|Cockatiel Parakeet (Nymphicus hollandicus). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The original Cockatiel is native to Australia, and the Lutino hails from Florida where it was bred by a lady known as Mrs. Moon. Because of her name the birds, which came onto the scene in the 1950s, were first called Moonbeams. They rapidly became the most popular color of the Cockatiel with their bright yellow color and absence of dark contrast except for the stunning orange cheek. There are other color forms such as the cinnamon, white-faced silver, and pure white albino, but none come close to challenging the popularity of the Lutino.
Another special feature of the Lutino is that they have red eyes rather than the normal dark color. Some breeders decide to mix it up, and they breed Lutinos with the pearl, pied, cinnamon and whiteface mutations. As beautiful as these birds are they are prone to having a bald patch on their heads.
These birds like to eat smaller cereal seeds, with some sunflower mixed in, and green food and fruits. In terms of housing, you can keep multiple specimens in an aviary or a single pet bird. If you decide to breed them you will need to get a nestbox, and funnily enough, they will actually breed better if they are housed separately. Do watch out for chicks being feather plucked though, you should remove them as soon as they can feed themselves.
And lastly, remember that these fine tropical pets live to up to 18 years so buying one is a long-term commitment.