Pictures of the blue opaline Bourke's Parrot (2)
Sky blue opaline hen
Description: I made the photo in 2003, the hen was at that time three years old. It is an interesting picture because of the grey head and the blue frontal band of this Bourke's hen. It is definitely a hen. In the last breeding season I had youngsters of this hen. I inspected my notes and found that the down of this bird was dark grey. That the head should be dark was seen at fourteen days of age. The skin of the head and neck was black in stead of flesh coloured. I made a close up of the head to show the nice looking undulation, dark and blue on a rose background. The blue colour we see on the shoulder, the upper and lower back, the flanks and the tail is sky blue. On the little wing coverts and the tips of some contour feathers we see some rose just between upper and lower back .
The reference colour is sky blue. The name of this colour variety is blue opaline. The mutation factors are S-s ( blue structure factor) combined with the M-d factor (distribution factor). The inheritance: recessive (S-s) and sex-linked (M-d).
Head study of the blue opaline hen
Blue tail coverts
This tailcoverts are blue. There is a lot of down at the base of the shaft. This is protecting the tail feathers. There is a lot of melanin in this feathers. The kernel of this contour feathers is dark. The feather shaft is black.