Cockatiels or Nymphicus Hollandicus or Australian parrot are affiliated with cockatoos. A cockatiel is native of the semi-arid and dense rainforest territory of Australia. As of now cockatiel cannot be trapped and exported out of Australia. The cockatiel was sighted in 1770 for the first time and as a pet, cockatiels became popular in the 1990s. These small, crested birds are members of the parrot family.
The wild variety grey feathered is most common having yellow head and appealing orange cheek spots. The grey variety has undergone mutation coming up with different feather hues. The eye and skin colors also vary. For instance, some may have red eyes and other dark ones. The variation in the skin shows up with grey skin on feet to pink in others. The common colors are yellow, white, pearl, white, and albinos. In wild cockatiel, the female has feathers that are muted while the male displays rich grey color. In mutation ones, it is difficult to differentiate from far.
The average adult size is 11-14 inches in length from head to tail. It weighs 2-4 ounces. The commonly grey cockatiel has a yellow face as well as a crest. The cheek is orange. The male is brighter than the female. Female has bars on the underside of tail feathers. In the wild, these cockatiels live in large flocks. They are talented whistlers. Wild cockatiel settles on the forage for food. These birds easily breed in the wild and in captivity. Wild cockatiels keep alert from predator attacks and are thus light sleepers.
The crest feathers are indicative of the mood of the cockatiel. Straight-up crest feathers are indicative of the bird being startled else curious. Flattened crest feathers mean the defensive mood of the bird. In more stress, it hisses as well. The relaxed cockatiel will keep the crest feathers slightly backward. The cheeks will be fluffed and may even grind its beak. The sloping crest shows that the bird is relaxed. Angry cockatiel, the crest flattens unites to the head.
Is A Cockatiel A Good Pet?
A cockatiel is very vocal, and it makes its owners happy with friendship. The soothing feathers of the bird take away the stress in human life. These birds can display emotions. The bird can be cuddly bubbly curious and adventurous. The house is filled with beautiful chirps and whistles. Cockatiel has a cheeky personality. They make charming pets.
Most Cockatiels are tameable and love to sit on fingers and shoulders. Purchase pet cockatiel which is already tamed. Chances are they were hand-fed as babies. Those who are reared by parents require gentle handling and make loving pets. To maintain a loving disposition the bird should be exposed to daylight only for 10-12 hours. Extended days lead to prompting of hormonal activity, nipping as well as territoriality. An untamed cockatiel can nip. Do not make the error of scolding the bird; it will become timid with humans. Reward good behavior and overlook bad behavior. They can mimic speech and learn whistle tunes. Females are better than males. Both sex birds repeat the sounds of a say alarm clock, phone. And those of other birds.
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How it's Like to Have a Pet Cockatiel?
Cockatiel love to be touched. They plead to bow the head to rub their feathers in the rear of the crest against the growth of the feathers. They enjoy the rub on their cheeks and head. When the thick neck mane of feathers is rubbed, they take out coy sounds displaying the enjoyment and attention they get. Gentle, patient, as well as slow-moving people, earn the trust of the bird. This shows their contentment. Loud individuals are treated with caution. They are happy to see the owner when they get back home. The owner must keep them near themselves.
These attractive birds are affectionate and enjoy the attention. Cockatiel likes to be out of the cage when the owner is in the room pursuing some activity like reading, watching TV, etc. When they want attention, they make piercing sounds through shrill screams. The whistle and vocalization are not too loud. Cockatiel when hungry take out whiny sounds. The birds are very observant and take account of the varying smells and look in humans. This is how they trust or distrust others around. Communicating is very important to them.
Families with elementary school-going children or older should take cockatiel as a pet. These age children hold the bird firmly. A cockatiel is gentle as well as docile. The birds can recognize the caretaker and respond to their voices. A cockatiel is easy to be looked after and those keeping pets for the first time should go for it.
How To Take Care Of Pet Cockatiel?
