For bird lovers all around the globe, a rainbow budgie is considered a prize.
Budgies make fabulous pets; for many bird keepers, these marvelous creatures are a joy to keep, watch and observe.
In this article, you will learn all there is to know about the rainbow budgie, their care needs, their diet, and the personality quirks these birds may have.
Is There Such a Thing As a Rainbow Budgie?
Most commonly, budgies have bright and solid colors – green and blue, green and yellow, lime and yellow, and even blue and white.
And each of the colors stands out significantly.
But Rainbow budgies have softer, milder colors that blend fluidly into each other.
Naturally, the beautiful blend of colors is reminiscent of a rainbow, hence the name, ‘Rainbow’ budgie.
What Is A Rainbow Budgie?
The Rainbow budgie comes in a combination of several color mutations.
The varieties can come from blue-based budgies combined with the genes of opalines, yellowish, and clearwing, or with yellow-face, opaline, blue, and clearwing.
There is no denying that breeding Rainbow budgies is an exacting task, but with the right genes, planning and time, you can have some amazing-looking budgies in your aviary.
How To Identify Rainbow Budgies?
You can be sure that no two Rainbow Budgies are ever the same.
However, the ‘rainbow’ term for budgies applies to budgies with the following traits:
- Head And Mask Color – yellow, mutant 1, mutant 2, or golden-yellow color in the head or face deepening into a green that blends into the body’s color.
- Body Color – full body color of blues, including sky, cobalt, and mauve.
- Eye Color – black with white iris.
- Wing Color – the wings usually appear white or off-white with almost pastel blue, green, and yellow marks.
- Cheek Color – faint to the medium color of deep purple.
- Tail Feather Color – in most instances, the shorter tail feathers are opalescent yellow.
- Feet And Legs Color – Darker blue genes- going to gray shades.
- Cere Color – In females, from tan to white to light blue. In males, from medium to deep blue.
- Unique Markings – the opaline ‘V’ pattern is a varying shade of blue.
How Do I Know If My Budgie Is Rainbow?
Well, a rainbow budgie has far more blended and opalescent colors than a regular budgie.
Your budgie may have multifold color variations, but if your budgie has yellow feathers on its head and mask and is from a variety of blue genes with opaline or clearwing mutation, you can be sure you have a Rainbow budgie.
The pastel shades that are to be found in Rainbow budgies are pretty rare.
These spectacular-looking beauties are an excellent addition to any aviary and difficult to be mistaken for any other kind of bird than a Rainbow budgie.
Are Rainbow Budgies Rare?
A lacewing, fallow, and saddleback are truly rare.
But you can safely say that the yellow-faced budgie with mixed shades of blue colors on the body and the opaline and clearwing gene is a rare bird.
In its very literal sense, that is a ‘rainbow’ budgie.
The reason behind their being rare is that these birds are very sought-after in the bird-keeping community.
And breeders claim it is exceedingly challenging to breed ‘rainbow’ budgies, but it is not impossible.
But the Clearwing rainbow budgie is even rarer.
But, with several attempts at cross-breeding different colored budgies, breeders now have a whole array of budgies that could fall into the ‘rainbow’ category of budgies.
You have the rainbow budgie, the rainbow spangle budgie, and the pastel rainbow budgie, aka clearwing rainbow budgie.
How Much Does A Rainbow Budgie Cost?
The price for Rainbow budgies can vary significantly depending on where you buy the bird.
You may be able to get a rainbow budgie from a pet store, or you may adopt one from a breeder, and even if the colors and age are precisely the same, there will still be a sizable difference between the price.
You see, birds that are hand-trained versus those that haven’t been trained fetch a high price.
Budgies that are accustomed to living in aviaries compared to birds trained to live in their cage or freely living indoors also range considerably in terms of price.
Not to mention, the rarity, the age, and the colors are all aspects that impact the price of a rainbow budgie.
But, on average, you can expect to pay $50 for a Rainbow budgie from a pet store.
If you’re looking for exotic colors and exclusive breeders, you ought to be prepared to dish out more than $100.
How Long Do Rainbow Budgies Live For?
The average budgie can live in the wild for 4 to 10 years.
Bird lovers have come to realize that budgies live much longer in captivity with the proper care and appropriate nutrition.
Rainbow budgies don’t do too well in the wild.
These enchanting creatures have been bred over the years to create the blend of colors that bird lovers adore.
In captivity, your Rainbow budgie can live for as long as 10 to 15 years.
And, if you’ve ensured that your Rainbow budgie comes from a reputable breeder who focuses on health, longevity, and good genes, you ought to be prepared for a long-term commitment as these winged beauties can live for as long as 20 years.
Are Rainbow Budgies Good Pets?
Budgies, in general, make wonderful pets.
These winged little birdies are curious, friendly, and social creatures.
They do great alone with individual bird keepers.
However, in a flock, these birds shine.
You get to see different personality traits in many and as budgies are brilliant birds, they are very easy to care for and just as fun to train.
Now, speaking specifically of Rainbow budgie, imagine a winged friend who loves you and makes you laugh, and then picture it in rainbow colors.
