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THE MOTTLED BUDGERIGARS
by Ethel J Dobie
The first of these 'mottled' birds appeared in our aviaries In Adelaide, South Australia in 1967, although in appearance very similar to the Danish or Recessive Pied, they have one peculiarity which no other budgerigar seems to possess. When the chicks are old enough to leave the nest, they are normal coloured birds, but as they go through their first moult, the 'mottling' gradually appears. The 'mottlng' commences on the rump and lower parts of the birds, some have very little
'mottling' on them, others have more white (blue series), yellow (green series) than body colours, with patches of white/yellow on the wings.

These birds have appeared in other parts of Australia. Recently some have been bred in northern Queensland and southern Victoria, several thousand miles apart, but it has been proved, their ancestors originated in our aviaries.

The 'mottling' must be carried in a recessive form, this strain of birds have very poor fertility. The best results seem to come from a pair of normal birds each carrying the recessive factor for 'mottlng'.

It all started when we mated a Violet/Opaline Cock to a Sky-Blue Hen. The reason for this mating was to improve our strain of Violets. The Sky-Blue was a lovely hen. We had bred Violets for many years and had won many 'specials' with them, naturally we wished to improve them still further. We chose the best Violet Cock we had and mated him to the good Sky-Blue Hen.

The Violet Cock was our own breeding, we could trace his family tree back for many years, but the Sky-Blue Hen was a daughter from a pair of Sky-Blues we had purchased for an outcross from an interstate breeder the previous twelve months.

This pair produced eight chicks, four of which were Opaline Hens (1 Violets 2 Cobalt and 1 Sky-Blue ).

The foliowing year we mated the OpalIne Sky-Blue Hen to a Violet Cocks which was a son of the same cock which produced the Opaline Sky-Blue Hen. This meant we had mated half-brother to half-sister

This pair produced nine chicks. All normal in feather when they left the nest. Eight remained so, but one a Violet Cock when he came through his first moults showed patches of white on the rump and underparts.

This same year we mated another of the Opaline Hens to a Violet Cock, which was also a son of the father which produced the Opaline Hens. Once again we had half-brother and half-sister mated together. The chicks in the first round all had normal feathering. In the second round they only produced one chick, a Violet Hen. This bird had normal feathering when it left the nest, but on commencing it's first moult, showed patches of white on rump, wings and underparts. This Hen had more white on her than the Cock.

The next breeding season we mated two of the 'mottled' birds to-gether. The hen laid three rounds Of eggs, all were infertile,

Even when two 'mottled' birds are mated to-gether and they produce chicks only a small percentage develop into 'mottles' and when two normal birds, that have been bred from the 'mottles ' are mated to-gether, they produce approximately the same percentage of 'mottles'.

The colours bred in the 'mottles ' so far have been; )- Mauve, Violet, Cobalt Sky Blue (Normal and Opaline) and a Cinnamonwing Grey, also Dark Green. There may have been other colours and varieties bred of which I have no knowledge.

MOTTLE