Ask Lafeber


April 15, 2019

Color mutation

I know parrots like cockatiels, parakeets, and lovebirds can get color mutations, but can cockatoos?


Hi Adele,

Color mutations are possible in all species of birds and mammals. It is caused by a gene flaw and varies with species. With birds and mammals that breed more easily in captivity, color mutations have been bred for, in spite of it being a flaw. Technically these birds or mammals are genetically weaker. But with generations of breeding some mutations, the animals are healthier. So this is why you see the mutations in so many bird species that readily breed in captivity. Cockatoos are one of the more difficult species to breed in captivity for many reasons. However, some mutations do exist but are likely very expensive or not for sale. I don’t think there are any color mutations in Cockatoos that are regularly bred or available in retail. You can try a Google image search and should be able to find pictures but of course understand that some of these photos have been manipulated digitally.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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