Category Archives: Algemeen

zebra finches [Taeniopygia guttata]

To conduct an experiment with zebra finches [Taeniopygia guttata] in captivity, we are looking for  zebra finches that are almost completely orange, almost completely black or almost completely white. If possible from breeders in Spain or Portugal.

Who can help?


‘Red’ Agapornis fischeri

Benjamin aka Joven of Aby Aviary from the Philippines and the South-African breeder Willie Matthews, reported success ful breeding records with ‘red’ Agapornis fischeri.

It looks like these red phenotypes have an autosomal recessive inheritance. Willie Matthews confirmed that this bloodline is NOT related to the ‘red’ birds that are born out of the fallow bloodlines. The birds are complettely orange red and are in very good health. Willie already has severall red youngsters.

Mitogenome of Agapornis personatus, Agapornis lilianae and Agapornis nigrigenis

In March 2019, the study on the mitochondrial genome of Agapornis fischeri was published by H. Liu [1]. Three weeks ago, three new papers, were published on line by Chen and reported the complete mitogenome of Agapornis personatus, Agapornis lilianae and Agapornis nigrigenis [2]–[4]. The phylogenetic analysis suggested that these three species are (as suspected) closely related to Agapornis roseicollis.

[1]          H. Liu, K. Jin, en L. Li, “The complete mitochondrial genome of the Fischer’s Lovebird Agapornis fischeri (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae)”, Mitochondrial DNA Part B, vol. 4, nr. 1, pp. 1217–1218, jan. 2019.
[2]          Y.-X. Chen, S.-L. Hou, Y.-W. Zhou, en Y.-L. Huang, “Characterization of the complete mitochondrial genome of Agapornis personatus and its phylogenetic analysis”, Mitochondrial DNA Part B, vol. 4, nr. 2, pp. 3772–3773, jul. 2019.
[3]          Y.-X. Chen, Y.-L. Huang, J.-Q. Liu, Y.-W. Zhou, en S.-L. Hou, “Characterization and phylogenetic relationship of the complete mitochondrial genome of Black-cheeked Lovebird, Agapornis Nigrigenis”, Mitochondrial DNA Part B, vol. 4, nr. 2, pp. 3589–3590, jul. 2019.
[4]          Y.-X. Chen, Y.-W. Zhou, S.-L. Hou, en Y.-L. Huang, “Complete mitochondrial genome of Agapornis lilianae (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae), with its phylogenetic analysis”, Mitochondrial DNA Part B, vol. 4, nr. 2, pp. 3536–3537, jul. 2019.


Afscheid van een vriend

Daarnet het trieste nieuws gekregen dat Harrie van der Linden ons gisteren helaas ontvallen is.

Ik heb er eigenlijk even geen woorden voor. Harrie was niet alleen een goede vriend, hij was ook de man die me heel veel geleerd heeft. Hij was mijn leraar toen ik in de hobby stapte. Ik had dan ook het grootste respect voor Harrie. Harrie schreef standaardwerken over o.a. de grasparkiet en vele andere parkietensoorten, daarnaast was hij eveneens een gerenommeerd internationaal keurmeester. Geloof me, hij heeft avicultuur op een hoger niveau gebracht, hij was een voorbeeld voor velen.

Een monument is ons nu ontvallen.

Harrie BEDANKT voor alles.

Ons medeleven gaat uit naar zijn familie en zijn vele vrienden en kennissen.

BVA-International: a few numbers and facts

BVA-international celebrates its 27th birthday on November 1th.

Hereby I give you some numbers and facts:

  • Number of articles published in the BVA Magazine till now: 1.130
  • Number of authors contributed till now: 153
  • In 1998 when we founded BVA’s first official technical committee and in 1999 we had our first BVA judges.
  • The first BVA shows was named: Lovebird International. In 2008 we renamed the show to BVA Masters. It was Lieven Vranckaert who came up with this idea.
  • BVA became BVA-International in 2016.
  • BVA-International has for the moment 11 affiliated clubs and societies across the world. There are a few others in the pipeline.

