Cockatiel, also known as Weiro is a medium-sized parrot that belongs to its own family of cockatoos endemic to Australia. They are considered the most popular pets among all households worldwide and also proved to be an excellent companion to humankind. These birds also have the ability to talk and interact if treated with love and care. One can spend a long time with this cute friend by talking and making fun.

Cockatiels are very easy to breed and because of their relatively smaller size than parrots, they are very easy to care for and can fit into a smaller space in the house. These birds can raise and lower their crests according to their mood – they raise them whenever they feel happy and excited while they lower their crests whenever they are stressed or in bad mood. By keeping keen observation on their crests we can easily identify their present mood.

As Cockatiels are native to Australia they can be found in the wetlands, scrublands, and bushlands of Australia in a great number. These birds can mimic human beings but their speech is difficult to understand as it is not so clear and distinct. They can also whistle whenever needed and can also be taught to sing along with song tunes. 

Small bird
Cockatiel Bird on Person’s Hand

Nature of Cockatiel

  • Friendly and sweet

These little birds are very friendly and sweet by nature and they want to be around you just to get your love and affection. They do not really need cuddling but all they need is just to be near you and be happy to see you. Cockatiels are generally friendly but they can also be bad at times if not tamed well. An untamed cockatiel can be fearful at times so one should always show good behavior with these birds and avoid the bad.

  • Clever and know tricks

Cockatiels are very clever birds and can learn a variety of tricks within a small time. They can learn to mimic people, learn to wave and whistle and use various types of tricks which can be challenging at times to them. Many cockatiels can be seen talking to the “other bird” in the mirror which is just a reflection of their own self.

  • Origin of Cockatiel

Cockatiels in Australia are known as quarrions or weiros. They can be largely found in the northern part of the continent, a region named Outback. This bird has been discovered in 1770 and is one of the smallest birds of the Cockatoo family but most of its appearance and features are quite similar to the larger bird and they live in large flocks in the forest and wetlands of Australia. These birds became very popular during the 1900s and in every household in Australia, their demand increased because of their friendly and warm behavior towards their owner and family. But, now these birds can no longer be exported from Australia.

  • Habitat of Cockatiel

Cockatiels should be kept in a well-maintained habitat that is clean and hygienic. They can be kept in a cage made of stainless steel instead of wood or wire because if they chew on them it can be harmful to them because of its toxic chemicals. They should be placed in such a place that can be out of reach from pets like cats and dogs as it might be proven to be dangerous for the bird. And also proper care should be taken with regard to the toys as they should not be made with lead, zinc, or other toxic materials because if these birds ingest them it can cause serious illness to them. So, a proper and neat habitat is a must if one is planning to tame Cockatiels.

  • Food of Cockatiels

A Cockatiel should be fed a well-balanced diet because food is the most important part through which they can be taken care of. Nutritious food should be included in their daily diet with leafy vegetables, fruits, and fortified seeds occasionally. They should also be provided with clean and fresh water daily.

Feeding them with avocados, fruit seeds, chocolate, caffeine, or alcohol must be avoided as they contain chemicals that might cause harm or illness to these small birds. So, a proper diet with good food is a big yes if you are having a cockatiel in your house. 

A bird
Close-Up Shot of a Cockatiel

Health problems of Cockatiel

  • Lack of nutrition

The most common health problem that these birds face is nutrition deficiency. They mainly eat seeds that are not rich in any nutrition and minerals so malnutrition is the common cause of illness that can be seen among these birds. Green leafy vegetables and fruits should be added to their diet to prevent malnutrition.

  • Liver disease

Cockatiels can also face the problem of fatty liver disease which mainly results from a diet rich in carbohydrates, and fats, and no exercise. To keep the bird away from these diseases one must include nutrition and a balanced diet that can keep them healthy and disease-free.

  • Respiratory problems

Most of these birds can have respiratory diseases and psittacosis, a harmful bacterial infection that can cause respiratory symptoms like wheezing, sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge. So, if not taken properly, they can die because of serious illness.

How to adopt or buy a Cockatiel?

