The Cockatiel species of birds belong to the Cockatoo family and originated from Australia. It is the second most popular pet bird, the first being Budgerigar. They are much sought after because of their mingling and social character; hence, they are relatively easy to breed. These species of birds are the only ones belonging to the Genus Nymphicus. It is the smallest type of bird in the Cacatuidae which is the Cockatoo family.
These species of birds are very small structured that have a length of 30 to 33 cm. They have a slim body with pointed tails. The plumage is predominantly gray in color, which fades towards the end portion. Their distinctive feature is the orange shade over the cheeks and a crest in a pointed structure. The wings also have a splash of white color that adds to the overall beauty of this bird. The appearance of the male is different from the female bird, as it has a bright yellow shade over the forehead, crest and face. The young ones look similar to the female bird, but the young male bird has the distinctive yellow face.
Cockatiel is a very uncommon bird, which is very rarely found in any other country other than mainland Australia, where it is abundant and widespread. Their main habitat is in the arid and semi-arid areas, near water bodies. They are mostly found in groups or pairs, sometimes hundreds of a flock can be seen nearby the water bodies. They are also found near the farms, and sometimes, they even destroy the cultivation in the farms. They are usually nomadic in nature, searching for food and water. They are very rarely found in the Tasmanian Island and the nearby coastal regions of Australia.
The male Cockatiels sexually mature by the age of 12 to 14, and the female from 8 to 10 years. In the wild, their breeding period is between the spring and the beginning of autumn. But in captivity, they can breed the whole year. They must be provided with a nest to lay eggs that should be at least 9 x 11 x 12 inch. Do not forget to leave a 2.25 inch opening in the nest. The female bird lays eggs after 7 to 10 days of mating. They lay an egg every 48 hours, until they complete the clutch of eggs ranging from 2 to 8. The eggs will hatch in 18 to 21 days after the period of nesting.
How to Grow At Home
Cockatiels require a balanced and healthy food including fruits and vegetables. There is a misconception that the birds should be only provided with seed diet. Though, seeds play a vital role in a healthy diet, this alone is not sufficient for the pet’s good health. The diet should include fresh fruits and vegetables. Other than that, you can also provide pellets to balance any inadequacy in nutrition. A good and balanced diet will improve the health and lifespan of these birds.
Though the birds are small and compact, they should be provided with a medium sized cage, enough for them to move around. The preferable cage size is 24 x 24 x 24 inch and the spaces between the bars should not be more than 5/8 inch. Provide enough toys and perches to keep the birds busy.
Spend some time with your Cockatiel pet, as they require attention and care, regularly. Keep the cage and food vessels clean, and wash them with disinfectant. Regularly take your pet to a veterinary doctor to update its health.
Having discovered a fondness for insects while pursuing her degree in Biology, Randi Jones was quite bugged to know that people usually dismissed these little creatures as “creepy-crawlies”.