FAQ: Genetics behind urucum canaries – Urucum kanaries

Unlike wild and domestic canaries (Serinus canaria), the domestic urucum breed of canaries exhibits bright red bills and legs. To identify the causative locus, scientists resequenced the genome of urucum canaries and performed a range of analyses to search for genotype-to-phenotype associations across the genome. They identified a nonsynonymous mutation in the gene BCO2 (beta-carotene oxygenase 2, also known as BCDO2), an enzyme involved in the cleavage and breakdown of full-length carotenoids into short apocarotenoids. Protein structural models and in vitro functional assays indicate that the urucum mutation abrogates the carotenoid cleavage activity of BCO2. Consistent with the predicted loss of carotenoid cleavage activity, urucum canaries had increased levels of full-length carotenoid pigments in bill tissue and a significant reduction in levels of carotenoid cleavage products (apocarotenoids) in retinal tissue compared to other breeds of canaries. They hypothesize that carotenoid-based bare-part coloration might be readily gained, modified, or lost through simple switches in the enzymatic activity or regulation of BCO2.

In tegenstelling tot wilde en gedomesticeerde kanaries (Serinus canaria), of een van de drie dozijn soorten vinken in het geslacht Serinus, vertoont het binnenlandse urucum-ras van kanaries rode snavels en poten.
Om te begrijpen hoe de poot- en snavelkleur bij vogels evolueert en om het verantwoordelijke locus te identificeren, hebben wetenschappers het genoom van urucumkanaries onderzocht. Als mogelijk oorzaak hebben ze een mutatie in het gen BCO2 (beta-caroteen oxygenase 2, ook bekend als BCDO2) geïdentificeerd. Dit is een enzym dat betrokken is bij de splitsing en afbraak van carotenoïden van volledige lengte tot korte apocarotenoïden. Testen geven aan dat de urucummutatie de carotenoïde splitsingsactiviteit van BCO2 tenietdoet. Consistent met het voorspelde verlies van carotenoïde splijtactiviteit, hadden urucumkanaries verhoogde niveaus van carotenoïde pigmenten. Ze veronderstellen dat carotenoïde-gebaseerde kleuring gemakkelijk kan worden verkregen, gemodificeerd of verloren kan gaan door eenvoudige schakelaars in de enzymatische activiteit of regulatie van BCO2.


Genetic Basis of De Novo Appearance of Carotenoid Ornamentation in Bare-Parts of Canaries
Malgorzata Anna Gazda, Matthew B. Toomey, Pedro M. Araújo, Ricardo J. Lopes, Sandra Afonso, Connie A. Myers, Kyla Serres, Philip D. Kiser, Geoffrey E. Hill, Joseph C. Corbo, Miguel Carneiro

List of mutant genes in Genus Agapornis updated

List of mutant genes in Genus Agapornis updated

New: symbol dominant reduced FKA *dominant yellow* (see article BVA-International magazine.)

Mitochondrial genome of A. fischeri

Recently, Chinees scientists, described the complete mitochondrial genome of A. fischeri. Its mitochondrial genome is a circular molecule of 16,719 bp in size, and all genes exhibit the typical gene arrangement according with most avian consensus. The genome information obtained here could contribute to the conservation and utilization of A. fischeri.

[1]H. Liu, K. Jin, en L. Li, “The complete mitochondrial genome of the Fischer’s Lovebird Agapornis fischeri (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae)”, Mitochondrial DNA Part B, vol. 4, nr. 1, pp. 1217–1218, jan. 2019.

Blue, blue type2, turquoise, *sapphire*, *teal*,…. and so much more ….

