Now all yellows are not the same. The Generic term Yellow can be expressed as Intensive, Bright, Frosted or Buff.
If somebody says its Yellow or Yellow Intensive they are talking about the same colour and the colour they are describing is a bright yellow with intense colour. An intensive-feathered bird should be as completely free from any hint of frosting as possible. In the intensive feather the lipochrome colour extends to the very edges of each individual feather, visually creating a strong colour.
The photo to your left is a Clear Yellow Canary.
On the other hand if the term Buff or Frosted is used they are talking about a different coloured bird, a bird whose colour is a pale yellow, which occurs because each yellow feather has a fine/small band around the outer edge of white. This gives the appearance of a softer yellow hence Buff or Frosted.
Now just to throw a spanner in the works a Yellow/Intense feather is also thinner and harder, whereas a Buff/Frosted feather is rounder and softer.
It is most usual to breed [ Yellow/Intensive ] X [ Buff/Frosted ] so as to retain a good quality of feather.
Too much [ Yellow/Intensive ] X [ Yellow/intensive ] creates a very narrow hard feather, which makes the bird look much thinner.
Too much [ Buff/Frosted ] X [ Buff/Frosted ] also known as double-buffing, creates a very soft feather which is prone to creating Feather Lumps an unsightly growth that should be avoided.
The Bird in the picture to your right is a Lightly variegated Cinnamon Yellow.
Lipochrome is a fat soluble dye that colours the feathers. Melanin is the colour Brown or Black that may appear in some feathers ie Blue Green Cinnamon and Faun.
Author: J Hart - Published 20/09/05 - updated 6/6/09