What Is a Lutino Budgie? The Ultimate Guide

Budgie parakeet colors and mutations are many and broad. The patterns are unending, from sky blue to cobalt, gray, violet, and white to yellow-based budgie variations. But what is a lutino budgie? 

A lutino budgie is a yellow mutation of the green budgie series. Usually, a gene called ‘ino’ removes the dark shade or melanin that makes the original budgie color. Lutino budgie also has pink legs and an orange beak. 

All other physical characteristics of the lutino budgie change due to the influence of the mutant gene. For instance, it has red eyes and sometimes a white patch on the face.

In this article, you will learn what a lutino budgie is, its characteristics, behavior, and the entire profile of the bird. Read on. 

What Is a Lutino Budgie? Lutino Budgie Profile

Lutino Budgie

A Lutino budgie is a member of the green line of budgie parakeets. However, Lutino parakeets do not have a green color but instead are yellow on the feathers. The ino genes take away the green pigmentation.

The mutant genes that cause the yellow color pattern result from continuous selective breeding. Here are the characteristics of the Lutino budgie: 

Color Pattern

As reflected earlier, the color of the feather is yellow. That notwithstanding, the bird could also display feather variations, including gray or light green patches on the back, face, chest, or stomach. 

Other than the yellow plumage, the Lutinos have red eyes, pink legs, orange beaks, and silvery white cheek patches. 

Also Read: Is My Budgie Molting or Sick? How to Differentiate


The Lutino budgie is typically an active companion with extraordinary social abilities. These qualities make it one of the best and most common parakeets for keeping as a pet. 

The bird is very affectionate, cheerful, and inviting to play with. If you don’t pair two budgies in the cage, you should be able to spend some time with the bird playing. 

When left alone, it may adapt to the solitude and still exhibit great energy but not for long. Put two males in one cage, and they will stay energized by singing, serenading, and playing with each other. 

Female budgies tend to be moody, aggressive, and unfriendly. They may shrug off their companions in the cage because of their unforgiving territorial instincts. Also, helping them learn human speech may take longer than for males. 

Here is a short temperament comparison table between male Lutino budgies and female Lutino budgies:

Male Lutino BudgieFemale Lutino Budgie
Friendly and playful hence easy to bond with. They are also calm and pleasant. Unfriendly and elusive; it may take a long time to connect with the owner. Cautious and aggressive. 
Learns how to mimic human speech and words fasterSlow to understand human speech and words
Loves to sing beautiful, inviting chirps frequently. When in a male pair, the chirping is endless. Sings with loud and shrill vocals, And the bird does sing sporadically. 
Loves the company of a companion, especially its fellow male budgie.It will fight with a companion when paired in the cage. 
Temperament comparison between male and female budgies

Diet and Nutrition 

Like the other wild parakeets, Lutinos will relish a rich, well-balanced diet. Seeds, grain, flowers, fruits, and leafy vegetables serve them right. For example:

  •  Millet seeds, sunflower seeds, safflower, and seeds
  • Acorns, hazelnuts, peanuts, and walnuts
  • Apples, bananas, melon, berries, and pineapple
  • Broccoli stems, cabbage, carrots, green lettuce, and celery.
  • Buckwheat, barley, rye, and oats
  • African violets, carnations, daisies, marigolds, roses, and sunflowers. 

On top of this menu, include regular bird feed for supplementation. Generally, supply enough pelleted food and bird seed mix. To make the budgie’s diet, ensure you constantly provide enough water. 

Avoid feeding your Lutino budgie foods with toxins. Foods such as chocolate, coffee, tea, salty foods, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and avocados must not be part of your bird’s diet. 

Find Out: Why Is My Budgie Panting? 6 Main Reasons

What Does Lutino Mean in Birds?

Yellow Lutino Budgie

In birds, Lutino is a mutation that suppresses the melanin pigment or the dark shade and encourages yellow color patterns. The yellow color means it’s a lutino bird—whether this is a budgie or any other bird like a cockatiel. 

The spectacle of a lutino bird deserves plenty of admiration. It’s simply beautiful seeing or having a bright yellow bird in your space, and when it sings, the tweets make for an icing on top of the cake. 

Behind the process is the ino gene that’s responsible for ino mutation. 

Ino gene is a recessive sex-linked gene that removes the green pigmentation from the green series budgies and effectively renders them yellow. 