The cockatiel is a very sweet and friendly bird that anyone can buy and keep at their home for a fun-filled environment. While buying a cockatiel one should always choose a hand-fed bird and one which has been handled regularly and with care. A well-handled bird can cost from $100 to $300.

One should always be a keen observer before buying a Cockatiel because they can be older at times due to their long-known origin and history. A bright, alert, and active cockatiel should be chosen instead of one that is sitting silently with shredded feathers as it might be ill. The bird’s appearance matters a lot if anyone is planning to buy a Cockatiel because a healthy bird can easily be identified based on its color, feathers, nails, and mouth. An unhealthy cockatiel will usually be seen as weak and fade in its appearance. So, before buying a cockatiel one should see everything and then buy it.

Natural Cockatiel colors

Cockatiels are popularly known for their friendly behavior and also for their several color mutations which are quite fascinating among the population and people want to buy and tame them in their houses for some attraction.

  • Normal Grey Cockatiel

The normal grey cockatiel is the original native bird of Australia. This is the original color of a cockatiel that can naturally be found in pet stores and in wild habitats. These birds will have a body of medium-grey color and the chest and abdomen will be slightly black.  The edge of the wings will be white and the face and crest are yellow in color. So, this can be found very easily if one is planning to buy it.

Grey cockatiel
Cockatiel sitting on a branch of a tree
  • Lutinos

Lutinos are cockatiels with yellow and white colors that have orange cheek patches and red color eyes. In these types of cockatiels, baldness can be found behind their crests which often restricts people from buying them because people do not prefer to buy a cockatiel that is bald. This happens because of a lot of inbreeding and breeders are working hard to reduce the baldness from the Lutinos and are succeeding to a great extent.

Lutino cockatiel
Cockatiels with yellow and white color
  • Pieds

These cockatiels are the first-ever birds that have been bred in the year 1950s. Pieds have a great combination of colors with white, yellow, and light or dark gray colors. Because of their color combinations, their price is also too high for people to buy them and domesticate them in their houses. 

Pied cockatiel
Pied cockatiel sitting on a wood log
  • Cinnamons

Cinnamon cockatiels are almost the same as the normal grey-colored cockatiels but here only the  grey areas of the body were replaced with brown or cinnamon colors. Male and female cinnamons mostly differ in their facial colors where the male face is bright yellow and the female’s face is bright orange. Cinnamons are quite popular pets and are in high demand.

Cinnamon cockatiel
Cinnamon cockatiel sitting on a tree branch
  • Emerald

Emerald cockatiels are also known as Olive cockatiels and their colors mostly range from varying yellow to grey colors. These cockatiels’ mutations are very soft by nature and if anyone teases them they will immediately step onto their fingers. One can make fun with them and also play along in their free time.

Emerald cockatiel
Cockatiel with yellow and gray colors
  • White faces

As the name already suggests that these cockatiels differ completely from the other color variations as they lack a certain pigmentation which makes their body look completely white in color. White-faced cockatiels are not so attractive to see as they lack the bright colors which make them look charming and beautiful.

White-faced cockatiel
White-faced cockatiel sitting on a metal rod
  • Albinos

Albino cockatiels are so-called because of their pure white color with no other bright colors. They have red eyes and one interesting fact about the albinos is that they are not true albinos because they do not have that mutation. They are just called ‘Albinos’ because of their white color all over their body. These cockatiels are also very expensive because of their unique red eyes which is rare to find in other cockatiels. 

Albino cockatiel
Pure white cockatiels sitting on a wooden stick
  • Fallow cockatiels

These cockatiels are very latest to be found only in the early 70s. They have light silver color and sometimes look like a cinnamon cockatiels. They have a yellow face with red eyes and are most often quite difficult to differentiate from cinnamons. Fallow cockatiels sometimes become the center of attraction because of their color combination.

Fallow cockatiels
Cockatiel with yellow and light grey color

Cockatiels are therefore one of the favorite pets of human beings that can be seen in most households in Australia and now becoming more popular in other nations as well. They can be seen in numerous color combinations and all of them are very much attractive to glance upon. So, one can definitely buy cockatiel and make it a center of attraction of their house.

By:- Shramana Sarma Roy

Date:- 18/04/2023

Tags: birds

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