Peachfaced Lovebird Mutations: Blue, Whitefaced Blue, Seagreen

Not surprisingly, Blue and Whitefaced Blue (WFB) create a lot of confusion for people. The primary reason for this is that they are so closely related, and many breeders simply don't understand what the differences are. Many Blues are sold at bird fairs as WFBs, Seagreens are often sold as Blues, and so on. Some of this is due to unscrupulous breeders lying about what they're selling, but mostly it is simply because the breeders don't know either.
Blue is the older of the two mutations, originating in Holland in 1963. A bird which shows this mutation lacks most of the red and yellow pigments which are present in a normally colored Peachfaced. However, unlike the "true" blue mutation of the Masked lovebird, a Blue Peachfaced still has some red and yellow pigment in its feathers, most notably in the slightly creamy color of the face and the solid orange band across the forehead. This "incomplete" elimination of the yellow and red pigments is why this mutation is sometimes referred to as "semi-blue".

Whitefaced Blue originated in the early 1980's. Like the Blue, it is not a "true" blue mutation. A true blue would take ALL of the red and yellow pigment out of the bird, but WFB still leaves traces of each color, though LESS of each color than in the Blue. The face of a Whitefaced Blue is pure white, though on the forehead, there is often still a faint orange suffusion. This suffusion is considered a fault, for show purposes, and top WFB show birds show little or none of this orange. If a true blue existed in the peachfaced, combining that mutation with the lutino mutation would produce a true albino, a pure white bird, with no trace of yellow. When crossed with lutino, WFB and Blue each produce a bird with visible yellow. The Creamino (A Blue Ino) is more fully a yellow/cream color than the WFB Ino (Sometimes inaccurately called an Albino), but the WFB Ino does have a good deal of yellow color in its feathers.

Contributing to the confusion between WFB and Blue is the fact that they are "alleles", meaning that they occur on the same gene of the same chromosome pair. Thus, a bird can have 2 WFB genes, or 2 Blue genes, or 1 of each, but cannot have two of each. When a bird has one WFB gene and one Blue gene, the two interact to produce what is called a "seagreen" this bird is frequently mistaken for, and sold as, a Blue, but actually is half Blue and Half WFB. The face and forehead of the seagreen are essentially identical to those of the Blue, but the body color is closer to the color of a normal green bird. If you put a Blue and a seagreen side by side, the body of the SG will be visibly more green.

 

 
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Photo credits: Blue lovebird in title by Vera Appleyard, whitefaced blue by Linda Buckley, seagreen by B&G Birds