Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]

Leslie Berry
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Crested budgies first appeared in the 1920s in Australia.

The crested budgie family has different types of crested mutations, including full circular crested, half circular crested, tufted crested, double crested, triple crested.

Many sources say that the first crested budgerigar appeared in the 1920s, but there is no confirmation of this information.

The first confirmed reference is from “Australian Cage Birds”, 21 November 1936.

The second confirmed reference is “Budgerigar Bulletin” of December 1938 from Mrs. R Brown of Morecombe, Lancashire, England.

The third crested mutation was reported in 1948, in Canada.

Crested budgies types

Authorities such as Australian National Budgerigar Council (ANBC) Inc. have recognized 3 main forms of crested mutations, including full circular, half circular, tufted.

Full circular (round) crested (Full crested) budgie

Full circular crested mutations are the most demanded type of crested budgie mutations among fanciers.

Full circular crested budgies have a full flat round crest with feathers radiating from the center of the head.

The crest should fall down in a smooth form and merge with the other feathers.

Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Full crested budgie image (Source: anbc.iinet.net.au)
Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Full crested budgie photo
Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Twin full circulars (merged) crested budgie photo

Half circular (round) crested (Half crested) budgie

Half circular crested budgies have a half flat circle crest with feathers radiating from the center of the head.

Half circular crested budgies have a half flat round crest with feathers radiating from the center of the head. The half circled crest must face forward.

Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Half crested budgie image (Source: anbc.iinet.net.au)
Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Half crested budgie photo
Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Half circular (off-center) crested budgie

Tufted crested budgie

Tufted crested budgie mutation is the most common mutation in crested budgie mutations.

Tufted crested budgies have an upright crest of feathers.

The crested feather is usually 8 mm long, starting just above the bird’s cere and upwards.

Tufted crested budgies have different lengths of the crest of feathers that vary from 1 mm to 8 mm.

But, according to the papers of variety standards of the Australian National Budgerigar Council (ANBC) Inc. the length of the upright crest of feathers should be a minimum of 8 mm tall.

Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Tufted crested budgies image (Source: anbc.iinet.net.au)
Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Tufted crested budgies photo

What is triple crested budgie?

The triple crested budgies have 3 crests on their heads.

Usually, triple crested budgies have a half circle and 2 quarter circles.

This mutation is not common.

Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Triple crested budgie photo

What is disappearing crested budgie?

Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Disappearing crested budgie photo

Helicopter budgies (Hagoromo budgies) and crested budgies

Helicopter budgies are bred from crested budgies. That’s why most helicopter budgerigars carry a type of crest on their heads.

However, helicopter parakeets are not described as a variation of the crested budgerigars.

Hagoromo budgies have crests on their heads and have frillbacks on their backs.

Hagoromo (helicopter, Japanese) budgie [Breeding, Mutation]
Hagoromo (helicopter, Japanese) budgies photo

Crested budgie breeding (genetics, mutations)

Crested budgie breeding rules have not been fully discovered.

The crested budgie mutation is neither sex-linked, dominant, nor recessive.

There are some theories on crested budgie genetics, but there is no data proven so far.

Individuals came up with ideas to increase the breeding expectation rate of a crested budgie or a particular crested budgie. This process is still ongoing.

The exact genetics of crested budgies are being researched by the breeders.

Despite we do not have the exact mating data of crested budgie genetics, there are some models and guidelines which help breeders to predict the progeny from the data of many crested budgie mating.

How to breed crested budgies?

Currently, there is no proven theory for predicting breeding results for crested budgerigars. But, we have theories, models, guidelines that help us to predict the mating results somehow.

The Inhibitor Theory & expectation table

The Inhibitor Theory was the first fully developed theory about crested budgie mating expectations. The theory is come out based on two dominant gene models.

Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
The Inhibitor Theory. Crested budgies mating and expectation table

PE theory & expectation table

George Clarke published numerous iterations of a study about crested budgie breeding, between 2004 and 2011 named “PE Theory”. The theory is based on the concepts of penetrance and expressivity.

Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
PE Theory expectation table

Approximate Expressivity Predictions of PE Theory Studies

The table below shows the theoretical breeding expectations of PE Theory.

Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
PE Theory – Theoretical Breeding Expectations

After many studies with PE Theory, the final sample data had analyzed and generated a table of crested budgie breeding expectations.

MatingGroup T
(Less complex
Crest forms,
Tufts and
Weak Tufts)
Group C
(More complex
Crest forms,
Half Circular,
Full Circular and Multiple)
Crest x Normal85%15%
Tuft x Tuft70%30%
Crest x Crestbred65%35%
Crest x Crest60%40%
Crest x FC or HC45%55%
Crested budgie expectation table of Pe Theory

What does crestbred mean?

Crestbred means a budgie bird without visual crests, but still retaining crest gene/s. A crestbred budgie has at least one crested or crestbred parent and can pass its crest gene/s on to the next generation.

Crested budgie photos

Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
A crested exhibition budgie
Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
A blue crested budgie
Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
A crested spangle budgie
Crested Budgies [Full & half circular, tufted, double & triple]
Crested lutino Japanese helicopter (hagoromo) budgie
Hagoromo (helicopter, Japanese) budgie [Breeding, Mutation]
Crested Japanese helicopter (hagoromo) budgies

Sources:

  1. https://www.world-budgerigar.org/colourstds.htm
  2. https://anbc.iinet.net.au/uploads/9/8/7/0/9870161/2021_anbc_estandard_2021_master.pdf