Cockatiels, scientifically known as Nymphicus hollandicus, are small parrots that are native to Australia. They are the second most common bird kept as a pet after the budgerigar. Cockatiels are social birds and are known for their playful and affectionate nature. They can make great pets for both children and adults.
History of Cockatiels
Cockatiels have been kept as pets for over a century. They were first found in the wild in Australia in 1770 by Captain Cook and his crew. They were often kept as pets by the indigenous people of Australia, who used them for their feathers. The first cockatiels were imported into the United States in 1951, and since then, they have become one of the most popular pet birds in the world.
Physical Characteristics of Cockatiels
Cockatiels are small, slender parrots that typically weigh around 80-100 grams and are about 12-14 inches long. They have a distinctive crest on their head that they can raise and lower. Most cockatiels have a grey body with a white or yellow face, but they can come in a variety of colors, which we will discuss in detail below. They have a curved beak, a long tail and their feet have two toes pointing forwards and two pointing backward.
Types of Cockatiels
Normal Grey Cockatiels
The normal grey cockatiel is the most common type of cockatiel. They have a grey body and a white or yellow face with orange cheeks. Their wings are grey with white stripes, and their tail feathers are grey with yellow tips.
Lutino cockatiels are a popular variation of the normal grey cockatiel. They have a mostly white or yellow body with red eyes and a white or yellow crest. Their wings and tail feathers are yellow.
Pearl cockatiels have a unique pattern on their feathers that gives them a “pearl” look. They have a white or yellow face with orange cheeks and a grey body. The pearl pattern varies from bird to bird, with some having heavy pearl markings and others having very light markings.
Cinnamon cockatiels have a cinnamon-brown coloration on their wings and body. They have a white or yellow face with orange cheeks and a white or yellow crest.
Silver cockatiels have a silver-grey body and wings with white stripes. They have a white or yellow face with orange cheeks and a white or yellow crest.
Pied cockatiels have a unique pattern of feathers that are a mix of white and another color, such as grey or yellow. They have a white or yellow face with orange cheeks and a white or yellow crest.
White-faced cockatiels have a completely white face with orange cheeks. They have a grey body with white wings and a white or yellow crest.
Fallow cockatiels have a unique coloration that is a light brown or peach color. They have a white or yellow face with orange cheeks and a white or yellow crest.
Emerald cockatiels are a rare color variation that has a greenish-yellow coloration on their wings and body. They have a white or yellow face with orange cheeks and a white or yellow crest.
Yellow-cheeked cockatiels have a yellow coloration on their cheeks that is more pronounced than other types of cockatiels. They have a grey body with white or yellow wings and a white or yellow crest.
Special Varieties of Cockatiels
Albino cockatiels have a completely white body and red eyes. They have a white or yellow crest and a pink beak. Albino cockatiels are very rare and highly sought after by bird enthusiasts.
Crested cockatiels have a unique crest that is larger and more pronounced than other types of cockatiels. They can come in a variety of colors, including grey, yellow, and white.
Spangled cockatiels have a unique pattern on their feathers that gives them a “spangled” look. They have a grey body with white or yellow wings and a white or yellow crest.
Other Rare Cockatiel Varieties
There are many other rare cockatiel varieties, including the cinnamon pearl, the white-faced pearl, and the silver pearl. These birds are highly sought after by bird enthusiasts and can be difficult to find.
How to Choose the Right Cockatiel for You
Factors to Consider
When choosing a cockatiel, there are several factors to consider, including your lifestyle, the amount of space you have, and your experience with birds. Cockatiels require a lot of attention and care, so it’s important to make sure you have the time and resources to provide for them.
Where to Find a Cockatiel
Cockatiels can be found at pet stores, bird shows, and through breeders. It’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder or store that has healthy birds.
Caring for Your Cockatiel
Diet and Nutrition
Cockatiels require a balanced diet that includes seeds, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. It’s important to provide fresh food and water daily, and to avoid feeding them foods that are high in fat, salt, or sugar.
Housing and Environment
Cockatiels require a spacious cage with plenty of room to move around. They also need toys and perches to keep them entertained and to keep their beaks trimmed. Cockatiels are social birds and should be kept in pairs or small groups.
Training and Socialization
Cockatiels can be trained to do tricks and can learn to mimic sounds and words. They also require socialization to become well-adjusted pets. Spend time with your cockatiel every day, and provide plenty of opportunities for them to interact with you and other birds.
Common Health Issues
Cockatiels are prone to several health issues, including respiratory infections, feather plucking, and egg-binding in females. It’s important to monitor your bird’s health and to seek veterinary care if you notice any symptoms of illness.
Cockatiels require regular veterinary care, including annual check-ups and vaccinations. It’s important to find a veterinarian who specializes in birds and who can provide the care your cockatiel needs.
Cockatiels are a popular and beloved pet bird that come in a variety of types and colors. When choosing a cockatiel, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and to find a reputable breeder or pet store. Cockatiels require a lot of attention and care, but they can make wonderful pets for both children and adults. With proper diet, housing, and socialization, your cockatiel can live a long and healthy life.