Timeline for Cockatiel Mutations in the US
It all started with the Normal (wild type) cockatiel. In the US we currently have fourteen (14) known mutations. Of these mutations, six (6) were established in the US.
All cockatiels, excluding the normal grey, are mutations. A mutation is defined as a spontaneous change in the genetic code. These changes have resulted in the color variations we now have today.
The last cockatiels were exported from Australia in 1959.
Worldwide there are currently Twenty-Two (22) known mutations. In Europe and the Netherlands is a mutation called an NSL Lutino, which means Non Sex-Linked Lutino. If established this would bring the total worldwide mutations to Twenty-Three (23). Eight (8) mutations of this total are established and exclusive to Australia.
Cockatiels (Nymphicus Hollandicus) were identified by Kerr in 1792 in their native country, Australia. They made their way as captive birds to Europe in the early 1800's. The first captive breeding of cockatiels was in France in the 1850’s. From there cockatiels spread worldwide. It took about 100 years for the first mutation to evolve from the Normal, which was the Pied, in 1949.
Sometimes you may notice that a person will use initials or abbreviations to describe the mutation (color) of the cockatiel they have. If you are not familiar with the mutations, this can get confusing.
In ( ) is other names that might be used for these mutations worldwide, or found in older books about mutations.
Normal = N (Wild Type) Not a mutation
Pied = pD, pp, Pd (Recessive Pied, Harlequin, Variegated, Dominant Pied, ADM Pied)
Pied was the first mutation to occur in captivity in California, USA in aviaries of Mrs. R. Kersh, and D. Putnam in 1949. Mrs. Kersh continued to work with the pied mutation until 1979.
Lutino = L, Lut (Ino, Albino, Moonbeam, Primrose, Yellows)
The first lutino appeared in the aviaries of Mr. Cliff Barringer of Miami Florida, USA in 1958. Mrs. Moon worked with and established the Lutino mutation.
Pearl = P, Prl (Opaline, Laced, Lacewing, Gesperlt)
The Pearl cockatiel was established in West Germany in 1967.
Cinnamon = C, Cin (Fawn, Isabelle)
Mr. Van Otterdijk established the Cinnamon mutation in Belgium, in 1967.
Recessive Silver = RS, ss, Sil (Ashen Fallow, Ash, Platinum, Silver-Fallow)
Recessive Silver was first established in New Zealand at the start of the 1950’s. The Recessive Silver in the US is of European origin and imported into the US in the late 1960’s.
Fallow = F, ff, Fal (Bronze Fallow, Brown fallow)
The Fallow mutation originated in1971 in the aviary of Mrs. Irma Vowels in Florida, USA
Whiteface = WF, ww (Blue, Charcoal)
The Whiteface first appeared in Holland in 1969. By the late 1970s it had been bred in Germany, and reached the UK in 1979, and was imported into the US in 1984 by Dale Thompson.
Dominant Silver = DS (Dominant Edged, Dominant Dilute, Ashen Dilute, Blackhead)
Terry Cole discovered the Dominant Silver mutation in a pet shop in the United Kingdom in 1979.
There is SF (Single Factor) and DF (Double Factor) So many use the terms SFDS or DFDS (for orange cheeked) and WF-SFDS or WF-DFDS if also WF
Pastelface = PF, pa, Pas (Aqua, Paleface, Dominant Pastelface)
The Pastelface originated in the United Kingdom in the aviary of Bob Crossley in the late 1980’s
Sex-linked Yellow Cheek = SLYC, YC, Yc (Yellowcheek, Sex-Linked Yellowface)
The Sex-linked (SLYC) The Yellowcheek mutation was established by Bruno Rehm in Germany during the early 1990’s. This mutation was legally imported into the United State in 1992 by Elsie Burgin, Nancy Rocheleau and Dave Okura. Breeders soon combined yellowface with other mutations.
Dominant Yellow Cheek = DYC, YF, Yf (Tangerine, Yellowface, Dominant Yellowface, pastel face)
The Dominant Yellow Cheek (DYC) was reported to appear in an aviary in Florida around 1996. Dominant Yellow Cheek is the first truly dominant mutation established in Florida, USA.
Gold Cheek = GC (Recessive Yellowcheek)
The Gold Cheek mutation first appeared in aviary of Barbara Greene of Virginia, USA in the early 1990’s. Editors note: I have heard from a reputable source that this mutation is a dying breed and may be removed from the list of mutations.
Emerald, Olive = EM, O (Olive, Suffused Silver, Suffused Yellow, Dilute, Spangled)
The Emerald mutation first appeared during the 1980’s in the aviary of Norma and John Ludwig. They contacted Margie Mason of Texas, USA to work and establish the mutation.
Creamface = CF, CH (Creamhead, Creamino)
The Creamface mutation first occurred in South Africa to Mr. Lester De Kok. Margie Mason brought Creamface to USA about 2003 or 2004. The South African mutation is currently being bred by Jason Patin of Lafayette, Louisiana.
To further confuse the issue you may see something like this: N/WF,F,pD and wonder what it means.
The / slash symbol designates the is split (carrying) the gene to other mutations.
In the example above the Normal is split to (/) Whiteface (WF), Fallow (F) and Pied (pD)
Mutations Found in Australia
Australia is the origin of cockatiels worldwide. It is the home of the Normal Grey cockatiel. There are 14 mutations found in Australia. Of these mutations 6 (six) were imported into the country, and 8 (eight) are established and exclusive to Australia.
Imported, non-native mutations
Pied, late 1970’s
Lutino, late 1970’s
Pearl, late 1970’s
Whiteface, late 1980’s
Cinnamon, mid 1990’s
Pastelface, mid 1990’s
Mutations Exclusive to Australia:
Australian Fallow, 1960’s
Faded (West Coast Silver) 1982
Cinnamon, (from a wild caught bird) 1984
Edged Dilute (Silver Spangle) early 1980’s
Platinum, late 1980’s
Dilute (Pastel Silver, East Coast Silver) 1980’s, to the public late 1990’s
Suffused (Olive) late 1990’s
Australian Yellowface, 2001
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