Cockatiel parrot description:
Cockatiel, Nymphicus hollandicus. The second-most-popular pet parrot, it is
usually easily available. They originate from the drier areas of
"wild" coloring is mainly gray, with orange cheeks patches; the male has a
bright yellow face, the female has a muted yellow face and barred tail
look like females. However, in captivity a great many color mutations have been
developed; The common Pearls, Pieds, Lutinos, and
Cinnamons, as well as somewhat less-commonly available Whitefaces, Silvers,
"Albinos" (really Whiteface Lutinos), Pastels, Fallows, and Yellowfaces.
Cockatiels are usually
around 11" long and from 75 to 125 grams; however, show birds can be considerably larger.
How long does cockatiel parrot lives
Cockatiel parrot life span Varies quite a bit.
Most birds live around 10 years; however, on a good diet and with good care, you can expect your bird to live up to
20 years, and there are some reports of birds living to 25 years.
Cockatiel parrot for sale:
Price: You can buy a cockatile parrot anywhere from $30 to
$300 for the very rare mutations.
A hand-fed, weaned bird of the common color mutations
(grays, pieds, pearls, etc.) from a breeder usually costs around $40 to $70.
Birds from pets shops cost up to $100.
Buying: Cockatiels are
very easily available birds; both from breeders and pets shops. The breeder is
usually, but not always the preferable choice, depending on what breeders and
pet shops you have to choose from!
bird is a hand-fed bird that is just weaned and is obviously friendly; wanting
to step up onto your hand, etc.
Actually, parent-fed or untame tiels generally
aren't all that hard to tame, when compared with many birds, however I would not consider this a project for a
beginner; especially considering sweet hand-feds are easily available and not really that much more
Cockatiel parrot diet:
Cockatiels can be picky about what they eat.
When choosing a cockatiel, try to find one that already eats pellets. However, unfortunately, many breeders and pet
shops feed their birds seed and not pellets. If you can't find a bird that already eats pellets, at least find one
that eats a variety of other foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). Not only will they be healthier for the varied diet,
but they will probably be more accepting of you switching them to pellets - which you should do!
Cockatiels on a seed-based diet tend to have
vitamin defiencies and are often overweight; both problems can cause serious health problems. Cockatiels, being
smaller birds with small beaks even for their size, usually prefer smaller-sized pellets and other
Some birds have problems tackling larger
pieces; once I switched my small female cockatiel to a larger size pellets when I ran out of the smaller ones; I
didn't realize she couldn't eat them (I saw her, as usual, by the food dish most of the time), until I noticed
she'd lost quite a bit of weight! It wasn't yet life-threatening (especially consider how over weight she was to
begin with...), but it could all to easily have been.
Try to keep a cockatiel's diet as varied as
possible; many different types of fruits, veggies, pasta, rice, and lots of other things should be included. Most
cockatiels dislike citrus fruits, and most adore cooked corn (which shouldn't be fed too much, because it's mostly
water and not all that nutritional).
Cockatiel parrot cage:
Most cockatiel parrot cages marketed in pet
shops are too small. Try looking at the "parrot" cages (most of which are too small for mid-sized parrots!). The
cage should be *at least* 18" x 18" x 20"; and that's only if the bird spends very little time in it. There's a
nice cage by Prevue that's about 20" x 20" x 27", that usually sells for $80 to $100; this is a nice, roomy cage
for a cockatiel.
toys and other supplies:
Cockatiels aren't hard players like Lovebirds
or Conures, however they do enjoy toys. You will not generally see them climbing on or hanging from toys; they more
"passive" players, and would rather sit quietly picking at beads or twine or bells. Perches should be natural and
of varying lengths; these are wonderful for cockatiel feet and toenails, plus they provide a little extra added
entertainment, because the bird can chew the bark off.
As with all parrots, keep those wings clipped!
Cockatiels are probably the number one bird when it comes to escaping. They're quick, long-winged flyers, and can
quickly disappear over the horizon. Clip those wings! Also keep the nails trimmed back.
