Color Variations in Cockatiels
Cockatiels do not have the bright vivid colors that other parrots boast. However, cockatiels have several color mutations that give each of them a unique look. Color mutations occur on three aspects of a cockatiel, which include the overall color of the bird, color of the face marking, and changes in the color and pattern on the bird. These color mutations are achieved through careful breeding of cockatiels. Being able to identify your own bird’s mutation can be interesting and gives you more knowledge about your bird. Here is a closer look at the different color variations of your cockatiel’s overall body.
There are several different types of color mutations that affect the overall color of the cockatiel. The most common is called normal grey. Normal grey is the color variation that is found on birds in the wild. A normal grey cockatiel is dark grey all over expect for a white stripe found on the wings of a male cockatiel. It also has a bright yellow face, yellow crest and orange cheek spot. A female is grey all over with a muted yellow face and orange spot. Females also have barring on their tail and lower body.
Cinnamon and fallow are two more kinds of color variations in cockatiels. These two are very similar to each other and are commonly mistaken for the other. Cinnamon cockatiels are a dusty silver with tints of brown in their feathers and have dark eyes. Fallow have the same overall color as cinnamon, but has a hint of yellow in the feathers. The main difference between cinnamon and fallow cockatiels are the eyes. Fallow has deep red eyes as opposed to dark brown or black eyes found in the cinnamon.
Lutino cockatiels are solid colors of white and yellow. Sometimes an all white lutino cockatiel is confused as being an albino cockatiel. However, albino cockatiels do not exist and the color variation name is confused along the way. Lutino cockatiels have red eyes with a bright yellow head and orange cheek spot. They also have barring underneath the wings and tail making it very difficult to determine sex.
Lastly, a silver cockatiel is a rather common variation, but its silvery grey color makes it appear unique and much different to the normal grey cockatiel. Depending on whether your bird is a dominant silver or recessive silver, it will have a varying shade of grey all over its body. Recessive silver cockatiels have red eyes as oppose to the dominant silvers that have dark eyes. Both of these cockatiel variations lack the orange patch on the cheek.
There are many different color variations in the cockatiel. It is amazing to see the different color schemes and patterns possible to the cockatiel. This should help you to be able to identify which variation your cockatiel shows.
Color Mutations in cockatiels occur in 3 areas of the body. It can affect the color of the overall body, the color of the face marking, and can changed the pattern on feathers and the body. These types of mutations make cockatiels look much different than those that live in the wild. Here is a closer look at the mutations that change the color of the face marking as well as the one that changes the pattern on the cockatiels body.
Cockatiels are usually known for their bright orange cheek patch and bright yellow face and crown. However, not all cockatiels have that characteristic patch of orange feathers. White face is the type of color mutation that changes the color of the face marking. Rather than seeing a bright orange spot, the cockatiel has a bright white patch. It can be rather striking and can be quite beautiful. Even though the color mutation is called white face, it effects yellow and orange pigment through the bird’s genes. A bird with a white face will never have yellow feathers either. These birds usually go for more money because they are more rarer than cockatiels with an orange cheek.
Another variation that changes the color of the face marking is called yellow head and cheek. This is a rather uncommon mutation, but either to identify if you come across it. This cockatiel has no orange cheek marking either. However, it has a yellow head and darker yellow colored feathers where the orange mark would have been. Try to see if you can find one of these in your local pet store.
The next type of mutations changes the overall patterns on the bird’s feathers and body are called pied and pearl. Pied is best described as having white and yellow feathers in areas where there normally is not any. These birds may have small spots or have large white and yellow areas. Sometimes, a normal grey bird could carry the pied gene without actually having any pattern on its body. Usually the best indicator that he may be a carrier is on the back of the head. There may be a white spots on the back of the head indicator he could have pied cockatiel babies.
The last type of pattern variation is called pearl. This variation is easy to identify because of the spots and barring found on each individual feather. It is interesting to note that females will keep these spots for her whole lifetime. However, males that have the pearl variation may lose the spots over time.
These are the most common color mutations found in cockatiels. Whenever you go to purchase your own special bird, you will be able to tell what kind of mutations it has.