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Parakeets are birds seen in a wide variety of colors, stripes, and pied mutations. This type of bird will always have a base color, seen in a yellow pigmentation or white-based pigmentation. The base color can be seen underneath the contour feathers and stripes, while the primary color may vary. Some of the common primary parakeet colors are yellow, green, and blue. Violet, white, and gray parakeets are not as commonly produced.
It is common for bird breeders to attempt to achieve unusual color patterns in parrots and parakeets. This is because many perspective parakeet owners demand unusual colors, patterns, and mutations, and these rarities often command a higher price. When bred in captivity, there will often be a wide array of parakeet colors available. Some avian experts believe cross-breeding in an attempt to achieve specific mutations may cause a genetic flaw, subjecting birds to illness or defects. Animal with some color mutations, however, have shown to be as hardy and long lived as the birds with natural color varieties found in the wild.
In the wild, parakeet colors are basically dark green. A wild parakeet's plumage helps camouflage it from the dangers of its natural Australian habitat. Predators, such as snakes and larger species of birds, have difficulty spotting the natural dark green parakeet colors amid trees and fields.
The most widely available parakeet colors are green and blue. Breeders of exotic birds find blue to be the easiest color to attain when mating parakeets for color. The blue parakeets may be found in various shades, such as light blue or dark blue.
By mating a dark blue parakeet with a dark yellow variety, results may vary. Parakeet offspring may be green, yellow, blue or even purple. The unusual appearance of a purple or violet mutation is considered attractive and desirable.
When bred in captivity, it is not uncommon to find multi-colored variations of parakeets for sale. These unusual patterns are highly desired by many bird owners. Some examples are light blue parakeets with white flecks, or white parakeets with green spots.
It is easy to determine the sex of a parakeet when it reaches maturity. One can distinguish a male parakeet from a female simply by noticing the color of the bird's cere. The cere, or fleshy skin surrounding the nostrils, will be dark blue in a male parakeet, while a female will display a dark tan or brown cere.