Modification 


A modification is also sometimes confused with a mutation.

But the difference is that a mutation pass the mutation gene to the youngsters, and a modification not.


Modifications are mostly caused by external (none genetic) , or environmental factors.

A modification can have different causes as liver-kidney problems, wrong diet, old age, hormones, stress...


There is not much study about this theme about what is really wrong.


It can occur at birth, and then moult out back to normal, or at mature age, and then stay this colour or getting even more the older the bird get.



For example this Trichoglossus capistratus, which was born normal, and changed at later age, every year he got more greenish-yellow, untill it was completely changed as you can see in the picture. Bird bred by Gert Van Dooren.

1 of the most common modification is the maroon discolouration.

As this mostly happen with adult males, we think this a hormonal cause, but according to Chris Touchton adult females and very rare also young females can have this maroon colour.

It is proven they can get old with this and also no problem for breeding.

Because there are so many, I think it does inherits, but then you can see this as a (non-harmful)disease, as we also see in humans some diseases are given from the parents to the childeren. And therefore maybe this is not a modification but some kind of mutation.


This is mostly common in Lorius species (I have seen in in almost all members of this group, Blackcap, purple-naped, chattering and yellow bibbed), but also other species can get this but mostly only a small part of the body.

A typical thing when a Trichoglossus species this have ,say breeders directly it is a hybrid with the red collared lorikeet, because the collar is mostly the first part which start to turn red. But this is maroon, or darkred, a red collared lorikeet got a orange collar not darkred!



With maroon discoloration disappears the yellow, green and blue parts and turn maroon colour, the red parts stay the same red.

Red or blue discolouration of the Trichoglossus moluccanus.

In the first picture you see he started to change colour, the second picture is the same bird a few years later.

You can see in the second picture all the yellow is gone, red collar and dark blue at the back.

At this stage, many breeders will think that it is a hybrid with the Trichoglossus rubritorquis, because of the red collar therefore, that I have added a picture of a hybrid between T. moluccanus and T. rubritorquis, as you can see , a totally different bird!

Also I remember a Trichoglossus ornatus which nobody wanted to buy because they thought it was a hybrid with Trichoglossus rubritorquis. But it is the same as this moluccanus.

Or another well know discoloured bird is the Phigys solitarius for Weltvogelpark Walsrode. It is all the same.

And also here they are always males, so my guess is it is also something hormonal.

A Trichoglossus moluccanus with yellow feathers, discoloured after 18 years.

I get regulary questions if they have a mutation because they have yellow spots.

When it is born normal but changed later, it is most likely not a mutation, there is only 1 small chance it is a mottle mutation.

Also chicks in the nest can have yellow feathers, but usually they moult out , to normal.

Not every bird with yellow feathers is a (pied) mutation!

Because it does not inherits, only when it inherits it is a mutation.

The cause of it I don't know, maybe a food allergy, some say problems with kidneys or liver, but also pbfd (parrot beak and feather disease) is a possibility.


Another example of a modification is this pale Trichoglossus rubritorquis, she was born normal but changed after 1 year to this pale colour.

It looks almost as a par-blue (aqua) mutation, that is why you better can ask before you buy it , how it looked when it's a young bird. I also wanted to buy it, untill he say it was born normal. As it was born normal I knew for sure this is not a mutation, because then it should have bin this way from birth.

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