Outgoing, comical, and talented whistlers are what makes a cockatiel. Male cockatiels are popular for whistle serenading, which is performed towards their favourite object, person, and even their own mirror reflection. If they are not busy whistling, they are usually having fun inside their cage or scavenging for food. Cockatiels are well-socialised birds, which make them the best pet material.
Cockatiels are known to be one of the smallest members of the cockatoo family. Their average size is only around 12 to 14 inches from head to tail. Their average weight varies between 88 to 178 grams.
Originally, a cockatiel has a yellow crest and face, orange patch on the cheeks, and a grey body. The facial colours of a male cockatiel tend to be brighter and richer, whilst a female cockatiel has a barring on the underside of its tail feathers.
In captivity, they are popular among breeders due to their colour mutations, which include:
Spots of various colours with hints of small ‘pearls’ down their feathers.
Their grey feathers have a warm tan or brownish colour.
The typical colours of a wild cockatiel are swapped with the colour off-white or yellow.
- Dominant silver cockatiel colours will be leaning more towards a warmer tone and dark eye colour.
- The recessive silver cockatiel will have their feathers in a cooler tone of grey, along with red eyes.
The cockatiel is generally white in colour with red eyes, yellow face, and orange cheeks.
Lacks pigmentation of its feathers.
Other colour mutations
- Creamface cockatiel
- Whiteface cockatiel
- Pastel face cockatiel
- Emerald cockatiel
- Yellow-cheeked cockatiel
- Cockatiels need nail trimming every couple of months.
- Wing feathers can also be clipped if necessary.
Cockatiels are incredibly affectionate. They enjoy being held and petted but they are not necessarily into cuddles. They have a reputation for being gentle and docile. In addition, cockatiels are energetic and playful. They would want to be near their owner most of the time. They will be very appreciative of the presence of their owners to the point of whistling. So generally, they are friendly pets. However, an untamed cockatiel might be nippy. They also should not be scolded for they might start being timid around people. The best way to deal with their behaviour is to disregard the undesirable ones and reward the good ones.
Sound and Speech
- Cockatiels are not as loud as most parrots.
- They are more likely to whistle than talk.
- They also lean more towards chirping than screeching.
- Male cockatiels are better at imitating whistles and speech.
- Female cockatiels are believed to be good at mimicking; however, they are generally quieter.
- The lower volume of sounds they produce makes them ideal for pet owners living in flats.
Cockatiels are not fans of fruits in their diet. They might explore a variety of vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yam, and squash. You can offer greens on a daily basis together with a nutritionally balanced diet consisting of seeds and pellets.
A cockatiel will learn to enjoy varied diet when introduced to it during its earlier years. They should stay away from onions and avocados. Salty foods, chocolates, and caffeine might pose harm to them.
Depending on the care provided, cockatiels can live for sixteen to twenty-five years. Some can even live up to thirty years.
Just like any other parrots, cockatiels will be happy and healthy when provided with opportunities to exercise. If your cockatiel will be spending most of its time inside the cage, the cage has to be big enough for it to fly around. They also should be provided with toys to play with. In addition to that, they will be very appreciative if given wood to chew on as well. You can also give your bird ladders and perches for additional stimulation. But do give them time to roam out of their cage because it is essential for their socialisation and for them to be able to stretch their wings.
Their talents are not limited to whistling and mimicry; they can learn tricks like waving and bell ringing for they are smart birds that enjoy challenges. If given a mirror, cockatiels will start talking to their reflection because they think they face-to-face with another bird. It is good to get cockatiels in pairs as long as they have a cage that will fit both of them.
Since cockatiels are native to regions with arid climate, they need some time under the sun or anywhere that has exposure to ultraviolet light. This will help their skin produce vitamin D, which will help them extract calcium from their food. Cockatiels also need an annual check-up with an avian vet.
Do you own a cockatiel? Share a photo or tell us more about them in the comment section below!
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