A Lutino budgie, therefore, comes out with;

  • A base yellow feather color 
  • An orange beak 
  • Fleshy pink legs
  • Red eyes

Lutino is commoin in female budgies than in males. The high frequency in females is because they need only one copy of the ino gene for the condition to manifest. 

Males need two copies of the same gene to display the lutino pattern. Otherwise, it will still have the green color patterns masking the ino gene underneath. 

Finding a Lutino budgie isn’t going to be easy. You may dig deeper into your pockets because breeding these birds is not your cup of tea. 

Even in the wild, it’s hard to find Lutino budgies. Their bright yellow color patterns expose them to predators. 

How to Tell the Age of a Lutino Budgie 

Telling the age of a Lutino budgie takes work for some people, especially when the budgie enters adulthood. 

As an adult, the only way to estimate your Lutino budgie’s age is by looking at its cere characteristics like color and texture. Usually, the cere remains unchanged when the bird is still young. 

The following are some ways to tell the age of a Lutino budgie:

1. Use the Iris Rings

Like other parakeets, lutinos get iris rings in the eyes at some stage of life. 

Iris Ring Description Associated Age of the Lutino Budgie
Black eyes without an iris ring or the iris ring are not visible. 0-4 months 
Lutino Budgie with a hint that an iris ring is forming in the eye. Mostly the eyes are dark. 4-6 months 
Medium iris rings that can be visually observed. You may better see the rings by taking the bird in a well-lit room. The rings aren’t yet very bright. 6-8 months 
White iris rings that are clearly visible and distinctly seen. 8 months and more.
Iris ring and the associated age of a Lutino budgie

2. Use Breeder’s Information

If you obtain your Lutino budgie from an established breeder with a proper avian facility, you should be able to know the age of your bird, even if it’s a simple estimate. 

Usually, the breeder or dealer provides a tag that holds all the bird’s information—from age to gender and more. 

That said, breeders may not always have this information. In that case, you’ll need to determine the age using other methods. 

3. Check the Cere Transformation 

When in adulthood, your Lutino budgie’s cere transforms from one color and texture to another

When a female Lutino is about six months and above, its cere’s color starts to tan, and the texture is crispy. The cere may also assume white or light blue colors, depending on the breeding status of the bird. 

In males, young birds display light blue or light pink ceres. That changes to blue to deeper blue or pink to deeper pink when the bird is around six months and above. 

4. Use Your Avian Veterinarian

The parameters to estimate a Lutino’s age are pretty limited compared to other parakeet budgies. Therefore, always involve your vet doctor to help with the estimations because they live to do that. 

What Is the Difference Between a Lutino Budgie and a Normal Budgie? 

The difference between a Lutino budgie and a normal budgie is embedded in the unique ino mutation. The ino mutation deletes the original green pigmentation that makes the budgies green. 

What is left is a base yellow color. A normal budgie will have a striking combination of green color and yellow base with extremely colorful black and yellow stripes and markings.

The table below illustrates the differences between a Lutino budgie and normal budgie: 

CharacteristicLutino BudgieNormal Budgie
Body colorBright yellow Green and yellow with black markings on the wings.
Cere ColorIt may have blue or white, or tan for females, and blue or pink for males.Blue cere for males and brown cere for females
Beak color Orange Yellow 
Eye color Red with white irisDark eyes with prominent iris
Main tail feathers White or light yellowIt may be plain white or yellow, or dark blue
Feet/legspinkBright blue in males, pink or brown in females.
Differences between a Lutino budgie and a normal budgie

What Is the Difference Between Albino and Lutino?

Blue budgies

The main difference between the albino and lutino budgies is in the budgie series affected by the ino mutations. The blue series turn into albinos, and the green series into lutino budgies. 

Albino and Lutino parakeet budgies are the two extreme mutations in the family of parakeets. Both are unique types of budgies that occur due to ino mutations. 

These mutations are steered by the effective influence of ino genes, which are responsible for suppressing the birds’ primary green or blue color patterns. 

The result is a fabulous yellow color for Lutinos and a dazzling white color for albino budgies. The same mutation affects skin color and the variations of the eyes and ceres. Both budgies have pink legs, red eyes, and pink skin. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you can answer the question, “What is a Lutino budgie?” go out there and choose the best bird for your crib.

With its bright yellow feathers and charming personality, it’s easy to see why Lutino budgies are so beloved.

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