The Opaline Challenge

The Opaline variety of budgerigar can be a stunning bird, however, over the years, generally speaking, it has diminished into what can only be described as a mess.

This is the BS colour description of The Opaline;

The mask Buttercup Yellow in the Green series or Clear White in the Blue
series birds to be clear, wide and deep (not cleft) extending beyond large cheek patches containing six large, round evenly spaced black spots.
Each outer spot is partially covered by the base of the cheek patches.
Should extend over the back of the head and merge into the general body colour at a point level with the butt of the wings.
Back, rump, breasts, flanks and underparts to be a solid and even shade throughout.
On cheeks, back of head, neck – minimal. Wings – black, clearly defined and symmetrical on the appropriate body colour.
A clear ‘V’ effect is desirable in the mantle area.
Black with a white iris ring.
Full intensity


So, why the challenge?

Why not !

In my own little way I’m going to try as best I can to improve my opalines up to the BS standard. I have to say that they are not my favored variety, but I am fed up with seeing poorly marked opalines. The “V” shape mantle has in most birds become like the back of a normal and lost altogether …. that said I do know of breeders that have some very good opalines, but they are in the minority. Another major fault is flecked heads, I just cannot understand why breeders proudly show photos of a bird with massive flecking and say that they can’t wait to get it into the breeding cage, surely this fault will come out somewhere along the line and disappoint someone else who has bought a clean headed bird not knowing that it carries a major fault within it’s genes – it’s madness.

I’m advised that to produce a good Opaline is to pair Opaline x Opaline, so that’s my first step. All of my opalines carry faults of some description, here are photos of my Opaline collection.

This grey green hen is out of condition, but apart from that she has an obvious keyhole shape face which is undesirable, but that’s not what I’m trying to improve. The head has the obligatory flecking and there is no sign of the “V” saddle. She has a good spot and has a decent blow.

Another grey green hen, she is quite powerful and has a clean head and she blows well, a nice, deep mask and spot. But look at her back – it resembles a normal feathering and the back of her head is marked as well.

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