Setup Habitat For Pet Cockatiel
These birds are active and playful. What they need is a larger cage to comfortably move around; for perches at different levels. The spacing of the cage bars should be 3/4 inch otherwise the bird will escape. If cage bars are horizontal the bird can climb onto them and get some exercise. The cockatiel wings, as well as nails, must be trimmed two times a year. It is better to take the bird to a vet to do it. Keep the pet cockatiel out of the draft regions of the house. Cooking fumes should not reach the bird’s cage. These can make the bird ill.
A paired cockatiel is a good company to each other in case the owner is absent for a long duration. The bird together does not suffer from loneliness and self-harming behavior. The owner needs to interact with the bird daily. These messy birds naturally bring out powder on their feathers. This may spill over the cage and it must be cleaned frequently. If the cage has removable bottom tray cleanliness becomes easier.
Know What To Feed Pet Cockatiel
Seeds given as food are nutritious. However fat content is high. Make sure it forms only 30% of the diet. Pelleted diets are a good selection for the bird. You can feed the cockatiel on fresh vegetables as well as fruits. A lot of patience is required before the bird tastes new foods. Hard-boiled eggs, cooked meat, and legumes can be given in moderation. Sprouts squashes, sweet potatoes make a good meal for them. Seasonal greens vegetables should be included in the diet. These birds do not relish fruits. Eatables like chocolate, coffee, avocados as well as salt are not good for the bird.
Exercise keeps the cockatiel mentally and physically healthy. Even in the cage, there should be enough space to fly and get engaged in stimulation play. Ladders to climb, perches, and multicolored toys, and enough walking space will keep the bird happy. Let the cockatiel out of the cage for some portion of the day. It can stretch wings and socialize with other living people. Cockatiel relishes new challenges. They wave and whistle to their heart’s delight.
Do Cockatiels Talk?
A single cockatiel is noisier than two cockatiels. The two chat with each other. Females are less noisemaker than males. The female makes calls whenever the male whistles or shows off as an accomplished singer. The sound is really soothing. Teaching them a new tune is difficult. Only the male cockatiel can learn to talk human words but not many words. They repeat these birds when you are in conversation with each other. Cockatiel mimics the sounds of the human words as their input.
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Cockatiel has its own language and the owners can add to it. The most common sound is a quack and varying guak, or graurk. Owners should respond back by adding say yes that’s right, no nothing to worry about. When they look out from the window, they say oh. They see the wind blowing the trees and respond. Train the bird when it responds to you through eagerly forward lean. It will notice your lip movement and will try to mimic. Attention is the best reward for the bird. Every successful repetition should call for petting and praise by the owner. Cockatiel love to perform like sing, dance, etc for a reward. Reinforce the behavior every time and behavior will become a habit. The bird can be kept in an apartment with no disturbance to the neighbors.
How Much Is A Cockatiel?
The common suggestion is to buy a hand-fed baby. The cost differs depending on the color, breed, age, mutation, health as well as personality. A cockatiel can be bought from pet stores. However, bird history will be missing. If they are older it will be difficult to tame them. There is an added expenditure on cage food and toys. The vet visits are also costly. A rescued bird is charged an adoption fee.
Pet cockatiels are gettable in bigger pet shops, avian-specific retail stores, bird breeders, and bird rescue organizations. Make sure that the bird has no behavioral problems or phobias. Cockatiel’s routine and interaction ability should be checked. Its health and vet visits should be explored. If it is a young bird, ensure that its feathers are fully grown and are weaned. Pay attention to its
- Clean and colourful feathers
- Bright eyes
- No discharge from eyes and nose
How Long Do Cockatiels Live As Pets?
The bird lives up to 12-18 years. It’s a long association with the family. As the cockatiel age, the diseases that get hold of them are like humans like kidney failure, atherosclerosis, and arthritis. Sickness like chlamydiosis, conjunctivitis, and diarrhea. A vet must be immediately consulted for timely treatment.