Parakeet Colors | Common Types & Amazing Variations

All parakeets in the wild are green and yellow; however, since being brought into captivity, breeders have begun artificially selecting for lots of different mutations that cause a huge variation in the colors and patterns of parakeets. 

How many parakeet colors are there? There are six common parakeet colors: green, blue, yellow, white, purple, and rainbow, but there are more than 30 mutations which lead to hundreds of possibilities. Each basic color can vary based on mutations present that alter the shade and patterning on the wings and back.

Parakeets are typically found in green-and-yellow or blue-and-white color combinations with black striping, but in total, there are more than 30 color possibilities thanks to mutations.

Common examples include yellow, violet, white, gray, and rainbow, all in various shades and patterns.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive guide to all of the most common parakeet colors and what the parakeets look like.

You’ll also discover details on what the most common color mutations are and as well as some rare recessive mutations.

Keep reading if you’d like to learn more about variations in parakeet coloring.

Most Common Parakeet Colors

The most common parakeet colors are green, blue, yellow, and white. Here, we’ll go into a bit more detail on each of these common colors.

Parakeets are typically named after their dominant color, so if a parakeet is mostly green, it’s called a green parakeet, and so on.

Later in the article, we’ll go into more detail on what mutations cause different parakeet colors.

Green Parakeet

A small green-and-yellow parakeet perched on a piece of peeling tree bark.

This is the most common parakeet color. The green parakeet is not entirely green.

Its breast and belly are green, but it has a yellow face, yellow-green wings, and black stripes down its back and wings.

  • Key Features: A green breast and belly, small dark blue or purple throat spots underneath eyes, a yellow face, and black and yellow striped wings.
  • Shades/Variations: These parakeets range in shade from light yellowish green as the dominant color to a darker mossy green depending on the mutation present.
  • Mask Colors: Yellow mask

Blue Parakeet

A dark blue parakeet perched on top of his black cage.

Blue parakeets are a gorgeous parakeet color variation.

Blue parakeets look similar to green parakeets except they have a light bluish purple as their dominant color and white as a secondary color.

Blue parakeets have a periwinkle breast and belly, a white face, and black-and-white feathers.

  • Key Features: A light blue breast and belly, iridescent blue or pale tan cere (nose area), yellow beak, dark blue throat spots, and black and white striped feathers.
  • Shades/Variations: The light purple-blue color but can range from light aqua blue to a deeper royal blue. Some have white as a dominant color and only have patches of blue on their breast and belly.
  • Mask Colors: White mask

Yellow Parakeet

A yellow parakeet clinging to a white rope in her cage.

While green parakeets often have some yellow markings, yellow parakeets are almost entirely yellow.

Some may have patches of black stripes on their feathers, but most yellow parakeets are entirely yellow save for white throat spots and maybe some white in their tails.

Yellow parakeets are entirely yellow due to the lutino mutation, which we’ll talk about later in this article.

While slightly less common than blue or green parakeets, yellow parakeets are a beautiful bird for your first pet parakeet.

  • Key Features: Almost entirely yellow but can have white, green, or blue throat spots, and maybe a white tail.
  • Shades/Variations: Most yellow parakeets are the same shade of banana yellow but some could be lighter yellow if they have a dilution mutation.
  • Mask Colors: Full yellow mask

While slightly less common than blue or green parakeets, yellow parakeets are a beautiful bird for your first pet parakeet.

White Parakeet

A pure white male parakeet perched on a wood perch.

White parakeets have a gene encoding for albinism that causes a lack of pigment in their feathers, beaks, and feet.

Albinism can also cause their eyes to be red, though most white parakeets have black eyes.

White parakeets are about as common as yellow parakeets, and they’re very unique looking.

  • Key Features: Entirely white feathers with light pink beak, cere, and feet.
  • Shades/Variations: The white parakeet doesn’t have much variation; all white parakeets are completely white due to the gene that causes albinism.
  • Mask Colors: White mask

Less Common Parakeet Colors

Almost any parakeet you find for purchase will be green, blue, white, or yellow.

However, there are a few very rare parakeet colors that you may see. These include the purple parakeet and the rainbow parakeet.

Wondering what the difference is between a “normal” parakeet and a “fancy” parakeet? Find the answer here.

Purple Parakeet

A male purple parakeet sitting on a slender branch.

Purple is a very rare color mutation for parakeets.

Purple parakeets look largely similar to blue parakeets, but instead of blue, they have a gorgeous light lavender as a dominant color.

They have purple on their breast and belly, a white face, and may have black and white wings.

If you are able to find a purple parakeet, they may be very expensive because this is a super rare mutation.

However, having a purple parakeet is definitely a fun thing to show off as they are so beautiful.

  • Key Features: A light purple breast and belly, white striped wings, a white face, purple throat spots, a yellow beak, and light purple or tan cere.
  • Shades/Variations: Purple parakeets all have a light purple, and some may have a few black and white stripes on their wings, however, most are only white and purple. 
  • Mask Colors: White mask

Rainbow Parakeet

A pretty rainbow budgie sitting on a man's hand looking at a curled finger.

Rainbow parakeets are even rarer than purple parakeets and they’ll definitely turn heads.

Rainbow parakeets aren’t a bright array of rainbow colors; instead, their feathers are a gorgeous pastel gradient between yellow, blue, green, white, and sometimes purple.

There is a lot of variation among rainbow parakeets, but any parakeet that has yellow, blue, green, and white is a rainbow parakeet.