Cockatiels are often seemingly dislike bathing;
usually, it's because they're not used to it. Relatively few breeders routinely bathe their birds (and hence their
babies, to get them used to it), which is a shame because a cockatiel that's used to bathing, often loves it! Most
all cockatiels prefer bathing "by spray bottle"; some enjoy showering with their owners. Try spraying you bird a
little, in it's cage; most will try to move away from the water at first, but as long as the bird isn't panicky and
scared, keep trying.
Cockatiels that are enjoying bathing may look
scared; spreading out their wings and moving quickly around - but they really are enjoying it! Cockatiels are
"dusty" birds, much like cockatoos. This dust helps keep their feathers in good condition,but it can also aggravate
some allergies, and you should probably keep your cockatiel's cage away from electrical and other equipment that
could be damaged by extensive dust.
Routinely bathing your tiel significantly cuts
down on the dust. Another problem that some tiels are prone to, are "night frights". For whatever reason (sudden
light or movement, or sometimes for apparently no reason at all), sometimes cockatiels get scared at night, and
trash around in their cage, panicky. They often end up hitting and damaging blood feathers - feathers that are
still growing and still have blood in the shaft - and this will cause bleeding.
Extensive bleeding can even lead to death.
Blood feathers that are still bleeding when you find them should be pulled out - it seems scary, but a quick tug
will do it. You can try and prevent night frights by placing your bird's cage in a room that doesn't get much
activity at night, and has no other "moving things" (like others pets) in it. Also, many people have found a small
night light helps immensely.
Cockatiels are generally regarded as quiet
birds, and, for the most part, they are; particularly when compared with larger, louder birds. However, this is not
to say they're silent; and they are a little on the loud side when compared with budgies or canaries. They can and
sometimes do utter high-pitched, somewhat high-volume whistles. The males, and to a much lesser extent, the females
also will whistle to themselves, you, other birds, or mirrors.
The males will do this quite a bit; the females
only rarely, and then it's usually for "their own personal pleasure", rather than the males which do it as courting
- and often pick odd things to do it to! My first cockatiel was a male who took great pleasure in whistling long
tunes to my feet. It got to the point that I was careful not to move my feet around in sight of him unless I wanted
to elicit "full courting mode". As I remember he was particularly fond of feet in socks. :-)
Cockatiels aren't known as excellant talkers,
however some will talk - nearly all males. The females generally show little or no interest in talking. With some
training, many males do learn a few words, and some become quite good, although their voices are scratchy and hard
to understand in most cases. They are really much better whistlers; again, the males in
Cockatiel parrot behaviot and
Cockatiels are usually very sweet, very
laid-back, very easy-going birds. Cockatiels that are well-used to many people handling them generally do not
become one-person birds, although they may. They are very cuddly birds for the most part; and very, very devoted to
their owners. I wouldn't call them overly intelligent birds, although most show the occasional spark of
"brilliance"; for the most part, they have a one-track mind, and it's usually focused on their owner (with food,
and toys coming next, in that order - depending on the individual cockatiel, of course!). They're really wonderful
birds; one of my first, and always one of my favorites.
Cocktatiel parrot: Male or
female? As I mentioned above, males cockatiel are the talkers and
the whistlers. They are also usually prefered for their brighter coloring (tho personally I've always the females'
more subdued coloring and "zebra striped" tails). But, consider females as well - they're usually the cuddlier of
the two; they also tend to be less moody (both males and females are prone to a little grumpiness when tired or if
they just woke up "on the wrong side of the perch", however). Both make wonderful pets; personally I could never
decide which I prefer.
If you're looking for a first parrot,
cockatiels are perfect. A hand-fed tiel is the perfect introduction to the "joys" of pet-bird owning; it will show
you how devoted a bird can become to you (much more so than most other pets), and also how devoted *you* must
become to *it*! But really, anybody looking for a really sweet, gentle, devoted bird with fairly low volume (I say
that as my male cinnamon is making noise galore upstairs), and a pretty low price tag, would do well do consider a
Oh, and they do make pretty good family pets;
as I said, with enough handling by everyone in the family, they generally do not become one-person birds. Most also
get along fairly well with kids, if they've been raised with them (and/or if the kids are calm around them).
However, kids tend to find them somewhat boring, because most will not allow any real "petting"; that kind of over
the back stroking kids like to use. However, if the kids are calm and don't mind just sitting and holding the bird,
cockatiels rarely mind.