This article is a result of research made by Didier Mervilde about:

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Brownwing and Faded Budgerigar

Photographs © Ken Yorke / M.Goodsell

Bruinvleugel (Brownwing)

A.B.C. de l’éleveur de perruches Ondulées par Alain Delille (1989) (FR.)

1932- 1934 : Apparition en Grande-Bretagne d’oiseaux à plumage brun terne, peu spectaculaires et n’égalant pas la splendeur qu’avaient alors les ailes grises ou les cinnamons et qui étaient les ailes brunes. Il faut en parler au passé car cette mutation semble avoir complétement disparue depuis la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale.

(citaat pagina 27)

Persoonlijke briefwisseling Gerald Binks (U.K.) – Didier Mervilde (30 mei 2002)

Just found a ref to them in A Rutgers book. "Only the wing markings are brown. The factor being recessive, it’s manner of reproduction is the same as for fallows. The browning is in three shades possessing either no dark factor, one dark factor or two dark factors. A cross with greywings is the best."

Uittreksel uit het boek "THE WORLD OF BUDGERIGARS"

From reading published literature, it has not been possible to find out just when or where the mutation called Brownwing began its existence.

It may, possibly, have occured during or just after the last war period and came to notice in the late 1940's or early 1950's. In the Seventh Edition of the book Budgerigar Matings and Colour Expectations, Brownwings are briefly described and breeding rules for both Green and Blue series given. In their book, Genetics for Budgerigar Breeders * Taylor & Warner mention the Brownwings as being a Recessive variety but no information on their origin is given.

A few examples I saw were very similar in their colouring to the well known Cinnamons, but of a duller tone throughout. They lacked too the pink eye colour which is the characteristic of all Cinnamon varieties when first hatched, having at all times the usual dark eyes of Normals. From correspondence I had with breeders it would seem that most Brownwings were bred in Lancashire and a few examples were exhibited in that area. Because of their similarity in colour to the bright Sex-linked Cinnamons, which were easy to breed, the Brownwings did not become popular and eventually the strains faded out.

At the end of 1939 I had a letter dated December 5th from L. Raymaekers of Brussels, Belgium, a well known bird breeder giving me some particulars and enclosing a wing from a variety he called Brownwing, and said it was Recessive in its breeding behaviour. From this information and examination of the wing I came to the conclusion that these birds had been develeped from Clearwings. It was known at that time that certain Clearwings carried quite heavy, wide markings assumed a definite bronze brown shade. I think that the Raymaeker Brownwings were slectively bred from such birds and showed an excess of brown colouring in their wing markings combined with a deep body shade both in the Blue and green kinds. As far as I have been able to trace this particular strain of birds did not survive over the war years, and I have not heard of them since. The Britisch race of Brownwings were undoubtedly a definte mutation and quite different in their overall colouring of the Continental kind wich were probably a selectively bred colour phase.

Uittreksel uit " Het grote kleurparkietenboek" door A.Rutgers. Copyright 1976 by Uitgeverij Littera Manet-Gorssel. Ontleend aan het origineel werk "Budgerigars in colour, by A.Rutgers. Blandford Press Ltd. Hoofdstuk XVII .

Beschrijving : Slechts de tekening op de vleugels is bruin. De lichaamskleur der vogels is lichter dan bij de normale kleuren. Bij de gele en witte vogels is de vleugeltekening nog lichter dan normaal. Oog zwart.

De factor is recessief en de vererving verloopt dan ook geheel gelijk aan die van de fallow.

Er schijnen nog drie kleurslagen van het bruin te zijn, al naar gelang er geen, één of twee donkerfactoren zijn.

Om een goede sterke kleur te krijgen, is het aan te raden te kruisen met de grijsvleugels…

Door de bruinvleugels te kruisen met opalinen, krijgen we een belangrijke reductie van de tekening, zodat deze vogels naar de gelijkgekleurden neigen…

Encyclopedia Budgerigars door A.Radtke vertaling door U.Erich Friese, copyright 1973, 1979 by Franckh'sche Verlagshandlung, W.Keller & CO., Stuttgart, Germany. English translation. Copyright 1981 by T.F.H. Publications, Inc.Ltd., Hong Kong, BBC. Orginally published in German under the title "Handbuch dur Wellensittich-Freunde : Pflege, Zucht u. Farbspielarten." 2.uberarb. Aufl. By Georg Radtke. Uittreksel p.310 - 311.

