Friday, June 25, 2010

Bourke Parakeet Location & Coloration

Here is a map of the areas where Bourke Parakeets originated and still live in the wild. I would hazard a guess that there are now as many domestic Bourkes living around the world as there are living wild in Australia.

Probably there are more domestic Rosy Bourkes outside Australia and Tasmania than living there. However, Australian bird breeders raise Rosies too and seem to have a wider span of color varieties than anywhere else.  

As you know, Rosies (or Rosas in the UK) are not the native, natural color, but have been bred to increase the pink/rose shades.  Some Bourkes have even been bred to be more blue and even yellow, although the yellow looks rather washed out to me. See the photo at right of a "yellow" Bourke. It was taken from Doreen Haggard’s “Bourke’s Parakeets” book published in the UK. 

Will a yellow Bourke ever be as bright and colorful as a yellow Budgie or Turquoisine?  I don’t believe yellow Bourkes begin to compare with either of those parakeets.  Also, the bright pink and rose of the Bourke Parakeet is so very unique and unequaled in any other parakeet, so I see no advantage is striving for yellow.  However, I do enjoy the bright blue rumps on some of the Rosy Bourkes, and it is especially pretty on a Normal Colored Bourke. So, an all blue Bourke sounds attractive. Yet, Budgerigars have that color already firmly established. But, no others share in the remarkable shades of rose and pink found only in Bourkes.

This photo of two of my very young Rosy Bourkes shows the difference in color between a Rosy and a Pink. These two are siblings from the same clutch. They lack the blue rump that appears on both their Rosy parents, indicating perhaps that they are moving even farther from the Normal coloration.

Below is a Rosy Bourke male and a pair of Normal Bourkes. Notice the beautiful blue on their shoulders and the turquoise color at the base of the tail. The pink at the bottom of their chests is more muted and doesn't rise as far as on Rosy Bourkes derived from them. 

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