Recognising Budgie Varieties

I am sure you have noticed that there is a huge array of budgie varieties and colours. We have already covered the basic body colours, so next we had better look at the varieties.

If you know which variety you are interested in then check if they have their own page on the list below. However, if you are a beginner wanting to work out what variety your budgie is, then ignore the list and read on down the page. I have grouped the varieties differently than most people as I wanted it easy for beginners to get a handle on the way they differ visually.  So they are grouped by how they look rather than how they are inherited.

Albino and Lutino

What is a budgie variety?

Sometimes a mutation occurs that alters the colour or pattern of a budgie's markings. If this is able to be passed on to chicks it can become a new variety. The variety is separate from a budgies base colour. It can occur on any colour and is basically overlaid, so you would describe your budgie by both its colour and its variety. For example a wild budgie would be a light green (the colour) normal (the variety), or you may have a skyblue (the colour) opaline (the variety).

I have thought long and hard about organising the varieties in a way that makes it easy to find the one you want if you don’t know what it is called… This has turned out to be a bit tricky, and will probably not suit everyone! I have grouped them in the way that they differ from the normal budgie. So we had better start with that...

The normal budgie variety

Normal is the term for budgies whose markings match with the wild type. The budgie can be any of the basic body colors, but so long as it has the wild type markings it will be of the normal variety. So you can have skyblue normal, grey normal, dark green normal.... etc. The picture to the right shows a dark green normal hen and behind her a skyblue normal hen. For more information and pictures of the normal variety click here to go to its own page.

Varieties with wings and markings that are not the wild type colour:

There are several varieties which have markings that are not black.

Brown markings:

Grey to very pale or non-existent markings:

Texas Cearbody - these have grey primaries but the majority of their markings are black so I have included them in the 'None of the above' category below.

Varieties with the pattern of its markings different than a Normal:

There are a few varieties which have marking patterns that are different from the Normal:


Varieties that have pied markings:

There are several types of pieds:

Dominant Pied - also known as Australian or Banded Pied
Recessive Pied - also known as Danish Pied
Clearflight - also known as Dutch Pied
Mottled - not an actual pied, but looks like one

Varieties with no markings at all:

These varieties have the markings and all or most of the body colour, removed:

Inos – albino and lutino
Double factor spangle
Dark eyed clears

None of the above?

If none of the above match what you are looking for, try these:

Yellow Face/Golden Face


Finally, bear in mind that many budgies are a mix of more than one variety, a composite. There are so many combinations I couldn't list them all, such as Opaline Spangles, Yellow Faced Blue Recessive Pied, Cinnamon Opaline Clearflight.....

So if you are trying to work out what varieties your budgie is I would suggest starting with marking colour, and then work through the other categories adding any other varieties that fit. It may not be the most accurate method but it should give you somewhere to start from! From there looking at the budgie varieties pictures on my Pinterest abum (click the Follow Me on Pinterest button above to be taken to it) may help confirm, or not, your guesses. You could also try the Geneius phone app, (again on the top right of this page) which can identify almost all possible combinations for you.

There is a particularly lovely composite called Rainbow. It is a blue bird with Opaline, Clearwing and Yellow Face all present.

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