They are no more than the opaline light wings with markings which, strangely enough, have taken on a strong brownish tone without the incrossing of cinnamons. Because of that, brownwings were considered for a long time to be a special mutant. Others believed they came about through incrossing of cinnamons. If one crosses opaline light wings, one gets offspring with greatly diluted markings and a weak base color. They look, phenotypically, like yellow and whites with a colored rump. Only opaline light wings show in their wing and back markings a brownish sheen instead of a greyish white one. These birds too are attractive and colorful, but they are definitely not a mutation, as often been maintained. Without the YF factor brownwings are not difficult to breed. One really only needs well-marked opalines,preferably royal opaline with reduced black markings, to breed with light wings.(see: Green Yellow-Wings an Blue White-Wings): 1,0 opaline x 0,1 light wing = normal cocks (segregated in opaline and light wing), opaline hens (segregated in light wing). The following generation produces 25% light wings of both sexes and half of these in opaline. The most beautiful specimens have bright blue plumage, have a greyish brown tone (primary light feathers and tail feathers = brown wing). The British call these birds "selves" (uniformly colored), and they have established special show classes for them.


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A.B.C. de l’éleveur de Perruches Ondulées par Alain Delille (1989) (Fr.)

Cette mutation est en réalité appelée Easley Dominant Clearbodies, elle est donc génétiquement dominante. On n’en connait actuellement que trois éleveurs et en environ 70 spécimens, tous en U.S.A.

Apparue en 1950 dans les volières de Tom Easley à Rialto (Californie), cette couleur a déjà un standard aux Etats-Unies où cette variété est appelée plus communément Laced Clear soit "dentelle claire". Dans un ouvrage de Cyril Rogers, elle est mentionnée sous le nom de ""Faded body" (= corps décoloré)

D’après un des possesseurs de cette mutation, elle ne devrait pas être baptisée corps clair.

(citaat pagina 124)

Persoonlijke briefwisseling Ken York (AU) – Didier Mervilde (31 mei 2002)

Despite a disastrous season with Fadeds last year, I still have about 20 Fadeds and splits in total still flying. As far as I know there are on 3 people breding the variety and all of us have only small numbers, even the original breeder has recently lost a lot of birds, I have heard on the grapevine, but this is unconfirmed.

I have some photos of my own birds and some photos given to me by the original breeder (Mark Goodsell). I will send you a few pictures in the near future when I get organised as I have lent slides and photos of rare budgies to several people recently and I am waiting for their return.

With regard to feathers for research, I have already sent some to Inte Onsman over 12 months ago for him to do cross-sections on. I haven’t seen the results yet, althought from memory most of the feathers were Opaline Fadeds as that is mostly what I have. It is also complicated further by the fact that high proportion Fadeds are actualy Greywing Fadeds because the mutation originally occured in a Greywing family.

Fadeds breed as a simple recessive variety. They are born with red eyes, which turn brown in 8-48 hours, then turn back by approx 21 days. The eyes take 1-2 years to develop a white iris ring.

Pigmentation is slightly reduced throughout the whole bird.

The body colour is about ¾ normal intensity but this varies slightly. The biggest change in body colour is seen on Grey Greens (and Opaline Grey Greens in particular). The wing markings vary from very dark grey to almost black. The feet are pink. A very subtle paling of beak and male cere colour is also seen, simular to a cinnamonwing but nothing as dramatic as Ino or Pied.

Artikel in Budgerigar Galore – The Revival of the Feaded by Mark Goodsell. (AU)

My first experience with the Faded variety came about in December 1985, when I returned from Albury, N S Wales, where I had been working, in order to relieve my brother who had been caring for my budgerigars while I had been away.

In one nest box a pair were hatching their third round which comprised of nine fertile aggs. The third and fourth chicks to hatch had pink eyes, and like anybody else would, I assumed that I had bred a couple of cinnamon hens. At this stage the cinnamon chiks held little significance as I was more concerned with getting all nine aggs to hatch. The last three eggs were fostered as they were starting to become dirtied by the excreta of their elder brothers and sisiters. By the time the three eldest chicks had left the nest the youngest three were ready to be returned, and it was this procedure that was succesfully adopted.

