pied cockatiel

A pied cockatiel is a popular and attractive color mutation of the common pet bird species known as the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus). Cockatiels are native to Australia and are known for their playful and friendly nature, making them one of the most popular pet bird species worldwide.

pied cockatiel bird

There are many mutations of a cockatiel bird, including pearl pied cockatiel pearl pied cockatiel and pearl cockatiel The term “pied” in the context of cockatiels refers to a specific color mutation. Pied cockatiels have a unique pattern of coloration that sets them apart from the standard wild-type cockatiels. In a pied cockatiel, the normal gray body color is broken up with irregular patches of white or yellow. These patches can appear on various parts of the bird’s body, including the wings, tail, and head.

Genetic mutation

Bird breeders can breed for certain traits, and they have been breeding for different colour mutations in cockatiels since the 1940s.

The pied cockatiel mutation was the first cockatiel mutation colour to be established in United States in 1951.] The Pied appeared exactly by the aviaries of “Mr. D. Putman” of San Diego, California, United States.

After this first genetic colour mutation the cockatiel bird Knew a series of mutations like Lutino cockatiel as second cockatiel colour genetics, first appeared in 1958, White-faced cockatiel (first appeared in 1964), Cinnamon cockatiel, and the Pearled cockatiel which appeared in Germany in 1967 or 1968 [8] and Pastelface cockatiel.

Types of mutation

There are two kinds of pied cockatiel colour mutation in this mutation,”Heavy Pied cockatiels” and “Light Pied cockatiels”. the difference between Heavy Pied cockatiel and Light Pied cockatiels, a Light Pied cockatiel should have 10% pied colour (any less and they could indeed be split pied) and a Heavy Pied cockatiel should have more than 75% pied colour. there are many variations of pieds from just a few pied flights and body feathers to a bird that is predominately yellow (or white) with just a few dark feathers, which is sometimes referred to as a “reverse” or “saddleback” pied.

Genetics & Heredity

We will explain to you how is the genetic mutation,The pied gene is a recessive mutation. This means that one single gene on it’s own will not create a pied bird. A bird must receive a pied gene from it’s mother and father to be a visual pied. Keep in mind that all genes are found on a birds chromosomes and each chromosome comes in a pair. Each gene has a set position on a chromosome where it resides and if the gene isn’t present in that position a normal or wild-type gene fills the spot. To create the visual appearance these 2 genes both have their say.

If it has only one pied gene then on the position where a pied gene would sit on it’s partner chromosome there would be a wild-type or normal gene. Because the normal gene is a dominant gene it would prevent the single pied gene from being visible and thus the bird would be split to pied. However if a pied gene is present on both then the pied effect will be visible as no wild-type gene is present to dominate over the pied.

pied cockatiel

However by now some of you will be saying “but my bird is split pied and I can see patches of colour on the back of it’s head”. Yes it is true! A bird that has only one pied gene and thus called ‘heterozygous’ can display pied markings. In the ‘heterozygous’ state in other recessive mutations, the bird would usually be a normal colour and show no signs of that particular recessive mutation being present.

With pied however, this is not the case. Some birds, but not all, that are only split will show markings such as patching on the head, or a pink toenail or stripe on the beak where it would normally be dark. This often leads to the thought that maybe the pied gene is actually dominant. However to call a gene dominant it must be visual 100% of the time in all heterozygous or split birds.

As this isn’t the case with the pied gene, ie some split pied birds show no visual evidence of pied being present, experts feel it is safer to keep the inheritance mode as recessive until it can be proven otherwise. Regardless of what ends up being proven there can be no denying that there are some stunning combinations and variations available in the Pied.


If you’re interested in keeping a pied cockatiel as a pet, it’s important to provide them with proper care, including a spacious cage, a balanced diet, and regular social interaction and mental stimulation. Additionally, consider the specific needs and preferences of your cockatiel, as individual birds can have unique personalities and requirements.

pearl cockatiel

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