If your bird belongs to one of the budgie varieties with different markings than a Normal, then there are a couple of types it may be. Remember, you may have more than one variety in a single budgie, so if your budgies markings are not the usual colour check out the pages for brown markings and grey or very pale markings too....
This is a particularly common variety and is often combined with others to create some very lovely birds. However this also makes it tricky to get a look at a pure Opaline to see how they look without other characteristics present.
The Opaline budgie has the barring over its head and down its shoulders greatly reduced with each bar much thinner than on a Normal. The markings on the back between the wings should be gone, though often they are present but finer and sparse (see image below right). You can see in the picture above the difference in head markings between a Normal blue bird and an Opaline green bird.
The other main feature is that the body color 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, as seen on the budgie to
If you look at the blue Opaline on the left you can also see a patch of white on his long flight feathers, near the top where they go under the secondary feathers. This is also a feature present in Opalines but not Non-Opalines.
The Opaline gene also dilutes the body colour slightly, but often makes is brighter also. The tail feathers also often have areas of white or yellow near the shaft.
Apart from these features the eyes, feet and legs and cere color are all the same as for a Normal.
This is one of my favourite varieties! They can look quite stunning, but often the markings are faded and mostly missing, which I find very saddening…
The Spangle comes in two forms, the single factor and the double factor Spangle (I will explain the reason for the two types on the genetics page) For now I will just discuss the physical appearance of each.
The single factor has the markings on the wings, the throat spots and the tail feathers altered. The wing feathers appear to have a black edge with either a yellow or white center, and are often described as having the normal markings reversed. I do not like this description as it is clear when looking at a spangle that the feathers still have the white or yellow edge, then a thin black pencil line, then the center of the feather is yellow or white.
The throat spots are often all or partly missing but if present look like targets, with a yellow or white center. The long tail feathers can be like the wing feathers with a thin line near the edge, or they may be plain white, yellow or solid dark blue as in a normal. The picture above is of a lovely Light Green Spangle called Patch and a Light Green Normal friend called Jazz.
The double factor Spangle is simply a white or yellow bird, though sometimes with a slight suffusion of body color.
Both types of spangle have the normal dark eyes, with a white iris ring, and normal ceres. Their feet and legs can be grey or fleshy pink, and they can have either violet or silvery white cheek patches (or a mixture of both). Opaline and Spangle are often found present in a single bird. This means the Spangle pencil markings are often blue or green and there is very little head barring. Sometimes this is very attractive, but I think both varieties are most attractive when on their own.
This is an extremely rare variety, only present in a few breeders' aviaries in the Netherlands.
This variety has the stripe markings that are normally only over the head and neck extended over the face and body. The markings extend forward from the budgies forehead, down its face and down over its chest and belly.
The wing markings look normal, but the body color is slightly darkened. You can read more about them and see some photos at Didier Mervilde's site.