American Yellow (Dilute)

Cinnamon cockatiel
Cinnamon cockatiel

American Yellow is an antique Peachfaced mutation. It was initially discovered in the late 1960s, when David West acquired six birds of this hue. These birds are the ancestors of all American Yellows. The origins of the birds are unclear. (Agapornis World, Feb/Mar 1995, Stephanie Wesloh)

American yellow is a simple recessive mutation that causes a decrease in melanin (a dark pigment) throughout the bird. As a consequence, the bird is yellow with a very faint blue rump. The hue of the rump ranges from pale blue to practically white. The feathers often have a thin black border, giving the bird a strangely sculpted look. The body color is a faintly greenish, more muted yellow rather than the smooth, dazzling yellow of the lutino peachfaced. The distinction is that the lutino removes ALL melanin from the feathers, whilst the american yellow retains a tiny percentage of melanin.

The American Yellow is commonly mistaken, owing in part to its likeness to other mutations and in part to its many various names. “Names like Golden Cherry, Cherryhead, Dilute, Edged-yellow, Yellow, par Yellow, and Light Green-Pastel are among them.” (Wesloh)
Some of these names are also used for the comparable but unrelated Japanese Yellow mutation. The ALBS terminology committee has chosen the name American Yellow as the standard name for the mutation, and it should be used above any other.

The American Yellow is a rare hue since many breeders and pet owners prefer the brighter, more beautiful Lutino Mutation. Nonetheless, some birds of this hue may be located with a little digging. It is often seen in conjunction with the Dutch blue mutation. These birds are also known as “Silver” or “American White.” They have pale grey feathers with the typical edging and a somewhat blue to grey/white rump. The face is identical to that of the Dutch Blue.

Japanese Yellow (Imperial Golden Cherry)

The Japanese Yellow is a stunning mutant. The yellow in these birds is somewhat clearer than in the American Yellow mutant, but the blue on the rump is more strong.
Unfortunately, most Japanese Yellow chickens are sterile. Because the mutation is recessive, the best breeding strategy for these birds has been to cross a visual male with a split yellow female. Unfortunately, this renders nearly half of the hens useless as breeder birds, and most breeders are unwilling or unable to overcome such a difficult challenge.
As a result, the Japanese Yellow has all but vanished, at least in American aviculture. I doubt there are any birds of this hue left in the United States. Japanese yellow with dark factor (left) and Japanese yellow with orange face and dark factor (right).

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