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5,102 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Normal Gray

The most common color for Cockatiels is the Gray. It is the color for all wild cockatiels. It is the basis for all the mutations that have come about through captive breeding. The wild type cockatiel is made up of Gray (melanin) as well as yellow and orange (lipochrome). The immature birds will share the markings of mature hens untill the first or second molt when males develop a yellow mask and solid gray wing and tail feathers.

immature gray

A. An Immature Gray.jpg

Tail barring and wingspots

B. Tail and wings.jpg
shared by immature birds and mature hens

Mature Female

E.  MatureGray fe male (4).jpg
females will have a gray suffusion on the face

Mature Male

D. Mature Gray.jpg
Males will have a bright yellow mask

Mature Male

E.  MatureGray male.jpg
notice the solid gray under the tail

5,102 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)


The Cinnamon has the same markings as the Wild Type Gray except that it's melanin is lighter which results in tan or brown replacing the gray. The hen will have the same suffusion of the body color through the face

Immature Cinnamon

E. Immature Ciinamon.jpg

Young Cinnamon.jpg
this one is a older than the first but still has not developed the yellow mask of the mature male

Female Cinnamon

G. Cinnyfemale.jpg

Mature Male Cinnamon

F. Cinnymale.jpg

5,102 Posts
Discussion Starter #3


The Lutino Mutation lacks the melanin that makes a bird gray or tan. The result is a yellow bird that is usually paler on it's body than on it's head. It's difficult to visually sex the Lutino. The tail barring and wingspots are still present and can be seen under strong light but they are white against pale yellow. They have the orange cheek patches of the other types and most commonly have red eyes except in rare cases where blue eyes have been seen.

Immature Lutino


Lutino Female

Lutino Female.jpg

Lutino Male

MatureLutinomale (2).jpg

Blue eyed Lutino.jpg
uncommon blue eyes

5,102 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)

White Face Gray

The White face like the Lutino only lacks one of the elements that makes up a wild type but in this case he lacks the lipochrome. the result is a bird with no yellow or orange. The same rules for markings still apply with the immature birds and females sharing the tail barring and wing spots. The White face male will develop a striking white face rather than the yellow mask of the wild type.

Immature White Face

Monkey face.jpg
young male before aquiring his white mask

White Face Female

WF Mature hen.jpg


Mature White Face Male

Mature WF Male.jpg


5,102 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)

Pattern Varieties


While other mutations follow predictable pattern and common rules for their markings this mutation follows none of the rules. It is a non specific lack of melanin that can occur anywhere on it's body. It can be as varied as just a few light (pied) feathers. This is called a Light Pied. A normal Pied bird is ideally about 50% pied. The heavily Pied bird would have more than 50% light colored feathers. In the case of the clear pied fewer than 2% of it's normal coloring still exists. They are very difficult to sex visually as the markings that enable you to separate the boys from the girls are in most cases disrupted. Although there are a few that retain some of the wing
spots and tail barring

Light Pied

K. Light Pied.jpg
just showing pied feathers on his head

Normal Pied
J. Chico.jpg

Pied 2.jpg
These two have a good 50/50 mix

Heavy Pied

Just a few dark feathers remain

Clear Pied

Very heavy pied.jpg
Almost no dark feathers remain

5,102 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)


The Pearl is a mutation with a specific lack of melanin. This creates a feather pattern that has little variation in this group. The male when maturing will lose their pearling with few exceptions and look like a wild type Gray.

Close up of Pearls

pattern of Gray Pearl

Immature Cinnamon Pearl

AA. Young Cinamon Pearl.jpg
pearl can be combined with any other mutation

Same young male losing it's pearling

AA. Losing Pearls.jpg

Mature Pearl Female

Copy (1) of Daisy.jpg

Mature Pearl Male

Spot Closeup.jpg

5,102 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)

Facial Variations

There are a few options also with face colors. They have a delicate and interesting appearance. I have a couple of them shown here.


Pastel Face Pied male

Pastel Face Gray female

Yellow Cheek

Yellow cheek.jpg
Yellow Cheek Pied shown with a normal Lutino

5,102 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)

Uncommon Mutations

There are a wide variety of mutations being developed all the time. I am showing only a few of the less common varieties here. There is the Emerald which seems to have a greenish cast to it's feathers. The Silver is much like the wild type Gray but is much lighter. The Fallow is much like Cinnamon but with a very pale tan and red eyes.

Normal Fallow

Normal fallow.jpg

White face Fallow Male

WF Fallow Male.jpg
Clearly showing the red eyes


tikigreentail (WinCE) (Small).jpg


AA Silver (WinCE) (Small).jpg

5,102 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)

Combination Mutations

There are almost endless possibilities when you start combining the mutations. Some of the results are surprising. Here again are just a few.

Lutino Pearl

Darker yellow pearling against a pale yellow body

White Face Pearl Pied


White Face Combinations

WF Cinny Pearl.jpg
Cinnamon Whiteface, Cinnamon Whiteface Pearl and Cinnamon Whiteface Pied

Lutino Whiteface

Combining genes from a bird with no gray with a bird with no yellow or orange can produce an all white bird

A Variety

As you can see there are a wide variety of colors and patterns that can make every bird unique

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