High Four Bird Training

The Budgerigar :     Melopsittacus undulatus

Noted formally by explorer George Shaw in 1805 , and specimens finally finding their way into museums in 1830's by Naturalist & artist John Gould, who in 1840 changed the scientific name of these birds due to characteristics noted in his book, Birds of Australia, detailing behaviour and anatomical/colour specification.

Common alternative names for this bird also included;

  • Undulated parakeet
  • Warbling grass parakeet
  • Canary parrot
  • Scallop parrot

 

A specimen within the Natural History museum shows the label on a Budgie brought back from Australia by Mr Gould written as "budjeregah" . Thought, and often sometimes controversially thought, to mean Good eating. This is often debated and never really confirmed or denied.

Taxonomy

Melopsittacus undulatus
Empire
Eukaryota
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Psittaciformes
Family
Psittacidae
Genus
Melopsittacus
Species
undulatus

History of the Budgerigar

It was around 1840 that Naturalist John Gould decided to bring back a pair of Budgerigars to England, and that's where it all began!


Colour History:

Yellow was the first deviation from the standard Light Green budgerigar, happening around 1870, believed to be in either Germany or Belgium. Around 1875 both countries also succeeded in breeding the first Greywings.

In 1878 thereabouts, Sky Blue followed, but the colour was sadly lost in error of breeding, but the Dutch later re-bred sky blue once more.


1915 saw the introduction of a Dark Blue, called Laurel, in France, which later resulted in Olive being bred from the Laurel birds genes. Cobalts and Mauve birds followed suit when the two aforementioned were mixed with Sky blue variants.

Along came 1920, when Blues and Yellows were crossed resulting in the first productions of White birds in both England and France.  Blue Greywings were also bred around 1928. It was around 1930 that the Clear wing was first recorded in Australia by the late Mr H. Pier. It was around this time that the Fallow mutation later turned up in Australia, Europe and England. The Australian variety first appeared in the Sydney aviaries of a Mr O'Brien. Saddle-backs followed suit in Sydney too, appearing in aviaries belonging to L and B Ryan.

Violets were thought to have been bred around this time period, though possibly debatable due to lack of records, but was claimed by Australia, Scotland and Denmark simultaneously. Originally being an odd mutation, as many believed the darker violets resembled olive greens.

Both Lutino (green series) and Albino (blue series) made their way into the circuit in the 1930's onward,  known as the "Ino" group, which is known to be sex linked thanks to a mutation between X and Y chromosomes. They were shortly followed by the Opaline mutations, also sex linked and appeared in both Scotland and Australia.

1932 saw the rise of the Pied birds, known then as Danish Pied originally, though the Australian variant bred slightly later in about 1934 ended up the more successful mutation.

1934 also saw the rise of the Yellow Face Blue birds, which caused a huge commotion and proved as popular as the very first sky blues did nearly 56 years earlier! It was also his time frame that saw the Cinnamons bred in not only Australia and Germany, but England, too. This was yet another commonly sex linked gene.

In 1934, two Grey varieties were bred, both Australian Dominant grey, and the British Recessive Grey. The dominant proved the more popular and it's thought that the Recessive is more or less gone from the breeding circuit.

During a long new-variant gap, the Continental clear-flight suddenly made an appearance in the aviaries of the Danish around 1945, shortly followed by another sex linked gene mutation, the Lacewing, in Australia.

Along came 1974, and Spangle made itself known in a Melbourne aviary, belonging to Mr Merv Jones.