It was also this time that it became obvious that I had some "funny coloured" cinnamons among the clutch and a search through the cocks ancestry was undertaken. The father of these "pink-eyed" birds was, what I refer to as a Light Greywing Cobalt, because the Greywing is not as the standard requires. His mother was a Normal Cobalt bred in 1983 from a South Australian cock obtained from a local pet shop (BSSA SI 8933) and which passed at first glance like a pretty reasonable Clearwing Laurel. The father of the Greywing Cobalt cock was another pet shop Grey green, which had, two years previously, been paired to a cinnamon opaline green hen. Not one of the fourteen chicks they raised was cinnamon, so obviously or very unlikely, the grey green was not split for cinnamon. It was obvious then, that I was dealing with a variety other than cinnamon, firstly because there was no cinnamon in the background and secondly because one of the young "pink-eyes" was talking on the characteristics of a cock bird (85 97828).

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Any knowledgeable breeder will inform you that if one wishes to breed sex-linked cocks then the mother must show the sex-linked gene. The only alternative since the parents were normal, was that a recessive gene must have come into play. As it happened, the mother of the "pink-eyes" was a Violet Laurel split for Light Greywing and for blue, and she was the daughter of BSSA 81 8933, the South Australian bird, and a Violet opaline hen. Thus in avery short space of time I had found the source of the "pink-eyed" gene. Then followed a search for those descendants of BSSA 81 8933 which I still possessed and which may have been carrying the Faded gene.

All was not plain sailing from here, however, although it was assumed at the time that it would be. Most of the chicks from the first two rounds had by now been disposed of, even before the third round had been hatched. Nevertheless I remember thinking that I could readily form two pairs and be well under way with this odd variety.

As I was a member of the Budgerigar Council of Australia at the time at their Albury branch, I took these two "odd" birds down there to show them the more senior members of the club, and to ask their. Much interest as aroused, but no offers to buy the pair were received. The two senior judges present commented that they had never seen birds anything quite like these before and that I should persist in attempting to breed them in all normal shades and varieties.

Durin 1986 it was decided to pair the 1985 young Faded Olive ? (86 97831) ti his sister Faded Light-Greywing Mauve ? ( 86 97831) and to pair their mother the Violet Laurel/Light Greywing Blue faded to one of her Violet sons (85 2211) reasoning that i had a 2/3 chanche that he too would be also split Faded. This later proved to be the case. I also remember trying to pair the Light greywing cobalt (84 40963) back to his mother, the Cobalt (83 49134) but recall that she played football with anything white that appeared in the nest box.

Anything produced (hatched) by the pair of young "plum-eyes" lasted for a day or less and yhe young Faded hen died 21/11/86 much to my disappointment. The second pairing was more fruitful however, and out of eight chicks two faded hens were produced, (87 2197). This was a Faded Mauve or Violet Mauve of good size. Her sisiter (87 21300) a Faded Light-Greywing Violet, a very attractive colour but somewhat smaller bird. Both these hens were shown to a couple of Budgerigar Society of Australia judges (I was living in Wollongong) but their reaction was one of little interest. I was disappointed at their reaction which was contrary to the objects of the Society in that the cultivation of new varieties is to be given priority according to a major BSA document.

I was at this time still determined however, to find out what variety these birds were. The answer came, (I thought), when leafing through a book at the BSA Annual show. The title of the book The World of Budgerigars by the British author, Cyril Rogers, contained a discription of the "the Faded variety" which had features similar to the birds I had been attempting to breed. I soon penned a letter containing photographs to Mr.Rogers via Gerald Binks, then editor of Budgerigar World, telling him of my birds, and asking for more information. A letter was promply returned in which Mr.Rogers said "their eye colour and poor breeding results points to the fact that they are the Faded". This news and opinion was good enough for me so I have called my plum-eyed birds Fadeds ever since. I have recently sent Mr. & nsp; Rogers a letter telling of progress since March 1990, I only hope that he will be as pleased as I, since he was the last person in England to breed the Fadeds,now, many years ago.

