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Cockatiel

Cockatiel
origin:Australia
life expectancy:19 years
scientific name:Nymphicus hollandicus
family:Cacatuidae
dimensions:0 to 30 cm
compatibility: very goodsinging ability: goodloudiness: quiet
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History [ edit ]

Cockatiels were introduced in Europe around mid 1800s. They rapidly became very popular pets because of their quite yet joyful disposition. In the wild, they live in relatively arid areas but always near water. They are extremely nomadic. Some Australian farmers consider them a pest due to their avid appetite for crops.
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Temperament [ edit ]

The Cockatiels are sociable enough to be housed in the same aviary with small finches, quails, doves and some softbills.

The crest can indicate the mood of the bird, when erect it indicates excitement or irritation and down it means the bird is calm. 
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Housing [ edit ]

The Cockatiels need to be able to fly back and forward in their cages. The minimal measures for a cage are 60 cm x 60 cm. But in this case, they need to be taken out frequently. 180 x 90 x 180 cm is a proper cage to house a couple of pairs of cockatiels. The cage doesn’t need to be as sturdy as for the others cockatoos, since Cockatiels aren´t as destructive with their beaks. They are hardy birds once acclimatized and only in especially cold winters will they need heating.

They need toys to chew, perches to hang on and swings. 
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Diet [ edit ]

Cockatiel millet canary seed, sunflower and other vegetables should always be present. Canary seed can be replaced by Budgerigar seed. Grit, cuttlefish bone and a mineral block should also be available. Apple is a good treat.
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General appearance [ edit ]

At first glimpse we would probably say that cockatiels are more parrots then cockatoos, because for their slender bodies, small size and long tail. However, native to Australia, these are in fact considered the smallest of the cockatoo family. They share with the ones of their family the erectable crest on the head and some anatomical features, like the facial feathers that cover the sides of the bill.


Sexing cockatiels isn’t difficult: the cocks have yellow faces, while the hens´ head is mostly grey. In Albinos, all white specimens, the task is more complicated and it´s required observing the bird’s behavior, like the singing ability that is poor in hens.  
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Health [ edit ]

The major health concern for Cockatiels is stress caused by boredom or routine changes.
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Variants [ edit ]

Natural – As it is found in the wild: predominantly grey with orange patches on the cheeks and white bars on the wings. The cocks have yellow head, while the hens are mostly grey. 

Lutino – The body colorations varies from white to yellow or gold as it´s also called. The head retains the same colors, but it´s difficult to identify the sex of the birds.

White Faced – Instead of the usual yellow cocks head are white. Hens have grayish heads.

Cinnamon – A brownish tonality instead of grey. All the other colors remain the same as found in the wild for cocks or hens. Hens show a stripped pattern on the underside of their tails.

Albino – Pure white with red eyes. It´s virtually impossible sexing the birds visually.

Pearl – Scalloped pattern all over the body. The center of the feathers is paler. It can be combined with many colors. In cocks the pearls tend do darkened with age.

Pied – These birds have variable areas of dark and paler feathers. 
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