Whiteface Cockatiels

The Whiteface male cockatiel, shown here, is a strikingly beautiful bird with its charcoal colored feathers and bright white face.

The Whiteface mutation prevents the deposition of lipochrome (yellow and red) pigmentation on the feathers, causing the dark melanin plumage and the white face.

Female whiteface cockatiels retain the immature grey face (without the cheekpatch) and the barring of the underside of the tail feathers.

White Face is a stunning, fairly common mutation. And fairly self-explanatory! The mutation actually removes all yellow and orange pigmentation from the tiel, so anything that was normally yellow or orange on any other above mutations, is turned white when combined with the whiteface mutation. The face and head becomes a solid white. In all young birds and the adult females, the face is still duller, but it’s a dull grey with a fainter grey cheek spot, rather than the dull yellow and orange (remember, there is no yellow or orange in a white face tiel). The adult whiteface male will get a bright solid white head after he has his first moult. Also note that a whiteface pied will have white patches instead of the yellow, as well as the whiteface pearl will have white speckles. Because the whiteface mutation removes all the yellow pigmentation, a whiteface chick hatches out of it’s egg with white fuzz, whereas any other mutation is a yellow fuzzy chick� Therefore a whiteface chick is known to be white faced from the day it hatches!

A careful note to make is the albino cockatiel. There is no such thing as an albino cockatiel. The solid white cockatiels, with red eyes, are actually the lutino (the solid yellow/white body) and the white face (the lack of a cheek spot, and the lack of any yellow or orange pigment) mutations combined together, making the bird totally and completely white (with the red eyes of the lutino).

139 thoughts on “Whiteface Cockatiels”

  1. How to obtain a whiteface pearl or whiteface pearl pied tiel? What mutation it needs to be crossed?

  2. In order to breed white face, you need two visually white face birds or one visual and one split to white face or the smallest chance would be two split to white face. If one parent does not carry the white face gene, then all the babies will be normal. In order to get pied, you need the same – either two visual pied, one visual and one split or two split to pied.

    In order to get pearl, you need a male who is either visual pearl or split to pearl. If he is bred to a normal, you will get visual pearl girls and split to pearl boys. If he is bred to a normal pearl hen, you can get pearls in both sexes.

  3. So if I have an adult white faced male, which should I find in a female to make an unusual bird? I know this is nieve, but am totally, but this grandma is new to this!
    Sincerely, Ramona

  4. Ramona –

    Your question is not an unusual one. :) It all depends on what you mean by unusual however AND it depends on what genes your male is carrying. Do you know what color your male’s parents were? That will give you a better idea on what to expect for possible baby colors. I would invite you to come to the National Cockatiel Society Facebook page. Post a photo of your bird and ask your question there. There are over 1500 members of ALL experience levels who can offer a wealth of knowledge to get you started. Cheers!

  5. Hello,
    I have a white faced, pearl, pied cockatiel. He’s a DNA sexed male, and is six years old. My question is: why hasn’t he lost his pearl coloring yet? I read that males are supposed to have lost that coloring by the second molt. He’s healthy and beautiful, but why does he still have that coloring? We are certain that he is male.
    Catharine

  6. Great but could you PLEASE give more detail about how to tell a boy white faced from a girl. I was told you could only tell from blood tests

  7. how can you say there isn’t albino. Albino is lacking of pigment in the body with red eyes. The definition of Albino is literally congenial lack of pigment. Which is what is happening. Just because you name it something else doesn’t mean its not albino. To say there is no such thing as albino is utterly retarded. Every specifies is capable of the mutation. Like you literally wrote what makes a bird albino then said but there not lol. Love how you can just change a Def in science at will.

  8. how to know a chick cockatiel if its albino or just whiteface pied?thankyou very much!.very much appreciate on your reply

  9. Hi. I have a white face and grey bodied cockatiel. He is about 5years old. He is moulting at the moment and have noticed that his tail and one of his wings have turned black mis this normal? What do I do?

    Thanks. Luisa

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