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FAQ: Is it possible to breed a turquoise bird from a blue bird?

FAQ: Turquoise out of blue?
Is it possible to breed a turquoise bird from a blue bird?
In other words, can a blue split be turquoise?

Two years ago we learnt about breeders in South Africa who occasionally bred turquoise Agapornis fischeri from a ‘blue x blue’ combination. The logical conclusion was that these blue birds, which all originated from blue x turquoise pairings (so actually TurquoiseBlue, not turquoise), were in fact ‘split’ turquoise.
Obviously, this is not right. Just as with Agapornis roseicollis, if we repeatedly combine turquoise with turquoise or in this case TurquoiseBlue with blue, we get phenotypes which appear almost exactly like blue. Just think of the *blue* Agapornis roseicollis.
We assume that anticipation plays a significant role in this. The birds look almost completely blue at a young age, but in reality they are genetically turquoise. As these birds get older, the turquoise phenotype reappears and these blue birds look turquoise again. This was eventually confirmed by the owner in almost all cases in which people thought to have bred a turquoise from blue x blue.
So, it is highly recommended to regularly pair turquoise with green if you want to preserve the turquoise phenotype; otherwise we may have virtually no turquoise Agapornis fischeri phenotypes left in a few years, as is the case with A. roseicollis.
PS: This is not only the case with Agapornis; there are also a lot of *blue* Australian parakeets which are actually turquoise. This is even true for Gouldian finches.


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