to get a look at a pure one to see how they look without other varieties present. On the right is a Skyblue Opaline hen that shows the basic characteristics of this variety.
The Opaline budgie has the barring over its head and down between its shoulders greatly reduced. The markings on the back between the wings should be gone, though often they are present but finer and sparse (and in some show types the markings have become very heavy). The Opaline gene also softens the body colour slightly so that it is a little paler than a Normal of the same colour. A main feature is also that the body colour of the budgie (ie green, blue, grey etc) has replaced the yellow or white on the wings. So instead of having black markings on a yellow or white background they are on a green or blue or grey etc background. The body colour also often shows on the black part of the wing feather and this is called opalescence and can be attractive.
Another defining feature is the enlargement of a stripe of white or
yellow on the flight feathers, as described next.
Normal budgies have a stripe along the flights but it is thinner than on an Opaline and does not reach all the way across the feathers towards the edge of the wing. This means that when the wing is folded, when perched, you may see a small bit of it but often none at all.
In Opaline budgies this strip is wider and extends across the feathers fully so when the bird is perched you can see a section of white or yellow on the flights.
Here we have photos of a Normal wing folded in, and then an Opaline wing folded in to show the obvious white patch that is a feature of Opalines. This Normal shows a small random white patch, which occurs sometimes, but it does not extend to the edge of the wing as in an Opaline.
Apart from these features the eyes, feet and legs, and cere color are all the same as Normal. The long tail feathers often have body colour or white running down them as well as the normal colour, you can see a little of this in the budgie at the top of the page.
On the right is a picture of an Opaline and a Normal budgie, you can see the greatly reduced markings over the head of the Opaline.
Below we have a Greywing Opaline, and a Clearflight Opaline, both showing the way the body colour is present on the wings and the lovely effect this can produce. At the bottom of the page is a very attractive Cinnamon Opaline, again you can just see the bar of white on the flights.
This is a Sex-linked Recessive gene. That means it is found on the X chromosome, and is recessive to Normal. If that does not make sense to you please return to the Budgie Genetics page and have a read.
Here are the basics of cinnamon inheritance:
Opaline x Opaline =
Opaline cock x Normal hen =
-50% Normal/Opaline cocks
-50% Opaline hens
Normal cock x Opaline hen =
-50% Normal/Opaline cocks
-50% Normal hens
Normal/Opaline cock x Normal hen = -25% Normal cocks
-25% Normal/Opaline cocks
-25% Opaline hens
-25% Normal hens