Most people hear peach faced lovebird and the image that comes to mind is a green bird with a vivid red mask. While that is certainly a peach faced lovebird it is but one variation on the species, Agapornis roseicollis. Peach faced lovebirds come in an easter basket of colors and variations, the parblue series being some of the most magnificent and sought after. Here in the US we commonly call these birds dutch blues, white faced, and sea greens. These are the terms we’ve come to know them by and recognize from other breeders. There are, however, internationally accepted names for these mutations and they are
Parblue mutations are the result of a partial reduction of the psittacin in the feathers. Psittacin is a pigment in the feathers that can vary from red to yellow. Notice I said partial. There is no true blue mutation in the peach faced species, that’s because there hasn’t been a mutation with a complete lack of psittacin, only reduced. In the aqua mutation, there will be approximately a 50% reduction in psittacin over the whole bird. In the turquoise mutation, there will be as much as a 80-90% reduction leaving a nearly blue plumage that might be patchy green and a very pale, to nearly white mantle.
Parblue mutations are recessive, this means they must be passed from both parents to be visible. It’s important to note that aqua and turquoise are separate mutations and to know what happens when you cross them. That’s where the AquaTurquoise comes in, this is a parblue bird that received the aqua trait from one parent and the turquoise trait from the other. The bird is neither aqua nor turquoise but something in between, it is in fact SPLIT for both the aqua and turquoise mutations. A pairing between an aqua lovebird and a turquoise lovebird will result in all AquaTurquoise birds. An AquaTurquoise lovebird will have a primary green ground color and a pale mantle.
Parblue mutations can be combined well with other mutations like pied, cinnamon (American cinnamon), pallid (Australian cinnamon), marbled (this is a fairly new name that takes the place of silver and edged dilute), opaline, and ino (cremino). When combined with the orange faced trait, the parblue mutation will have a yellow mantle, also being called yellow faced.
The photo on the left shows a lutino lovebird with an aqua lovebird. That particular bird has no violet factor no dark factor. These are things that can vary the ground color of a bird greatly! Like it sounds, the dark factor will make a bird appear darker, the violet factor will add a violet tint to the feathers. The photo on the right show an AquaTurquoise opaline on the left and a turquoise on the right. it’s a terrible photo as I don’t take that many pics but it’ll do. Both birds have double factor violet, the AquaTurquoise has one dark factor. The opaline would have a pimary green ground color but for the violet and dark factors. So many colors to be made!…only so much room at the inn :)
I know there is little scientific information here, I didn’t write it for those that are beyond this but for those that just need a few basics before diving in for the rest. So I hope some will forgive the simplicity of this post while others appreciate it!