Eclectus with discoloured feathers

Subject: Eclectus with discoloured feathers
From: Pat Macwhirter <>
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 20:57:22 +1000
Hi all,

We've been kicking around a case on the Birdmed list with which we were
wondering whether any Birding-aus people might be able to help.

Eclectus clutch mates both showed stress lines of colour change, the hen
(sorry about the avi-jargon) going from visual red to yellow while the cock
went from visual green to blue.  What the debate is about is a common
physiological insult which would allow for these colour changes.

Is there anyone on Birding-aus who has done work on feather colour and
could offer an explanation based on the interplay of porphyrins (green and
red), carotenoids (yellow and reds), eumelanin and phacomelanin and
structural blue (etc) that would logically account for these changes. Does
anyone have information as to whether visual red in Eclectus hens is due to
porphyrins or carotenoids and/or whether green in the males is due to
porphyrins or combination of structural blue and carotenoid yellow?

Pat Macwhirter

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