Changing colors after 2 years

by Lisa Smart
(Va Beach, VA)

My normal 2 yr old male gray cockatiel now has white feathers all over his body. He almost looks spotted. The white feathers grew in a pale yellow, then changed to white all around his head, back and under belly. None of my other older cockatiels have ever done this.

He is very healthy and loving. I know he is not sick at all. I just have never seen a normal gray cockatiel suddenly develop white feathers and now he looks spotted. He's very distinctive looking now. Thanks for your help. I was thinking that maybe this is part of the molting process. I have only owned Cockatiels for three years, but have older rescued birds. Lisa Smart

Comments for Changing colors after 2 years

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Oct 03, 2009
by: Linda

Sounds like your bird is sex-linked back to a pearly or one of the other mutations. When a normal grey is bred with one of the Fancy mutations, part of the clutch looks normal and one, maybe two will look like the mutation. The ones who LOOK normal possess the genetic material of the fancy mutation and as they age, their new feathers will come in, and a very beautiful "new" bird will appear. You need to look on the internet for some information about Pied and Pearly Cockatiels, and you may just find your bird in a picture. What is happening with your bird is natural, and you actually have a Fancy Cockatiel for a Normal Gray price, so be happy with your jewel of a bird!

Thanks for writing and post a picture of your bird after all his new, special feathers are in as we'd love to see him!!!

PS If you ever decide to breed this one, please make sure you breed him to a "for real" grey as the genetics will be much stronger. Never breed a mutation like the Pearly, Pied, Lutino to another mutation as this weakens the gene pool, and babies will show up with different kinds of genetic problems being that the genes have been weakened by this breeding. Next time around, make very sure you are buying from a breeder willing to sell you an actual normal grey. If you bought this one in a pet store, they most likely did not know what his breeding was, so work with breeders in future if ever interested in breeding.

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