By Barney Hackney


I have been breeding Lacewings since 1970. I bought a Lutino cock from a hobby breeder in 1969. It was a stylish bird, very quiet and showed all day. As with all of his birds this bird was unrung. He had a way or knack of obtaining good birds from top breeders. He never exhibited birds but he made enough money from budgerigars to buy a new 1965 Ford sedan and pay off the house.

Back to the Lutino cock. He was mated to a Lutino hen and they produced 4 chicks in the first nest. They were a Lutino cock which won 5 Grand Champions as a Young Bird including the combined show (all clubs with 600 birds entered) in Toowoomba during 1971. A Lutino hen won her classes but never beat the cock. A second Lutino cock with a lot of fine faint Cinnamon markings, which was a better type of bird than the champion and a Lacewing hen. So the original Lutino cock was split Lacewing and so was the young Lutino cock.

No one was breeding these birds seriously at the time. After many discussions with Len Tucker and a lot of reading I started to produce Lacewings using the young split Lacewing cock to a family of Normal Green hens both Light Green and Dark Green. They were quality hens with clear crisp wing markings, black on yellow. The champion Lutino went on to produce quality Lutinos, never a Lacewing.

Between 1975 and 1980 I would stage at home for inspection, 15 to 20 cocks. Visitors had trouble sorting them out. About 1975 I started to produce white Lacewings and Opaline Lacewings with full wing markings. No windows, and 5 bars (rows) of markings on each wing. In those days the wing markings were worth 15 points. A bird with no bottom (5th) bar lost 5 points so you had to breed good wing markings on your Lacewings. Around 1977 a white Lacewing hen won ABS Champion Budgerigar (The Gold Budgie). Not too many Lacewings had won major awards (if any) and this hen was the first buff feathered bird to win a major award. I was amazed and delighted.



This eye catching budgerigar with it's yellow or white ground colour and Cinnamon Brown markings on head, neck, mantle and wings and long tail feathers was first bred in England in 1948 and at about the same time in Queensland by Mr. Hector Hall of Kingaroy.

The breeding characteristic is of the sex-linked group. It is generally thought that the Lacewing is a Cinnamon Lutino or Albino usually expressed as an "Ino Cinnamon". The breeding mode of the Lacewing supports this theory.

In normal sex-linked birds, to produce cocks the breeder must have sex-linked cock x sex-linked hen or Normal split sex-linked cock x sex-linked hen, that is the particular sex-linked gene on both sides - cock and hen.

Normally this is the case with Lutinos or Albinos and Cinnamons, but not so when you use a Lacewing cock with one of these hens. A Yellow Lacewing cock to a Lutino hen will give you

Lacewing hens, as per rules of sex-linkage. The cock birds bred will be Lutinos split Lacewing. Under the rules of sex-linkage they would be Normal Green split Lacewing.

Mating a Lacewing cock to a Cinnamon hen you produce Lacewing hens as expected and Cinnamon cocks, which is unexpected. With a Cinnamon cock mated to a Lacewing hen you produce Cinnamon hens (expected) and Cinnamon cocks (unexpected).

In both these matings Normal cock birds would be expected - being split for Lacewing.

The strength of the Cinnamon markings on the Lacewings is the main object. The best way to produce good quality wing marked birds is to use Normals with good wing markings. Cinnamon can be used provided the wing markings are a deep brown, with good coloured flights' One disadvantage of using Cinnamon is that generally Cinnamons have poor spots as do the Lacewings and two wrongs don't make a right.

The use of Opalines in Lacewing breeding has given us a nice Opaline Lacewing, if produced from good stock. The Opaline is being used a lot at present in Lacewing breeding, hopefully to improve the spots. Just remember that if the Opalines you use do not have a family line of good spots, you will not improve the Lacewings spots, or the spots on any other bird for that matter. Remember Opalines must also have good solid wing markings (no windows) dark and crisp (not smudgy) tall colour to be full.

It is possible to produce a Lacewing form of all our present variety of birds including Spangle. Remember, to produce good Lacewings you must have a good Lacewing to start with or a split cock and good wing marked Normals or Cinnamons. Obviously hens cannot be split Lacewing because of the laws of sex-linkage.

NOTE: - The Lacewing is a variety bird so the body colour and wing markings are very important. Always breed for perfection, the variety and the budgerigar.

The following are a few matings that will give Lacewing breeding results:

Lacewing Cock X Lacewing Hen 100% Lacewings
Lacewing Cock X Normal Hen Normal/Lacewing Cocks & Lacewing Hens
Normal Cock X Lacewing Hen Normal/Lacewing Cocks & Normal Hens
Lacewing Cock X Ino Hen Ino/Lacewing Cocks & Lacewing Hens
Ino Cock X Lacewing Hen Ino/Lacewing Cocks & Ino Hens
Lacewing Cock X Cinnamon Hen Cinnamon/Lacewing Cocks & Lacewing Hens
Cinnamon Cock X Lacewing Hen Cinnamon/Lacewing Cocks & Cinnamon Hens
Norm/ Lacewing Cock X Normal Hen Normal Cocks, Normal/Lacewing Cocks, Lacewing Hens & Normal Hens
Ino/Lacewing Cock X Cinnamon Hen Normal/Cinnamon/Ino Cocks, Cinnamon/Lacewing Cocks, Ino Hens & Lacewing Hens

To complete this series it is interesting to include the following:

Cinnamon Cock X Ino Hen Normal/Cinnamon/Ino Cocks & Cinnamon Hens
Ino Cock X Cinnamon Hen Normal/Cinnamon/Ino Cocks & Ino Hens

From the above breeding data it can easily be seen that the Lacewing mutation is a true mutation which is compatible to both Cinnamon and Ino and is in a way an in-between mutation. It is not really a Cinnamon or an Ino but combines features of both.

The Australian Budgerigar Society Inc 2000