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Among the most popular birds to be kept as pets are parakeets, which come in a multitude of powerful, beautiful colors. Out of all the parakeets, there are some that look really different, really unique. So what exactly are the differences between an albino parakeet (called a budgie) and a Lutino budgie?
You will find out all about this in the article below.
Parakeets are smaller members of the parrot family. They are also called budgies or Budgerigars and are very beautiful birds to own as pets.
They will usually grow to around 7 to 8 inches in length and are considered plant-eaters, or herbivores.
When they receive proper health maintenance routine and decent care, these birds will easily live for 10 or more years in captivity.
They can be found in all kinds of bold, bright colors, including whites, yellows, blues, greens, and purples, among others.
A parakeet is smart enough to be trained with ease. It will listen to its owner’s commands, as long as it trusts them.
They are sociable creatures that like companionship and are friendly enough to interact quite nicely with others. They will even be happier if they are handled by loving people on a daily basis.
Why do Parakeets have so many colors?
Most parakeets can be found in a combination of orange, white, purple, blue, yellow, or green. The reason behind the multitude of colors for their feathers is genetics.
The color of a bird’s feathers will usually depend on the color lines of the parents, just as the human hair color will be genetically inherited.
I`ll try to go into even more detail below.
Parakeet Color Genetics
There are actually just two main types of parakeet birds: there is a blue type and a green type.
You will notice that the green type of budgie will have a yellow base color. This translates into their feathers having different types of yellow on them
The body of the green type will also have a blue coloring on the feathers of the body, which combined with the yellow base, will make its body look green. Their head will typically be yellow.
On the other hand, the blue type will only have a white base color, which combined with the blue on their body, will create a bird with a blue body and a white head.
The Ino Gene
We can go even further into parakeet genetics and talk about individual genes.
The color differences between different types of parakeets are usually given by the Ino gene.
Considering that the Lutino and the albino parakeets are born this way due to the Ino gene, they are also known as Inos.
This gene is responsible for removing the blue coloring for both the blue type and the green type, making the blue type look white and the green one yellowish, almost like the color of vanilla. It will also remove any other colors the birds would have had on their feathers.
The Lutino or albino budgies will also have different colors on the skin and the eyes as well due to the Ino budgerigar genetic mutation.
The Ino gene is present both in albino and Lutino parakeets, being completely responsible for their unique colors.
The two genetic variations, the Lutino, and the albino parakeets will have either red or pink eyes with a white ring surrounding the iris, light pink skin, and beaks of bright orange.
Basically, the Lutino term refers to the yellow Ino, while the Albino name is given to the white Inos.
The Ino Feather Color Breakdown
The green type of parakeets having the Ino gene will become Lutino budgies.
This gene will give them a yellow skin color, while also removing their blue markings and coloring.
This means that lutino birds will be yellow in color and have no particular markings. The color is similar to what you’d find on the feathers of a canary.
Although they don’t have a lot of colors on them, they still are great-looking birds.
The blue type of parakeets that have the Ino gene is called the Albino budgie. The Ino gene will make their skin white while removing any blue markings or coloring.
This means that the albino parakeets will be solid white with no other color markings.
What is an Albino Parakeet?
A bird suffering from albinism will basically have the same colors as the animals that suffer from this condition. They will usually be white, with pink or red eyes, and pink skin.
All of the feathers of a parakeet suffering from albinism will be white, while its legs will be pink, and its cere brown or pink. The eyes will be either red or pink.
What is a Lutino Budgie?
Along with the albino budgies, there are other types of budgies that will also feel the effects of the Ino gene.
A green type of parakeet affected by the mutation caused by the Ino gene is called a Lutino budgie.
This is a budgie that should have been green but the Ino gene has caused it to have a beautiful yellow color instead.
This type of bird has either red or pink eyes and its cere and legs are brown or pink in color.
Albino vs Lutino Budgies
Although a lot of people would confuse lutino and albino parakeets, they actually have some pretty important differences between them.
Although both of these two types of parakeets have the notorious Ino gene, it makes them develop different colors. In this sense, the albino one is all white, while the lutino budgie is yellow.
So, you can usually differentiate between these two types pretty easily, based on the feather color of the budgies.
Male or Female Albino Parakeet?
Some male budgies will have a blue cere (the noseband that has the nostrils) but others will have pink ceres instead.
The cere of female lutinos and albinos will be brown.
Are Albino and Lutino Budgies rare?
These two species of parakeets are in fact pretty rare.
If you want to get these types of birds you will usually be able to find one for sale, although it will be harder because they are rare and you will be charged more.
Caring For an Albino or Lutino Budgie
An albino or lutino budgie won’t require any special care as opposed to any other types of budgies.
This genetic difference isn’t considered a condition or a disease and it won’t make them more vulnerable than other types of birds.
Some species of animals might have vision or skin problems that can be associated with albinism, but this isn’t the case with these parakeets.
You will have to take care of them just as you would with any other parakeet pets.
Good parakeet pet care includes:
- Proper Sleeping Environment
- Opportunities to socialize and exercise
- Adequate housing
- Fresh, clean water
- High-quality nutrition
- Proper hygiene
You can’t argue that both albino and lutino budgies are not only unique in coloring but also very beautiful. It might be a little harder to find one in pet shops but if you do manage to get one, you won’t have to offer it any special conditions or special care. You should raise it as you’d do to any other pet parakeet.