The Budgerigar With Anthracite Colour - by Gerd Bleicher

In was in 1998 when Hans-Juergen Lenk from Germany detected in some of the budgerigars he bred a new body colour, different to all he bred before. He named this colour anthracite because of their very close to black appearance on body, rump and chest.

In 2003 Gerd Bleicher from Berlin in Germany bought 3 anthracite cocks from Hans-Juergen Lenk. He organized test-pairing with them with to decode their inheritance.

Here are the results of these pairings:

  1. The factor for anthracite is an autonomous factor, working similar as the violet factor.

  2. In single dose this factor acts similar as the dark factor, i.e. a sky blue plus a single anthracite factor appears on first look as a cobalt. The only indicator to see the presence of the anthracite factor is a black sheen on the cheek patches.

  3. The double-factor anthracite is the visible anthracite budgerigar.

  4. Anthracite is dominant to grey, but it is not connected to the grey factor.

  5. Anthracite can be combined with other colours and varieties as all kind of Pieds, Spangles, Clearwings, Opalines to name some.

  6. Anthracite can be bred into the green series budgerigars. Here a reliable recognition may be difficult.

The anthracite budgerigar is now an established variety in Germany and has got its own colour standard. The main points in comparison to other blue-series budgerigars are:

-            Body colour deep anthracite

-            Markings on cheeks, neck, back and wings jet black

-            Cheek patches deep anthracite (the same as the body colour)

-            Flight feathers and primary tail feathers are jet black.


To breed anthracite budgerigars the recommendation is to pair only blue-series birds together. This results in a higher percentage of visual anthracites and it is easier to recognise the single factors.

Colour standard of the Normal anthracite:

General body colour rump, breast, flanks and underparts dark anthracite of an even depth of colour throughout
Mask White, ornamented by six evenly spaced large round jet-black throat spots, the outer two being partially covered by the base of the cheek patches. The white of the mask extending over the frontal and crown, to merge with the black undulations at the back of the head
Markings on cheeks, back of head, neck and wings, jet-black with a well-defined white edge, all markings free from any intrusion of body colour
Cere blue in cocks, brown in hens.
Eyes black with white iris.
Cheek patches dark anthracite
Primary wing flights jet-black with a minimum white edge
Primary tail feathers jet-black
Feet and legs blue/grey