Rainbow budgies make fantastic pets as they are fun to adopt and care for regular budgies but they are just a vision to look at and observe.
Rainbow Budgie Mutation
According to the novice bird keeper, a budgie with several colors is a Rainbow budgie.
But that’s hardly the case.
The term ‘ Rainbow’ refers to more than the colorful plumage of a bird.
According to the scientific community, a Rainbow budgie is a bird with four specific mutations in its genes.
It is only when these mutations all come together that you can get a Rainbow budgie.
The Rainbow budgie will have yellow-colored feathers on its face and mask.
There are color variations of yellow, such as mutant 1, mutant two, and the golden face.
The most famous color variation in Rainbow budgies would be mutant 2.
There are striking color changes in these birds with the mutant two genes, as they can take up a blue-green shading.
Any of the other yellow color variations are acceptable too.
These birds have a brighter base color due to the reduced melanin in the barbules and contour feathers.
The opaline mutation results in a very gradual transition of colors.
Also, the black color striping in the tail or wing feathers is notably reduced.
Furthermore, the opaline mutation is also responsible for less striation from the top of the head to the bottom of the wings.
The color at the end of the wings is the body color, not the ground color.
The cap stretches down from the top of the head, forming a ‘V’ shape between the wings.
Nothing dilutes the coloration of a budgie’s feathers like the clearwing gene.
Fundamentally, the body color of the Rainbow budgie is watered down by 10% by the clearwing gene, giving it the fabulous pastel shades that are so popular.
You should know that there are other variations, such as the greywing and diluted variation of the clearwing gene.
But, these are not viable for breeding Rainbow budgies.
Blue budgies don’t have a blue body color; they are, in fact, green base color.
And there is no yellow pigmentation.
Hence, in a Rainbow budgie, the blue gene will give the bird a bluish shade, but the richness of the blue will depend on the green body color.
How To Breed A Rainbow Budgie?
A classic case of a Rainbow budgie shows all four mutation genes.
Hence, to breed a classic Rainbow budgie, you will need to follow the strict guidelines:
- Both parents need to be clearwing or split for clearwing
- One of the parents needs to be a yellow face mutant type 2
- Both parents need to be blue or split for blue
- Male needs to be opaline or split for opaline
What Color Budgies Make A Rainbow?
You must understand that a classic case of a Rainbow budgie needs to have four mutation genes – clearwing, blue, yellow-face, and opaline.
There are variations available even in the Rainbow variety.
You see, most Rainbow budgies come from yellow-face mutations.
But, if you replace one mutation gene, such as the clearwing gene that merely plays the role of diluting colors, you may still get a Rainbow budgie but with a slight difference.
Pastel Rainbow Budgie
Most budgies with a clearwing gene will be lighter in the shade.
However, the Pastel Rainbow budgie has even more subtle colors that make the bird look stunning.
But, it is not the mutation that plays a pivotal role.
Instead, the base body color is taken into consideration when you want to breed a pastel Rainbow budgie.
Going with a mauve body color with one or both the parents with the clearwing genes in both will generate pastel Rainbow budgies.
Or if you use both parents with strong clearwing genes, you might achieve similar results.
Rainbow Spangle Budgie
When you replace a parent with a clearwing gene mutation with one with a spangle mutation, you end up with the Rainbow Spangle budgie.
The budgie may not have light, diluted colors, but it will have color variations and patterns or spangle on its wings, throat spots, and tail feathers.
These birds are far easier to breed.
The downside is that the Rainbow Spangle budgie cannot be used as a show bird.
In most instances, the Rainbow Spangle budgie is just as striking as the Rainbow budgie.
But, these birds tend to have black edges to their wing feathers with a white or yellow center.
The throat spots in many Rainbow Spangles are widely distributed or entirely missing.
And the tail feathers might have yellow or white edges.
What Is The Rarest Budgie?
The Anthracite budgerigar mutation is an extremely rare mutation that causes changes in the coloration of the budgie.
Anthracites have black or dark gray feathers with very little white on the end of the wing feathers.
These birds may also have jet-black markings and cheek patches of the same dark gray shade as the body.
These spectacular birds are only found in Germany, where the strain was successfully established in 1998.
And the magical mutation took place in the aviaries of Hans-Jurgen H Lenk.
Bird lovers interested in getting their hands on these unique winged lovelies must be ready to pay top dollar and have these birds imported from Germany.
At any given time, a Rainbow budgie and a Pastel Rainbow budgie are difficult to come by.
These birds are very highly prized in the bird-keeping community.
Hence, you have the Rainbow spangle budgie, which is very slightly different from a classic Rainbow budgie.
It is easier to breed the Rainbow Spangle budgies.
But, if you are a bird lover and hope to bring some color into your life, you can always go for the Rainbow Spangle budgie if you have a tough time finding a true Rainbow budgie.
Yet, if you want a masterpiece in your collection of birds that is a delight to look at and a pleasure to care for, you really need to get yourself a Pastel Rainbow Budgie.
These birds make lovely companions, and the best part is you can spend the whole day looking at them in wonder without getting bored for an instant.