In 1987 the Faded Olive. (85 97328) was paired to the Faded Mauve (violet mauve) ( 86 21297). They produced one chick which died at one day old. The hen died some four months later of egg peritonitis on 19/12/87. Her sister the Faded Light-Greywing Violet (87 21300) fared a little better. She was paired to a son of the South Australian cock which just happened to be split Faded. They produced a Faded Spangle Violet Sky cock (87 10190). This bird bred up until late 1992, although under unfavourable conditions.

Thereader should be able to see by now, from the examples given above that the breeding of the first of my line of Faded budgerigars was not as easy a task as once anticipated, although it has been made a little easier in the past few years.

When using birds that are split for a variety, and one has little knowledge of their genetic make-up, a number of speculative pairings have to be called upon. Sometimes these will prove fruitful and at other times they are of little use whatsoever. I can assure the reader that up to 1989 that this was my predicament.

In 1987 one such speculative pairing was made, a Light-Greywing Sky/opaline ( 84 40988) brother of the Light-Greywing cobalt (84 40963) was paired to a runt of a Cobalt hen which was actually split Faded. This pairing provided two birds which have proved instrumental in the continuance of this vatiety, (87 10198) a Faded Cobalt cock and (88 4436) a Faded Sky cock were produced.

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The Faded Cobalt cock was paired in 1989 a half-Scoble hen (88 4431) and a Opaline Grey Green (85 6774) and a Lewis/Kakoschke cock, and father of a half-Scoble hen, was paired to a Faded Laurel hen (87 10151). This was done firstly, and most importantly, to provide a vigorous outcross and secondly to introduce the grey and opaline genes. The Fade Cobalt cock paired to the Opaline Grey Green hen (half-Scoble), produced 16 young splits. More importantly the Warren Lewis bred Opaline Grey Green succeeded in fathering 6 young splits from his Faded partner. It is not often that Faded hens will produce chicks in such quantity, if at all.

These oucrosses I feel, have provided the vigour that was lacking in the previous strain of Fadeds. This has, however, been at some detriment to the body colour and to the depth of markings.

Hopefully this may be corrected through the use of a non-Scoble non-Kakoschke strain.

Just when you think that all is proceeding well, nature brings you back to earth with a thud. In my case it was psittacosis. From the end of 1989 many of my best birds as well as the Fadeds were lost. Of the twenty-six split Fadeds bred in 1989 only fourteen survived the following year, and others died since. Through not observing proper quarantine measures I had placed my flock in an unenviable situation. The fact that it took from early 1990 to late 1992 for a veterinarian to accurately diagnose and treat the disease has not helped matters either.

Luckily no Fadeds were paired in 1990, but in 1991 the Faded Sky Blue cock referred to earlier (88 4436) when paired to a Laurel/Faded hen (from 88 4431 the half-Scoble hen) produced eleven birds. Of these two Faded cocks and the two split Faded hen have been the ones to produce. One Faded Cobalt hen (there were two normal Green Fadeds) was tried but she produced only pea-sized clear eggs. Another pair of splits bred well also. Both were Grey Laurel/Blue type II. The hen was opaline while the cock was split opaline. A large number of splits were bred. Of the surviving Fadeds, two are Grey, (possibly cobalt grey) and two Grey Laurel green. The two greens and one of the Greys are cock birds and all are opalines. These Faded opalines are all of a distinctive body colour and the one hen has much more darker markings than the cocks as one would expect. The body colour of the Faded Opaline Grey and grey Greens is much lighter while the Grey Greens are of a mustard-coloured shade. Thes feathures alone warrant the inclusion of the Faded as a seperate variety in the National Standard. In addition normal Faded cocks have ouch more defined markings than ordinary normal cocks along with a violet cheek patch.

During this past season the Fadeds have continued to breed well with one exception. Sufficiently well in fact for me to assert that the Faded variety is once again an entity and entitled as such to be a recognised variety on the show scene.

Webpages Down Under Aviaries (AU)

Op deze pagina’s staan enkele foto’s van de Faded. Zelf heb ik contact genomen met deze kweker met een vraag naar bijkomende informatie zonder enig resultaat.