Update 18/12/2019
The last months we received several reports from breeders who bred blue2 Agapornis fischeri which develop a yellow / pinkish forehead. We suspect that this can confirm our thesis that blue2 types probably still have the possibility to produce (a limited amount of) psittacin as I mentioned in this article.

The link between * sapphire * and blue2 becomes also more likely. Hopefully we will be able to prove or counterprove this theory in the future by DNA analyses.

Blue, blue type2, turquoise, *sapphire*, *teal*,…. and so much more ….

Article published in BVA International Magazine April 2019.

By Dirk Van den Abeele
Ornitho-Genetics VZW
MUTAVI, Research & Advice Group

Everyone knows by now that in recent years there has been a lot of talk about blue birds within the genus Agapornis. For starters, we are now certain about the existence of blue 2 in Agapornis fischeri, there is the possibility of several new mutations and a breeder in Spain has bred green young from a pair of blue Agapornis personatus. It goes without saying that a lot of people are left with questions. A lot of the questions we currently get are about this topic and the internet and social media is buzzing with rumour, gossip, theories and speculation. Each person has his own opinion. Hence it is difficult to get a clear view on the matter.

Results feather research SL dominant greywing Agapornis fischeri

The first SL dominant greywing Agapornis fischeri were reported in 2009 in The Netherlands. Because of the inheritance is dominant, some breeders confused them, (despite it is a different phenotype), with dominant edged Agapornis fischeri. So several combinations with dominant edged were made. No need to say that these results were very confusing.

Some thought there was a connection with *dominant yellow* and also these combinations have been made. The result was ‘soup of the day’.

Lucky for us there was one breeder who did the efforts to combine them with pure green and two years ago it revealed that the inheritance was probably sex-linked incomplete dominant. In the mean while lot of combinations with dominant edged and *dominant yellow* were exported abroad and we received different reports of these birds. Some confused them with *dominant yellow* or dominant edged. Others called it SL dominant edged.

In the barred parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola), AKA lineolated parakeet, Catherine parakeet there is a similar mutation. This mutation appeared about 15 years ago in The Netherlands and after feather research Inte Onsman advised to name it SL dominant greywing.

So now it was time to compare the feathers of SL dominant greywing Agapornis fischeri with the SL dominant greywing Bolborhynchus lineola. We examined feathers from the first SL dominant greywing Agapornis fischeri which were reported in 2009 and 2010 and birds bred in 2015 in Germany and South-Africa. Since the pigmentation is different from what we see in dominant edged Agapornis fischeri, and it looks similar with what we see in cross sections of SL dominant greywing Bolborhynchus lineola, we believe we can confirm that it are (most probably) the same mutations.

So we suggest to name this mutation in Agapornis fischeri also SL dominant greywing.




*Pallid* Cacatua galerita Eleonora??

*Pallid* Cacatua galerita Eleonora??

In the R&D centre in Belgium, they have a female Cacatua galerita Eleonora (The Eleonora cockatoo, aka medium sulphur-crested cockatoo) with a different color of the beak, legs and nails. The color of the beak is grey, the legs and nails are light grey (in wildtype beak, legs and nails are completely black).

The bird is born with red eyes, which turned dark after a few days.  The fact that these ‘paler’ birds are all females let us SUSPECT (for the sake of a good order: we did not examine any feathers or DNA of this bird), that it is most possible a sex-linked recessive mutation and (possible) a pallid mutation.

Inheritance *dominant yellow* Agapornis fischeri

The last years we examined several breeding records of *dominant yellow* Agapornis fischeri. It soon became clear that this phenotype (mutation) has a dominant expression, but not all youngster are *yellow*. We also have *misty* and *edged* youngsters. Breeding outcomes helped us to exclude a sex-linked dominant inheritance.

Because we have several phenotypes in * dominant yellow* and there are no clear SF or DF phenotypes, we believe that this mutation has most probably a variable expressivity and, POSSIBLE, a reduced penetrance, but reduced penetrance is something that definitely needs further examination.