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Hi Everyone

Happy New Year to you and your tiels.

I have a normal grey male now just over 9 months. He had a molt in the last few months where he lost the feathers with barring and the yellow and grey feathers from his tail. He's just lost two wing feathers with yellow spots from his wings.

I know that adult male greys don't have any barring but I was curious to know are they only yellow on their heads and not on their tails or wings?

Thanks

Carol
 

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They lose the yellow on the tail and wings due to a testosterone-related increase in melanin pigment. But the face goes in the opposite direction. The best explanation that I've heard for this is that there are hormone-sensitive receptors in the skin cells in this area, and the testosterone increase shuts off the melanin production in this area.

Dimorphic coloring (meaning that adult males and females don't look alike) is usually caused by hormone differences. In most dimorphic parrots, it's the female coloring that is the default color and higher testosterone levels make the male coloring develop. But in some bird species it's estrogen that makes the difference. I have no idea what's going on with ekkies; with that species the sexes have drastically different coloring from the very beginning, so that might be regulated by the genes in some other way.

For more info than anybody really wants to know about the coloration process, I've got a long article at http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.com/info/breed-coloration.html
 
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