  • Key Features: Pastel gradient colors across all of their feathers, as well as pink feet, beak, and cere.
  • Shades/Variations: Rainbow parakeets come in all different shades and may have any pastel color including yellow, purple, green, blue, and white. Some have all of these colors, and some only have a couple. 
  • Mask Colors: Usually yellow but can also be light green, light blue, or white

Are There Health Issues Associated With Rare Parakeet Colors? An Expert’s Answer

Having worked with animals for many years, I’m familiar with the fact that health issues often appear in canine lines when emphasis is on developing new or rare colors.

I was curious if the same is true in the case of rare parakeet colors. I reached out to Mr. Meelad from Maryland Exotic Birds, Inc. to see if this is indeed a problem.

Here is his response:

While parakeets certainly don’t live as long as some of the larger parrots, to my knowledge, there are no known health problems unique to parakeets with unusual or rare coloration.

The genes responsible for feather color only seem to affect color, not the overall health of the bird.

It’s good to know that you can select whatever color parakeet you’re drawn to without any worry of inherent health conditions.

Common Parakeet Varieties and Mutations

Wild parakeets are green parakeets. They have a green breast and belly, a yellow face, and black-and-yellow striped wings.

However, there are several common mutations to this wild-type parakeet that change its coloring. Here is a description of a few of the most common mutations:

Light Green Mutation

Parakeets with the light green mutation are considered green parakeets and have the same coloring, except their breast and belly are a lighter green compared to the wild-type parakeets.

Dark Green Mutation

Parakeets with a dark green mutation will have a dark leafy to mossy green belly and breast. These are also still considered green parakeets.

Lutino Mutation

The lutino mutation is a set of genes that causes all or most of the feathers to be yellow. This is the mutation that causes yellow parakeets.

Although this is a mutation of the green parakeet, parakeets with the lutino mutation are considered yellow parakeets.

Blue Mutation

The blue mutation in parakeets is a recessive mutation that causes parakeets to have a white base with blue as the dominant color. All blue parakeets have this mutation.

Albino Mutation

These parakeets have a mutation that causes a loss of pigment in keratin proteins. This means that they are entirely white with pink beaks, ceres, and feet.

Parakeets with the albino mutation are considered white parakeets.

Pied Mutation

Pied parakeets have a relatively common mutation. The pied mutation can be found on all types of parakeets and simply causes patches of white or yellow.

If you see a parakeet with patches of white or yellow in its feathers, they are considered pied.

A parakeet with a pied mutation can also have other mutations.

For example, a parakeet can have both a light green mutation and a pied mutation, which means it will be mostly light green with yellow patches on its breast and belly.

Gray Wing Mutation

This is a common parakeet mutation that causes the bird’s outermost feathers to be a light gray color.

Like the pied mutation, the gray wing mutation can be seen in combination with other mutations.

Rare Parakeet Colors and Mutations

The two rarest parakeet mutations are the Texas clearbody mutation and the rainbow mutation.

Texas Clearbody Mutation

The clearbody mutation is a rare recessive mutation that is seen in few parakeets. Texas clearbody parakeets have either white or yellow as a dominant color.

The yellow Texas clearbodies have a bright yellow coloring with a few black stripes down the back and wings; they also have blue and black throat spots.

The white Texas clearbodies are even rarer, and more sought after because they look unlike any other parakeet.

White Texas clearbodies almost look like a gray-scale green parakeet. They have a mostly white body with black or gray stripes on their back. They have almost no color save for some light blue throat spots. 

Rainbow Mutation

Rainbow parakeets do not have a single mutation; they instead have a combination of many different mutations.

The rainbow parakeet may have a blue mutation combined with an opaline mutation, a clearwing mutation, as well as a yellowface mutation, along with other mutations.

This delicate combination of mutations is the reason why rainbow parakeets are both the hardest to breed and the hardest to find parakeets.

What Is the Rarest Parakeet Color?

The rarest parakeet color is rainbow.

This is a very rare parakeet to find because they have to have several different mutations in combination to achieve their gorgeous pastel rainbow coloring.

Breeders have to select for very specific parent types to achieve rainbow parakeet babies.

Related Questions:

Are There Red Parakeets?

No, there are no red parakeets. Red is not a pigment that is ever found in parakeets. Parakeet feather pigments include only blue, green, yellow, or black. 

However, in some rare circumstances, parakeets with white as their dominant color may have pink or reddish feathers from eating large amounts of food with red pigments.

How Can You Tell a Parakeet’s Gender?

If the parakeet is older than 1 year old, the first thing to look at is the cere. The cere is the nose-like patch of skin above a parakeet’s beak.

Male parakeets will have pink, blue, or purple ceres based on their color mutation, while female parakeets have white, light brown, or very light blue ceres.

A green-and-yellow female parakeet on the left and a blue-and-white male on the right.
Note the dark tan cere of the female on the left compared to the deep blue cere of the male on the right.

You can also differentiate parakeets based on their size and overall coloring. Male parakeets tend to be larger and have more vibrant coloring compared to females.

The above methods to determine parakeet gender can be compromised by the huge variation of color mutations that parakeets have.

For example, albino male and female parakeets will look almost identical, so you will have to differentiate them using another method.

Gender can also be differentiated by behavior.

Male parakeets tend to be louder, more aggressive, and more playful compared to females. Female parakeets are quieter and more affectionate.

Conclusion

Most parakeets are green and yellow, blue and white, completely yellow, or albino due to many different mutations.

The rarest colors of parakeets are rainbow and purple.

All parakeet colors are based on mutations to the wild-type green parakeet that has green as a dominant color and yellow as a secondary color.

There are innumerable combinations of parakeet mutations that will create gorgeous and unique patterns and colors in parakeets.

Sources: 

Blue Parakeets: A Complete Guide Before You Get One

Budgie Parakeet Colors, Varieties, Mutations, Genetics

Parakeet Color Types

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