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GCC Feathers changing color?

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GCC Feathers changing color?

Postby JasperJoran » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:07 am

Hi all, I noticed something about my conure's feathers last night while he was preening them. Some of his feathers are starting to shift from green to red. I noticed one feather doing this. I've also started to see a little more red feathers on the underside of his belly. Is this normal, or should I be concerned?

Could it be that these feathers have always been this way and I just didn't notice until now?

Thank you all in advance.
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Flight: No

Re: GCC Feathers changing color?

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:07 am

Hi, Jasper and GCC (name?), welcome to the forum. It's hard to answer you with any precision... for one thing, there is no way we can know if this is something you did not notice before and, for another, you did not say where the green to red feather was, if the bird plucks, how old it is, how long you've had it or what its diet is and these are all needed info for the right answer. Let me explain. Rule of thumb is 'feathers don't change colors' but, if a bird had had a real bad diet in the past (for a GCC would be free-feeding protein food and not enough produce) and now has been having a good diet for a while, although the feathers don't really change color, when the new feathers come out (at molt), they are of a more vivid color (orangey-red becomes bright red, sage green becomes emerald green, etc) and shine (which also intensifies the color perception). If a follicle (the root of the feather) is damaged from continuous plucking, the feather will lose the ability to reflect the color blue (because this color is not caused by a pigment but by the structure of the feather which is altered through the damage to the follicle) so green feathers become yellow, for example (I have a senegal that plucks which grows yellow feathers on his back and wings). Now, when a green bird starts growing red feathers is called 'red suffusion' and that's caused by advanced liver damage (because parrots produce the red for their feathers in the liver) which is caused by a bad diet given for a long time.

So, how long have you had the bird? Did you acquire it as a baby or is it a rehome? If a rehome, what did it eat before? What is the bird eating now? Where is the green to red feather located?
Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17889
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

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