14 October 2006

Cockatiel Colorations

I was writing a post elsewhere on the pigments involved in cockatiel colorations, and I thought it might be of interest to y'all to have it in one place. Genetics and breeding dictates which pigments each 'tiel has, but I haven't yet looked into that, just where the color originates within one individual.

Cockatiels have two pigments that cause color in them: melanin causes the gray, and lipochrome causes yellow and orange. Peeper (right, photo by me or my dad) was a typically colored cockatiel (called gray), and posessed both melatonin and lipochrome.

Lutino (like Gabe, left, photo by Tammy) is a mutation where they don't have the melatonin, kinda a "half-albino," so anywhere they would've been gray is white instead, and his eyes are red (even without the flash) instead of brown. They still have the lipochrome so retain the yellow head and tail, and orange cheeks. Whiteface cockatiel

Whitefaces (right) do have the melanin so they have gray backs and sides, but don't have the lipochrome so their heads are pure white.

Trina, albino = lutino + whitefaceIn order to get a true albino (Trina, left, photo by ), they need to crossbreed the lutinos and whitefaces to get an even more mutated bird without either lipochrome or melanin.

There are actually many more colorations to 'tiels than just these four that I mentioned, but they're a basic start.

And just because no list of bird photos is complete without it, here's some babies!

The above photos for normal gray and lutino were of my own birds, the albino is 's, and the whiteface (and lutino babies) were random ones on the 'net. If you've got a good photo of a whiteface you don't mind me using for this, post a link in the comments and I'll update the post. ^_^

1 comment:

Galbinus_Caeli said...

What about Pied? Where they have some gray patches.