- Scientific name: Nymphicus hollandicus.
- Size: 12 to 14 inches long.
- Weight: From 88 to 178 grams.
- Lifespan: 16-25 years.
- Diet: a Varied diet containing key, fresh veggies, and fruits, seeds & pellets.
- Sexual Maturity: 12 to 24 months.
- Incubation Time: 17 to 24 days.
- Weaning Age: 8 weeks.
- Eggs: Average laid 5 to 10.
- Price: USD 35 – 150
The cockatiel is a very popular pet bird. They are second only to budgies. They are cheap, social and easy to care for. All which helps make them the popular birds they are today. Another benefit of the birds is that they have a long lifespan. When you buy a cockatiel you get a friend that will be with you for a large part of your life. They can live for 30 years or more.
The Cockatiel is a member of the cockatoo family. They are the smallest species of cockatoo. They belong to their own genus of cockatoos, Nymphicus. Cockatiels where first described by naturalist Robert Kerr in 1793.
They are native to Australia where they have a very wide distribution. They are often seen in rather large flocks. They are found in a wide variety of different types of habitats including marshland, plains, scrubland, and bushland.
There are 22 different color types of the cockatiel available in aviculture. The genes for these colorations are present in the wild but most are very seldom seen.
Cockatiels can make great pets. They are easy to socialize and a socialized bird like the company of a human. They can spend hours talking to you or sitting on your should why you go about their business. They are not very good talkers. Most other cockatoos are a lot better at vocalizing words. Cockatiels prefer to whistle rather than talk. They can learn to whistle different songs. See the video below.
Birds will attach to their human as a mate if they are kept along. Birds that are kept with other cockatiels will not get as dependent on the human but will still form a connection with the human. I recommend keeping more than one cockatiel in case you ever need to rehome them. Cockatiels form pairs for life and a bird that has chosen you as its mate might have a very hard time to adapt to a new owner if they need to be rehomed. They will get depressed and it can take a long time to build a new relationship. This will not be a problem if your bird bonded with another cockatiel that moves with it.
It is easy to sex and breed cockatiels. They will breed if you keep a male and a female together.
You should always feed your bird a varied diet. A varied diet is important to make sure that they get all the nutrients they need. The diet should be based on seeds or pellets but should also contain different types of greens as well as fruit. Read more about “what do cockatiels eat”.
I recommend that you give your cockatiel the largest cage you can afford. They can be kept in rather small cages but I believe that it is better to keep them in larger cages. Please, note that the cage needs to be designed for Cockatiels and other small birds. Large cages developed for larger birds such as large cockatoos will often contain gaps where a small bird such a cockatiel can climb out.