I have a sky blue violet opaline hen and a sky greywing split opaline male with the most wonderful clutch Iíve ever seen, but one of the babies is a color I just canít explain.
Hen (a baby picture):
The female is a bit more cobalt looking now since her first molt, but she still has a definite, unmistakeable violet shade (that unfortunately doesnít photograph well) and her tail feathers are definitely turquoise at the base, which Iíve come to undestand as a good way to identify sky violet from cobalt.
She also has a certain shine to her that just isnít there on the non-violet budgies I have.
Iíve seen pictures of her parents and all the siblings from her clutch live and they also looked all like birds with no dark factors. Her father is a light green violet and her mom a normal sky blue.
The male has been a bit trickier and for some reason he looks a bit too intense for a sky blue in certain lighting. For a while I was wondering if he could be a cobalt. Still, compared to a opaline sky blue baby, the male is very much lighter. But for me, all sky blues usually have a certain turquoise hue and he just doesnít have that. He is a colder, paler shade of light blue which is probably partly because of the greywing, but still looks sort of weird to me.
And now to the mystery babyÖ
One of the opaline babies in the clutch looks like he has a grey base color. Someone suggested that he might be mauve, but I think he looks just pale grey. I do have normal patterned cobalt, grey violet, grey, violet, mauve and mauve violet in my flock and compared to any of them, the only one identical to this baby is the grey one. The baby even has black tailfeathers (those thathavenít been lightened because of the opaline).
Unfortunately I only have a picture from his back for now, since he isnít quite old enough to perch yet and I only managed to get very unclear, shadowy pictures from the front.
There is no way that another female could have laid the egg, so itís definitely the hen in the breeding cage. The pair was separated nearly a month before any eggs, so Iíd say itís very likely that the father would in fact be the father. Also, all of my greys are female, so they cannot be involved making this baby anyway.
I consider myself to know usually quite enough about genetics and that I usually know how to identify different colors. I feel like I should know by now the difference between mauve and grey and by looking at my adult mauve and grey birds I see huge differences between them. But this baby confuses me. Mainly because he just looks like he should have been born in another pairs clutch. I also realize that since the grey gene has popped up spontaneously before both recessive and dominant in both Australia and other parts of the world, even spontaneous re-appearance of a mutation isnít completely impossible. However Iím still looking for a bit easier explanation than that.
Does anyone have any ideas on what might have been the cause?