The Yellowface Clearwing by Peter Beck, South Australia

This article is from the Budgerigar World archive and was first published around 1998. It was written by Peter Beck, who I met while visiting the Australian Nationals.

Some years ago Kelwyn Kakoschke lived in the far northern suburbs of Adelaide. Upon visiting his aviaries one day I asked, “What are those?” “Yellowface Clearwings” came the reply from Kelwyn. “Quite attractive birds aren’t they”, I said. “Yes, my daughter Roxanne really likes them, they are her favourite of all the varieties I breed”, said Kelwyn. He went on, “by putting Australian Yellowface blues to the Clearwing, that is the result, a composite bird”.

So that was my first introduction to the Yellowface Clearwing. Shortly afterwards Kelwyn had and auction in Adelaide and I bought two Yellowface Clearwing cocks. One was a single factor Skyblue (this is aqua green in colour) with wonderful clear wings and a large bird too. The other a little smaller – a Yellowface Clearwing Violet. This bird is not visually violet, but rather like an emerald green with cobalt and violet suffusion in the lower rump.

At this time, I had been breeding for about 6 years and had built up a large family of Clearwings in blue and green series. So I put those two Yellowface Clearwing cocks across two hens, each off the best Clearwings I had. My Yellowface Clearwings today are from the same family of birds. At the Royal Adelaide Show display we displayed Violets, Dominant and Recessive Pieds and Spangles but it was those Yellowface Clearwing chicks everyone wanted to see and buy. So what Roxanne Kakoschke sees and what I see, also appeals to a great many people, more so than any other colour of mutation.

How To Breed Them

New members may want to breed them so I have listed some ideas how to go about it.

Firstly you will need a Clearwing blue cock (a Whitewing). Ideally this should be a cobalt or violet but there is nothing wrong with using a skyblue which would normally be a larger bird. The clearer the wings the better, i.e. the wings should not be heavily marked so the bird is halfway between a Greywing and a Clearwing. If you can get two Whitewings so much the better.

Next you will need two Australian Yellowface blue hens.

Year one, pair the Whitewing Cocks to the Australian Yellowface blue hens. This should result in 50% Australian Yellowface blues split (/) Whitewing and 50% Normal blues / Whitewing. Keep all the splits from these pairings. You hopefully will have two families comprising of about 8 to 10 birds. Yellowface is co-dominant and Clearwing (Whitewing) is recessive.

The next year pair the Australian Yellowface blue/Whitewing cocks to Australian Yellowface blue/Whitewing hens. The results should be 25% Normals, 25% Australian Yellowface Clearwings (the wanted birds), 25% Australian Yellowface blues and 25% Australian Yellowface blue/Whitewing

(Test mate to locate the splits from the above pairing)

Alternatively in year two, mate Whitewing cocks to Australian Yellowface blue/Whitewing hens. The expectations for this is 25% Whitewings, 25% Australian Yellowface Clearwings (the wanted bird), 25% Australian Yellowface/Whitewing and 25% Normals.

Added Complication

Now to complicate the situation, let’s go back to the year one mating. Australian Yellowface blues come in single and double factor birds.

Single Factor Yellowface X Normals = 50% Single Factor (SF) Yellowface, 50% Normals
Double Factor Yellowface X Normals = 100% Single Factor Yellowface
Single Factor Yellowface X Single Factor Yellowface = 25% Double Factor (DF) Yellowface, 25% Normals, 50% Single Factor Yellowface
Single Factor Yellowface X Double Factor Yellowface = 50% Double Factor Yellowface, 50% Single Factor Yellowface

More than likely, the Yellowface birds you acquire will be single factor Yellowface. Should you be lucky and get a double factor Yellowface, this will increase your chances of breeding Yellowface Clearwings. If you can, purchase a Yellowface Clearwing or a Yellowface split Clearwing, so much the better. You will be able to save a year.

In summary, to breed a family of these beautiful birds you need at least two good size Whitewings and at least two good size Yellowface blues. Two of course should be cocks and two hens.

Finally, you should also note that if you add Opaline to the combination you have the variety known as the Rainbow.

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Terry Tuxford About the Author:

Terry Tuxford first began breeding budgerigars in 1979 and joined the BS in 1980. He was elevated to Champion in 1985 when he went into partnership with Brian Poole. This partnership is probably one of the longest existing partnerships in the UK hobby today having lasted some 27 years so far and is still going strong. Terry and Brian are also partnered by Yvonne Tuxford who joined the BS in 1990.


Terry demonstrated his penmanship early in his budgerigar career and wrote in the second edition of Budgerigar World. Little did he realise then that in just over 8 year’s time he would become editor following a 20 month apprenticeship with founding editor, Gerald Binks. Terry went on to edit a total of 245 editions up to May 2011.


In 1993 Terry took his Budgerigar Society Judges final examination and was awarded Subsidiary Judge of the Year and has gone on to judge the Budgerigar Society World Show on three occasions as well as many top shows at home and abroad. He is also an accomplished speaker and has been a guest at societies throughout the UK as well as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and many other European countries.

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