The Ultimate Guide to the Cockatiel includes all you need to know about the bird (2022)


Cocktail bird information

  • Cockatiel is the common name for the bird.
  • Nymphicus hollandicus is its Latin name.
  • Flock is the name of a group.
  • Herbivore.
  • Adult size: 12-13 inches in length, 2.5-4.5 ounces in weight
  • Can a cockatiel live for 25 years?
  • 16 to 25 years of life expectancy.
  • What’s the lifespan of a cockatiel bird?
  • Gray in color Vocal communicator sounds Interaction is intensely social.
  • Seeds, pellets, fruits, and leafy greens make up the diet.
  • Australia’s origins

If you’ve been thinking about getting a cockatiel but aren’t sure how much care and attention this sort of pet bird requires, you’ve come to the right spot.

We’ll cover practically everything you need to know about this bird in this piece, from its origins and history to its nutritional requirements, activity requirements, and more. Continue reading to see if it’s the ideal pet bird for you!

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One of the first things you should learn about cockatiels is that they live a long period, with many of them living to be 20 years old or more.

As a result, learning how to care for a cockatiel is a lengthy process. The fact that cockatiels have such a fantastic cockatiel personality is the most crucial reason they have grown so popular throughout time.

They get along well with both other cockatiels and their human pals since they are humorous, energetic, and affectionate. In comparison to other species of pet birds, notably large-sized parrots, a cockatiel is a little bird.

Cockatiels can be taught to respond to hand gestures and other triggers, but they aren’t the greatest at training them to communicate.

This bird is a whistler, which implies that if they love you or your companion, they’d rather put together a whistling serenade than have a long chat.

Whatever sorts of cockatiels you’ve looked at when attempting to pick on one, keep in mind that they’re extremely sociable birds that don’t fare well when left alone in their cage for long periods of time.

This bird’s origins and history

Did you know that the Outback, an area in northern Australia, is home to the majority of wild cockatiels?

They’ve come a long way since they were initially found and taxonomically categorized at the end of the 18th century, yet they still survive in the wild.

Cockatiels were popular as pet birds only in the early twentieth century, and this was due to their gentle nature. While their export is prohibited in Australia, you may still see them for sale in pet stores, but the birds are now from captive stock.

Robert Kerr initially described the cockatiel in 1893, and it was given the name Psittacus hollandicus. However, the bird was given its own genus and is now known as Nymphicus hollandicus.

Are cockatiels considered parrots? No, not at all. Cockatiels are not categorised as parrots, but rather as Cockatoos, despite the fact that they are larger than their related parakeet relatives (as they share many of their biological features with the Cacatuidae family). Cockatoo and cockatiel, on the other hand, are two distinct birds.

Although things have changed dramatically over the years, cockatiel owners initially had little to no understanding of the kind of care they needed to offer, which is why just a handful of the original individuals imported from Australia survived.

Cockatiel’s natural habitat and native area

Cockatiels come from where? These birds are unique to Australia, however they favour the continent’s northern regions, which have a dry and hot environment.

Cockatiels are rare in the continent’s coastal regions, and they don’t dwell in Tasmania either.

A wild cockatiel favors dry farmlands and grasslands, where it eats a variety of fruits, seeds, and plants, which is fascinating.

Most people consume whatever else is available and suitable with their diet throughout the summer, which might range from insects and larvae to pollen or worms.

Cockatiels prefer to live in large flocks because they are highly energetic, gregarious, and fun. Farmers in Northern Australia may complain about them devouring their crops and fruit trees since there are so many of them in certain areas.

One feature that distinguishes this species from others (including the parakeet) is that cockatiels do not move to towns and cities when food is scarce.

They’ll make due with whatever they have, and even if they have to fly vast distances to get food and water, they’ll stay away from the coasts, which are home to the majority of Australia’s cities.

Personality and temperament

One of the first things you could learn about cockatiels is that they have a wonderful personality. That is correct, and it is for this reason that they have become one of the most popular pet birds in both North America and Europe.

Males and females have varied temperaments, with the former being significantly louder than their female counterparts.

Whether they don’t have anything to say, girls will communicate if they’re still in the mood to connect with you or ask for food, drink, or rewards. Aside from that, they’re not going to raise much of a fuss.

Cockatiels, regardless of gender, require a lot of social engagement to be happy. That is why it is preferable to get a pair of birds from the start, either from the same pet store or from the same breeder, so that the birds are familiar with one another.

Females are more docile and pleasant than males. The only time of year when both genders appear to be slightly insane is during their breeding season.

Females are more tranquil than their male counterparts, but if you try to fend off their advances, whether on you or the things in their home environment, the latter can become bitchy and hostile.

Training and behavior

Can cockatiels communicate? Cockatiels aren’t the finest pet birds when it comes to pronouncing human words, despite their sociable nature and desire to spend a lot of time with their human or same-species mates.

That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to teach your pet cockatiel to do tricks over his or her lifetime. You can nearly always educate them to respond to particular hand gestures or other visual clues if you utilize tasty incentives.

However, before you begin teaching your pet bird new skills, you need first ensure that they are secure and comfortable.

Long and exhausting training sessions might cause a cockatiel to get dissatisfied, so start the work early in the morning when the bird is well-fed and rested.

Furthermore, your training sessions should take place in a calm area, ideally directly next to the cage, so that the cockatiel understands that he or she may withdraw to a safe environment if something goes wrong. Every day, two to three short, 10-minute sessions are preferable than one lengthy one.

Talk to the bird and lavish praise on it, especially when the cockatiel pulls off the feat you’ve asked for. Have patience and perseverance, and make sure your pet bird is at peace at all times.


