The Cockatiel

The Cockatiel

The Cockatiel is a species of birds of the cockatoo family and is original from Australia; the taxonomic name of the cockatiel is Nymphicus hollandicus, but other common language terms are Quarrian and Weiro. These types of birds are very popular as household pets and they can now be found almost anywhere in the world because they are quite easy to breed. In terms of being kept as caged pets, the cockatiel is almost as popular as the Budgerigar Parakeet. Due to its size, the cockatiel used to be considered a small cockatoo or crested parrot, but molecular studies have shown that it deserved a subfamily of its own. In nature, cockatiels prefer the scrublands, wetlands and bush lands of the Australian outback.

The etymology of the taxonomic name of the cockatiel is derived firstly from the word “nymph” to whom the birds were likened due to their beauty; hollandicus is derived from the old historical time for Australia, New Holland. As for their appearance, cockatiels are sexually dimorphic, meaning the male and female present different traits and features. However, this is only obvious when they reach adult age, as all of them look more or less the same in the first six months since hatching.

As a chick, the cockatiel is gray colored with faded orange patches on both cheeks; when it grows into maturity, the male cockatiel changes its plumage so that the feathers on its face turn bright yellow and the orange patches turn brighter. This is what mainly differentiates the female from the male, because the female will keep its gray plumage on the face and she’ll have the same bright orange cheeks. The female will keep the pale yellow bars on her tail that both of them had as chicks.

One can also distinguish the male cockatiel from the female cockatiel through their cries, which are stronger and louder with the male. An interesting feature that makes the cockatiel so beloved by pet owners and bird lovers alike is its yellow crest that changes position depending on the bird’s state. For example, its crest will be upright and spread out when the cockatiel is afraid or excited and slightly oblique when it is tranquil and relaxed. When the bird is angry, the crest is flattened out on its head.

Though in captivity the cockatiels live for 15 or 20 years, their life can also be shorter or much longer depending on the care they receive. It is known that some cockatiels lived to be 36, so if you offer them a good diet and the opportunity to exercise, you will enjoy them longer.