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Discovered in the year 1770, the Nymphicus hollandicus, commonly known as cockatiel, was first found in Australia. Admired for its cheeky personality and quirky appearance, the cockatiel is one of the world’s most popular pet birds. Besides its attractive appearance, cockatiels are known to be the best whistlers amongst pet birds.
The cockatiel was originally thought to be a crested parrot or a small cockatoo. However, a recent study in molecular biology has proved otherwise and has assigned cockatiels to its own subfamily, Nymphicinae. It is now recognised as the smallest member of the cockatoo family. Cockatiels were first discovered in Australia, favouring open environments such as wetlands, scrubs, and bushes.
Despite being discovered in the 1700s, it took two more centuries for the cockatiels to become popular, specifically during the Australian gold rush in the 1900s.
The cockatiel is normally small in size, averaging only from 12 to 14 inches long and with its average weight that varies from 88 to 178 grams.
Known to bring a lot of attention, the cockatiel has a flamboyant appearance with its tangerine cheeks and distinctive crest. Cockatiels have various types and colour combinations such as the lutinos with yellow-white feathers, orange cheek patches, and red eyes, the lutino pearl whose plumage is white with yellow pearling, and the pieds with its yellow or white with light or dark grey feathers. Cockatiels are in fact popular amongst breeders primarily due to its beautiful colour mutations over the years.
In terms of grooming, cockatiels need constant nail trimming every couple of months. Wing feathers can also be clipped if necessary.
Just like any other household pets, cockatiels are tameable. Its intelligence leading to its ability to learn tricks comes as no surprise.
Cockatiels are sweet and affectionate birds. They love being petted and genuinely appreciate being surrounded with attention. Their demandtfor on const interaction which make mxtremely sociable so most birds.
Cockatiels love to whistle rather than talk. They have strong and smooth whistling skills that could captivate any music lover’s heart. They are in fact very creative with their whistling. Males in particular are believed to have better whistling abilities, whilst females are the ones who are often quiet.
Cockatiels are easily emotional and have the tendency to get melancholic when left alone for an excessive amount of time. Actions such as hitting their heads against the cages and refusing to eat might be their way of expressing their depression.
Since cockatiels are sociable birds, it would be best to get them in pairs. In fact, birds of the same sex can get along just fine as much as the opposites, especially when the cockatiels are introduced whilst still young.
When owning a cockatiel, variety of food is the key to keep them healthy. Whilst most bird diets consist of seeds, a variety of food is the way to keep a cockatiel healthy.
Generally, bird specialists will recommend a good ratio of 70 to 30 for a cockatiel’s diet. Specially designed pellets for cockatiels are nourishing enough to represent 70 per cent of its diet. The other 30 per cent consists of a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, and seeds.
They should be kept away from onions and avocados, which might be a threat to their health. Chocolates or caffeine and anything salty might be dangerous to them as well.
The average lifespan of a cockatiel is sixteen to twenty-five years depending on the care provided. Birds usually fly freely in the wild, and cockatiels are no different. They will be flying inside the house from time to time, so when owning one, getting them a spacious place or a large-enough cage is definitely recommended.
Cockatiels originally come from regions with arid climate. Therefore, they need to spend some time under the sun or an exposure to ultraviolet light for them to produce vitamin D from their skin that will later on enable them to extract calcium from their food. Since birds have different needs, it would be best to bring them to an avian veterinarian for annual check-ups.
Cockatiels are priced at different rates, ranging from less than a hundred pounds up to a thousand. But you always have the option to adopt one for free.