Pyrrhura conures types - part 3: mutations of green cheeked conures


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May 23, 2018
Bourke's parrots, green cheeked conure
It's the last part.
Written in 2020 by Rozalka and translated in 2022 (with some changes)

Personally I recognize mutations a bit different (especially the rare ones), because when in the first moment I don’t know what is the mutation, I try to use the knowledge how mutations affect plumage (I don’t always do it, sometimes it’s too hard). I’ve never seen anybody to recognize mutations in the same way, but to my surprise I’ve recognized some rare mutation combinations correctly, not knowing how they look like before.

Ps. Because not everybody knows it – standard is not a mutation. All mutation descriptions are how nominate version (standard) is changed.

Parrot color division (I will be using these names to describe mutations, so it’s a ‘mini-dictionery’):

- related to psttacins – yellow, orange, red, pink etc. In general (among all parrot species) a mutation which stops psittacins production (so mentioned colors can’t appear in their plumage) is called as blue. It’s not bred yet among green cheeked conures. Note: in some parrot species the name ‘blue’ isn’t suitable to their plumage and they have changed name – eg. Nobody says ‘blue cockatiel’ but ‘white faced’ (both forms are correct).

- related to melanin – blue, black, grey, brown etc. A mutation which ‘blocks’ melanin production exists too and it’s called as lutino.

The above colors may be mixed between different types – the most common mix is blue with yellow and we get green then. White is in plumage when there are no other colors. This is why albino (combination of blue and lutino) is always white.

Yellow-sided (opaline)
Zenek gruszka.jpg

Generally it’s a change of already existing colors. This is why some birds have less or more red. These ones with big amount of red have own names such as redface or (extreme) high red yellow sided.

All colors are more pale. Even beak and legs are pale. The most characteristic is head because it has light grey cap (while nominate – black).

It’s a parblue mutation – all colors related to psittacins are reduced, but they still are visible in the plumage (that’s why it isn’t a real blue mutation). It means that feathers are a bit greenish (that’s why it’s called ‘turquise’).
American dilute

This mutation reduces colors related to melanin, but it isn’t ‘parlutino’. It isn’t so popular like mutations aboth, but I’ve seen here on forum people with them. They are yellowish (but not so yellow like lutino), they still have a bit of grey on their beak.
Other mutation examples:

  • Violet factor: warning – the real violet is dark green (usually it’s called as ‘greenviolet’). The name ‘violet’ comes from budgies – after combinating this mutation with blue, their plumage is close to violet.
  • Pied (only some plumage places lack psittacins)
  • Lutino
  • Misty (dark, simillar to greenviolet but even more rare)
  • Red factor (quite simillar to yellow sided)
  • Fallow
And more (I added few more, but newer article version is lost and now can’t remind more)
Other mutation photos:
pied (source:
misty (source:

Each mutation has own inheritance way and it is possible to get a bird with two or more mutations. It means that all features of these mutations affect the plumage. There is a possibility that one mutation would ‘cover’ another mutation (among 4 most common mutations there are no such cases). I mean that such combination like pied lutino can’t exist because lutino makes all melanin colors disappearing and pied does the same but only in some plumage areas – so this mutation has ‘nothing to do’ next to lutino (but genetically such combination is possible – just isn’t visible). Some combinations have own names. In the case of green cheeked conures there are few of them:
  • Pineapple = yellow sided cinnamon
  • Mint = turquoise dilute
  • Opamint = yellow sided turquoise dilute
  • Cinnamint = cinnamon turquoise dilute
  • Suncheek = yellow sided cinnamon dilute
  • Mooncheek = yellow sided cinnamon turquoise dilute
The names above may be used only about green cheeked conures.

Some combination names with lutino (they are used in any parrot species):
  • Creamino = turquoise lutino
  • Lacewing (?) = cinnamon lutino (to be honest I’ve never heard about such combination among GCC’s but genetically it is possible)
I could add information how the mutations are inherited but I decided to not write it because the above text may be already hard to understand.
Few combination photos:
Pineapple (source:
Turquoise cinnamon (source:
good info

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