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THE BLACKFACE BUDGERIGAR
A new mutation
by Didier Mervilde

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In 1998 I read an article about "blackface" budgerigars in a magazine from the Netherlands, because of my interest of new mutations I wonder if the breeder would let me see these birds. I had to wait until September 1999 to make an appointment with Mr. Van Dijk and after a trip of 4 hours we finally arrived. What we saw was small pet type budgerigars but so different from what we usually expect.

It was in 1992 that Mr. Van Dijk discovered two blue cocks with black undulated masks and black striped markings on their breast. He decided to buy the birds and breed with them. The first year the birds were mated to normal grey hens. Out of these matings normal blues and greys were produced.

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During the second year he mated the young hens back to the original cocks; only one pairing produced a few blackfaces.

After test mating, Mr. Van Dijk concluded that the mutation was recessive. For the moment there is no evidence that the mutation is linked to any other mutation, the fact is that in the offspring we found some recessive pieds and even one blackface with a white spot on the head. According to Mr. Van Dijk breeding blackfaces is not so easy. For the moment his stock contains about 13 blackfaces and many "splits" or I must say "maybe splits"

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To establish this mutation to a good standard standards will take a lot of time, and it would be helpful if Mr. Dijk let other breeders take some of his blackfaces to work with. In my opinion this is the only way to ensure the continuation of the mutation.

I asked myself what would happen if his birds became ill? The mutation could disappear and perhaps the way to breed black budgies in the future along with it.

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Possible matings:

Blackface x normal = 100% normal / blackface

Normal/blackface x normal/blackface = 25% normals, 50% normal/blackface, 25% blackface

Blackface x normal/blackface = 50% normal/blackface, 50% blackface

Normal/blackface x normal = 50% normal, 50% normal/blackface

Blackface x blackface = 100% blackface

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Didier Mervilde 2000/2001/2002/2003/2004/2005/2006
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