Waarschijnlijk kweken ze die vogels niet zelf en hebben ze foto’s overgenomen van de hiervoor beschreven kweker.

Uittreksel uit het boek "The World of Budgerigars" van Cyril Rogers, na persoonlijk kontakt verkregen van Gerald Binks op vraag van Didier Mervilde.

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THE FADED COLOURS (p.122 – p.123)

Some time in late 1932 N.A. Coulson of Lincoln had a mutation appear amongst his stock of Normals which had an eye colour between that of the English Fallow and the Cinnamon. For the want of a better name he called his birds Faded Greens, Faded Blues and so on. The original bird, a cock, looked just like a dull example of a Greywing Green except that its eyes were a solid plum shade. At that time Mr.Coulson did not think much about this bird, but when he paired it on an ordinary Greywing Green/Blue hen the pair gave only normally coloured Green and Blue chicks. This breeding result indicated, of course, that it was not a Normal Greywing but another similarly coloured mutation. The cock bird was next mated with a White Blue and again onlu normally coloured Greens and Blues were produced. In 1935 the original Faded Green cock mated inter se. From these crosses came further examples of Feded Greens and faded Blues together with some Faded yellow,White and Greywings. All these colours were dull and only about half the intensity of their Normal counterparts.

These results prove clearly that the Faded colour phase was a definite Recessive mutation and one that could be bred in examples of all other establised varieties. When the Faded character was combined with another colour character the resulting birds were half the normal colouring and all had plum coloured eyes. I would say that Cinnamon and the Red-eyed kinds were not used in any experimental pairings with Faded birds. For the first few days after hatching the colour of the eyes of all the Faded birds was like that of the German Fallow but slowly changing to the plum shade as the birds developed.


Through the kindness of Mr.Coulson I was able to add Faded birds to my stud and carried out many cross pairings with them, ultimately getting numerous Faded birds in most colours. A few other breeders of thet time beside Mr.Coulson and myself hed these Faded birds and some examples were actually exhibited. Owing to their similarity in colour to the Greywings, which were then exceedingly popular, they did not attract many breeders. With the outbreak of War in 1939 and the resulting drastic reduction in stocks of Budgerigars in Great Britain, the breeding of Faded Greens creased and this Recessive mutation disappeared; for good I thought.


In the early 1970's, however, whilst looking over a breeding collection of mixed colours in the little Suffolk town of Leiston, I thought I saw a nicely coloured Greywing Dark Green cock. The owner said I could have the bird if I liked to catch him - this I promply did. The parentage of this bird could not be traced as there were some dozen or so breeding pairs of mixed colours in the cologny. When I got the bird home I examined him closely and it was then I saw that his eyes were plum coloured just like the old Faded Greens.

In due course I paired him, first with a Light Yellow to see if this breeding behaviour was the same as that of the Faded birds. From the Yellow/White hen I had four young normally coloured Light Green cocks so I paired him next to a Sky Blue, again four chiks, three Green cocks and one Green hen. I now had the original Faded cock, seven split cocks and only one split hen, which I paired back to her sire the following season. This mating gave two Faded Green hens, one faded Blue hen, one faded Dark Green cock, together with a number of normally coloured cocks. The following year I put the Faded Green to a half brother of the previous season's breeding with the high hopes of getting further Faded cocks and hens. Unfortunately, this Faded Green hen proved to be a non- breeder so after two clutches of two eggs each she completely lost all interest in further breeding activities.

The other Faded Green hen and the Faded Blue hen both died without producing any offspring and the FadedDark Green cock showed no interest at all in the opposite sex. This left me with the original cock and quite a number of split cocks several of which I mated to pure Normals but only got a few furhter cocks birds. After struggling to revive the Faded character for severalyears it slipped once again into oblivion. It is quite possible that the Faded mutation has appeared in other cologny breeding flocks and being similar to the Greywing in colour has escaped notice and therfore failed to become established. Some keen and watchful breeder may spot the mutation again in the future and it will in time be added to our long list of established mutations.

Copyright of the articles are owned by the writers.

I wish to thank Ken York for the photos which are copyrighted Ken York / M.Goodsell

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© Didier Mervilde 2000/2001/2002/2003/2004
Permission in writing is required to link to or reproduce in any form.