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Info on Hybrid Alexandrine Mutations

General information about Alexandrine colour mutations.

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In Australia the Alexandrine Parrot/Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria)  colour mutations are not in fact true colour mutations of this beautiful bird as seen in Europe and other parts of the world, but are in fact hybrid colour mutations, through cross breeding with the closely related Indian Ringneck( Psittacula krameri).

Whilst many breeders do not support the notation of breeding coloured birds through hybridization it was however inevitable in Australia, due mainly to the strict import bans on Psittacula species. I believe if Australian breeders had been permitted to import some of these coloured mutations we would not have seen such a prolific outbreak of hybrid coloured birds, however the sheer inquisitive nature of some breeders would have still tried, but it is a long meticulous process to produce good size and good looking colour hybrid Alexandrine mutations.

The most popular colour hybrid mutation produced to date is the Lutino (yellow). This colour mutation is probably one of the easiest to produce as it is a sex linked mutation, it shows in females if the male is coloured or split for the colour, but to occur in males it must be present in both sex's.

For those that are still learning the aviculture language birds are often refer to as "split" ie Green split Lutino (or Ino) this is sometimes written like this "Green/Ino" the "/" indicating that it is "split". The colour written first is what the visual colour of the bird looks like ie "green" the "/" or "split" indicates the recessive colour, which can't be seen in this case "ino" or "lutino" (yellow).

Lutino Alexandrine hybrids are very attractive birds, with terrific contrast between the yellow and red, which appears on their neck ring (in males) and on their shoulder patches (in males and females).

The first cross or hybridization of an Alexandrine to an Indian Ringneck generally produces offspring that are similar sized to the Ringneck, and on odd occasions first generation offspring may be part way between the Alex size and the Ringneck but this is a rarity rather than the norm. In order to improve the size of these birds, breeders then mate the offspring (when mature) back to pure Alexandrine brood stock to get larger birds, each time producing offspring that are a little closer to pure Alexandrine's, however they will never be pure.

The first generation offspring are generally referred to as 1/2's or splits, the table below indicates the offspring generation (provided each time they are bred back to pure Alex's) and what they are generally referred to by aviculturists.

1st Generation 1/2
2nd Generation 3/4
3rd Generation 7/8
4th Generation 15/16
5th Generation 31/32
6th Generation 63/64
7th Generation 127/128

 

As can be seen, each time the offspring are bred back to pure Alex's they move slightly closer to resembling the full sized pure Alexandrine.

Each subsequent generation takes on average 2.5 - 3 years to produce, and around ten years to start getting good sized hybrid Alexandrine colour mutations, and meticulous record keeping in order to produce the right coloured bird.

Here at "Alexhaven - Alexandrine Parrots Australia" this has been our passion for many years and we will continue to strive for those beautiful colour mutations.