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The Effect of Repositioning the Yellow Faced Blue in The Matrix

The Australian National Budgerigar Council (ANBC) at its meeting in Geelong in 2012 moved the Yellow Faced Blue from between the Fallow and Spangle up to a position immediately below the Normal Blue Series. The reasoning behind the move, and correctly so, was that Yellow Faced Blue is a colour, like Blue and Green. This corrects a longstanding anomaly in The Matrix which previously only recognized Green and Blue as the colours.

Budgerigar mutations can be grouped into three broad categories. There are the colour mutations away from Green: Blue, English Yellow Faced Blue and Australian Yellow Faced Blue forming an allelic series of four colours in Normals. I prefer not to use place names so from now on will for simplicity refer to these last two mutations as the Cream Faced Blue and Golden Faced Blue. Then superimposed upon the Green and its three colour mutations are the colour modifying mutations. These are Dark Factor, Grey and Violet. They modify all colours in all varieties. Finally there are the variety mutations away from normal. These include Blackeyed Self (or Suffused Yellow/White in its original form), Clearwing and Greywing allelic series, the Red Eyed Self and Texas Clearbody allelic series, Cinnamonwing, Opaline, Fallow, Spangle, Dominant Pied, Recessive Pied and Crested. They can present in any colour and with any modifier visible to a greater or lesser degree.

So what does the relocation within The Matrix of the Yellow Faced Blue colours mean for exhibition classes? Put simply, all varieties can now be exhibited in all of their four colours, not just two of the colours as was previously the case, apart from some exceptions. The exceptions were Spangle, Dominant Pied, Recessive Pied and Crested which previously were the only classes open to all four colours due to the previous position of Yellow Faced Blue in The Matrix. So for these last four classes there will be no change in the distribution of colours to be benched in the future.

Regarding all of the varieties, including the ones now open to benching in all of their four colours for the first time, how can we predict the outcome? Perhaps the simplest way is to recall how in the past Blue has affected the benching of all varieties in The Matrix. Blue is a recessive mutation away from Green. The Yellowfaces are also recessive mutations away from Green. Hence, their presence in classes benched in future can perhaps be anticipated as often as we have seen Blue Series budgerigars in these classes in the past. There is now consistency in the benching of colours right across The Matrix (see attached), from top to bottom.

Since Yellow Faced Blue is an attractive colour it remains to be seen if its expansion across all varieties will create more interest in a declining hobby, or at least slow down its decline. The same reasoning was behind broadening the participation base by inclusion of Violet and Double Factor Golden Faced Blue in the 2013 and 2014 trial. These are two of the classic presentations in budgerigars which because their breeding presents a greater degree of difficulty had vanished from the show bench at ANBC level. The Double Factor Golden Faced Blue was in fact the Yellow Faced Blue widely exhibited prior to importation of the Cream Faced Blue.

By John Mulley


1. For describing Standard Varieties.

2. As a guide and reference for Breeders and Judges.

3. As a guide and reference for exhibitors in ascertaining the classes in which to enter their exhibits.

4. As a guide for compiling show schedules.

5. Combinations of varieties accepted as standard are listed as groups under the primary variety in the combination.

Such birds are described as:
……………………………………(primary variety)
……………………………………(other variety)

Example: Opaline Greywing Yellow Faced Skyblue.

For combinations of more than two varieties to be accepted as standard, every combination of the varieties involved must appear in the groups.


Standard Primary Varieties Numbers 4 to 19 may combine with one or more than one of its group varieties, but will remain the primary variety for exhibition purposes. The largest number listed in the numerical list of sections and combinations is always the primary variety.

NOTE: The “Section Number” is the code number for the Standard Primary Variety it represents and
includes any birds displaying the Violet Colour Intensity Modifier.

Matrix – January 2013

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