If a cockatiel bird does not get enough activity during the week, he or she may become ill and unhappy. The majority of cages available for purchase these days are incapable of providing the amount of room required by a cockatiel.

While getting the largest cage possible is a good idea, you should also be aware that you will need to take your pet cockatiel out once a day, or at least every couple of days, to allow the bird to get some exercise by flying around the room.

One solution to the exercise problem is to let the cockatiel fly on its own, but you can also spice things up by dancing in the room, listening to music, or playing games with your cockatiel.

Some birds will even want to play fetch with you if you give them a treat. Others will tug on a piece of thread as you draw it towards you (much like a kitten would). Every day, try to play with your pet bird.

While we wouldn’t recommend taking your cockatiel for a stroll in the yard, especially if the bird has never been out of its cage before, you may provide a secure environment for play and exercise in a room in your home.

Make sure your windows and doors are shut, that there are no holes or gaps that the cockatiel may fall into, and that any potentially dangerous things, such as fans or glasses, are removed.

Vocalization and speech

After you’ve received your pet bird, one of the most significant cockatiel facts you should learn about is the noises they make when they’re happy, unhappy, sick, or in any other condition that might indicate that anything is wrong.

The following are some of the most popular cockatiel noises.

  • Hissing
  • Screaming
  • Chirping
  • Singing (whistling)

A cockatiel can scream in response to danger, overstimulation, loud and unexpected noises, and anything else that frightens the bird. For example, if you do a lot of your chores in the kitchen and it’s really noisy, having your cockatiel cage there might not be a smart choice.

Screaming is a regular occurrence in lonely or bored pet birds, so this idea should not be discounted.

When it comes to chirping, most cockatiels do so when they are happy and social. When you get home from work and begin spending time with your pet bird, it will most likely chirp.

When a cockatiel wishes to intimidate a person or another bird, it makes a hissing sound. Cockatiels produce this sound just before they bite in most cases, so flee if you hear your pet bird hissing.

Cockatiels whistle (sing) when they’re joyful, when they’re playing with a new toy, or when they’re attempting to attract a possible mate’s attention.

As you can see, these birds produce a variety of noises, and they can even be trained to mimic some of the phrases we, as humans, say. Males are better than females in imitating human speech. These pet birds do not meet the demands of potential pet parents who want a quiet bird since they make a little noise.

Colors and characteristics

When it comes to cockatiel size, you should know that while this bird isn’t exceptionally enormous, most adults finish up measuring between 12 and 13 inches in length. One thing to keep in mind is that the larger they grow, the more space they require in their cage.

The normal cockatiel hues that you’ll see in most pet stores are the product of long-term genetic mutations.

Because males and females have been bred expressly for their color qualities, cockatiels now come in a larger range of color combinations than they used to.

Color mutations are caused by a combination of genetics and the quantity of melanin and lipochromes in the cockatiel’s body.

Lipochromes are responsible for red and yellow, while melanin is responsible for blue, brown, and grey. Lipochromes outnumber melanin in a yellow cockatiel.

There are three types of color mutations: dominant, sex-linked, and recessive. For example, a cockatiel with the lime and platinum is the product of a sex-linked mutation. Recessive mutations are seen in fewer individuals, such as lutino mutations, which cause the cockatiel’s plumage to be devoid of melanin.

As a result, the two hues most commonly seen in pet stores are silver and grey, both of which are dominant mutations. The color of a pet bird has little bearing on its health, temperament, personality, or training capacity.

Cockatiel veterinary care

Cockatiels may live to be quite elderly. When you buy or adopt one or a pair, you’re basically making a long-term commitment because they live for anywhere between 17 and 25 years.

It’s not uncommon for a cockatiel to survive for up to 30 years if given the proper care.

Fortunately, even persons with no prior experience owning and caring for birds may keep cockatiels as pets. In terms of equipment, you’ll need a cage that measures at least 18 by 22 by 18 inches, and you’ll need to double the size if you want a pair. has a large selection of high-quality models. Set up the cage in a bird-friendly location, such as a quiet room, bedroom, or living room, rather than in a noisy or smelly one, such as the kitchen.

At least two perches with varied textures, thicknesses, and heights should be included in the cage. If your cockatiel doesn’t have a pair, you should spend at least 30 to 60 minutes every day socializing with them.

Cockatiels benefit from regular bathing, so give your pet bird a bowl of water or sprinkle it with water using a spray bottle 1-3 times a week.

Nutrition and diet

Cockatiels consume a variety of foods. They thrive on a well-balanced diet, as well as frequent exercise and lots of social interaction. Here are some ideas for what you can feed your cockatiel as a pet.

Fruits & Vegetables (12-13 percent )Fruits and vegetables (12-13 percent )Sprouting legumes and seeds (up to 25 percent )Pellets and seeds that have been dried (up to 50 percent )

They can eat anything from asparagus and cabbage to kale, parsnip, peppers, and potatoes when it comes to veggies. Apples and apricots (without pits and seeds), melon, and pears are some of the fruits you may offer your cockatiel.

The following substances should never be used in a cockatiel’s diet:

Most avian veterinarians advise against feeding cockatiels human foods. Even if you run out of cockatiel food, it’s far better to prepare some peas and beans and serve a tiny portion to your pet birds than to feed them commercial bread, chips, or any other human treats.

Cockatiels are notorious for nibbling on flowers, which is why you may occasionally feed your pet birds chickweed, young nettles, or dandelions to keep things interesting.

The food and water bowls of your cockatiel must be cleaned on a regular basis, whether you do it every day or every couple of days. They can become a health threat if you don’t do this, since enormous amounts of germs and fungi can grow on them.

Tags: Pet birds

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