The Saddleback Budgerigar

The first recorded Saddleback budgerigar appeared in the aviary of Les and Barry Ryan of Sydney, NSW during the 1975 breeding season. The Ryan’s mated a pair of Normal Skyblues to start a new line of Blues. In the nest of the first round, one chick started showing the Opaline characteristics. As the bird grew and feathered up, the Opaline characteristics became more evident in the head and the saddle area but the wing marking was different to that of an Opaline in so far as the ground colour of the wing was white and not that of the body colour as in the true Opaline.

The saddleback mutation is the result of a genetic mutation that affects the distribution of pigmentation in the bird’s feathers. This mutation leads to a pattern of coloration that resembles a saddle on the bird’s back, hence the name “saddleback”. With this in mind, the distinctive pattern of coloration on saddleback budgerigars is characterized by a clear demarcation between the back and belly feathers, with the back feathers being a different color to the belly feathers. The back feathers are typically green or blue, while the belly feathers can be yellow, white, or a mix of both.

Identification of The Exhibition Saddleback Budgerigar

According to The Standard, the exhibition Saddleback budgerigar general body colour rump and underparts are solid and uniform throughout. The face and forehead ground colour is yellow for green series, and white for blue series, with the exception of the yellow-face series. The ground colour should extend over the back of the head into the mantle. Dark grey grizzled suffusion must appear in the ground colour on the back of the head and mantle.

Saddleback Budgerigar

Saddleback Budgerigar

Saddleback Budgerigar

The back and wing coverts (upper & under) are heavily grizzled with grey in the ground colour. These merge into definite black in the secondary and primary flights. Minimal signs of markings on the neck and cheeks, back of head and mantle.

The Saddleback Budgerigar has a deep and wide mask that extends beyond two large cheek patches. To that end, six evenly spaced, large, round black throat spots ornament the mask. In addition, the base of the cheek patches partially covers the two outer spots. It features a dark eye with a white iris ring, and its feet are blue/grey in color. In terms of gender, the cock has a blue cere, while the hen has a brown cere.

Below is a summary of the colors of the Saddleback budgerigar’s cheek patch, tail quill, and tail feathers.


Click here for the Saddleback Budgie in full from the ANBC