Feather Duster Birds and Other Mutations

A small species of parrot from 'Straya is known as the parakeet, budgie, and other names, but more formally as the budgerigar. Very popular as pets. Lovely plumage. The ability to mimic human speech is probably a factor in their popularity, but you need to train them properly. Also, the purchase price is much cheeper than that of full-sized parrots.

Most parakeets / budgies are normal, but the feather duster mutation is rare by very harmful
Freeimages / Julie Elliott-Abshire
We're used to the parakeets with their feathers under control, but there's a sad mutation that may look cute at first, but ruins their health and usually shortens their lifespans to a few months instead of years. It gives a feather duster effect because the feathers keep on growing, and is also indicative of other problems. The hands at the Darwin Ranch insist that natural selection and mutations brought about all the varieties of life on Earth, but the overwhelming majority of mutations are harmful, or neutral at best. Actually, life was created — Darwin was wrong.
Nora’s long, curly feathers seemed to lack some component of the normal barb, barbule and hook structures of standard feathers, and they greatly hampered her mobility. Although able to eat normal budgie fodder and shuffle around, Nora couldn’t climb, preen or fly like other budgies, and she could hardly chatter or squawk either. However, with Warren’s help she did eventually learn to perch on the low rung in her cage.
Nora’s parents were both descendants of English show budgies, the only birds known to produce ‘feather duster’ mutants, the first such case being reported in England in 1966. Breeders think a mutation (genetic copying mistake) in a recessive gene causes the problem.
To read the full article, click on "The mutant ‘feather-duster’ budgie". Also, there are a couple of very short videos below, one of which is a feather duster budgie.