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Tupek is a normal grey split to pied pearl (2x) (has pearl gene on his second X chromosome). (Father is a visual pied and mother is a pearl with no known splits. 100% of my male chicks from this pairing would be normal grey split to pied pearl, and 100% of my female chicks would be normal grey split to pied). I am quite sure he is a boy because:
  1. behavior is 100% male
  2. spot sexing indicates male (spots under wing are only on primaries, and do not reach body)
  3. under wing “spots“ are clearly elongated, which is a sign of pearl. Only males can be split to pearl, as pearl is a sex-linked trait. As far as I know, there is no explanation for his elongated spots if he is not indeed split to pearl.
Based on all this, I am pretty confident that Tuppicky is normal grey split to pied pearl male.
Which brings me to the yellow shoulder feathers, which look like little epaulettes. He is beginning to get more prominent yellowing on the top of his shoulders, which seems like a really weird place to develop pied tick marks. Tupek has two older siblings who both developed more yellow tickmarking, but it has always in the same spots on the back of the head, just bigger. I’m surprised to see yellow develop on a different part of the body., I.e., the shoulder. I’m wondering whether this is a sign of pied, or a sign of pearl. I have come across some cockatiels on the internet who were born split to pied, but as they aged, after a couple years, they started developing lots of new pied feathers on their backs, and essentially became visual pieds!!! Could this be happening here? Or might this yellow “tick mark” on the shoulder be a visual sign of his pearl gene? I know that split to pearl males can develop ghost pearling. Maybe Tupek is starting to develop ghost pearls, but since he is also split to pied, it’s yellow rather than whitish? His white wing stripe has a wash of yellow in it due to his pied gene, so maybe that’s why?

Any breeders ever come across this?

I have posted photos here:
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