Cockatiels are the most famous home pet parrots. The scientific name of cockatiels is Nymphicus hollandicus, the subfamily is Nymphicinae and the species is Hollandicus. A cocktail parrot is a bird that is a member of the Cockatoo family and on the second stage in popularity after the Budgerigar. The only a few reasons like unreserved, friendly, funny, and cuddling, that’s why cocktail is the #1 bird or most famous bird in the United States like America. The cocktail is a crested parrot or also called by the name small cockatoo because both have a crest on their head. And classified to the cacatuidae, a family of cockatoo which is defined as the smallest bird in the Cockatoo species. Cockatiels commonly seen in pairs and fly in small flocks.
Cocktail parrots are in one Race but these have many color mutations. They have different names depending on the color which they have.
Other Names/Common Names
Cocktail parrots are known by different names such as weero, small cockatoo, quarrion. They also have other common names depending upon their mutations like albino, pied, silver, grey, pistol face. These are the names which are called by people due to their appearance color.
Origin and Found
The origin of cockatiels is Australia, scrublands, bushland and mostly in rain-forest. Cocktail parrots are most famous in the United States like America and other countries. Wild Cockatiel birds are found in Arid, semi-arid areas in open country, woodland, riverine forests, Holland.
Now cockatiel birds are present in most of the countries like Pakistan, India, and in other different countries. In these countries’ cockatiel birds are available in captivity not openly.
Cockatiel birds are medium-sized birds, they are 11 to 13 inches in length from head to the end of the long tail. The wingspan of the cocktail parrot is about 4 to 5 inches. Normal healthy cocktail parrot Weight up to 90 grams. Cockatiel birds are a long tail which has different color based on mutation.
Cockatiel birds have small hock like beak which is curved downward from the upper. The tail of the cocktail parrot is about 6 to 7 inches in length and it is more than the body of the bird.
Lifespan of cockatiel
The lifespan of cockatiel birds is about 20 years or more, basically, it depends on diet. Life may increase from 20 years if the diet is proper and on time. Some birds may die due to different diseases before this age limit. These are sensitive and fragile even a small flue if not cured it will lead to the death of the bird.
In captivity, cockatiel birds may live up to 25 to 30 years as they care highly by the caretaker. The long-lasted age of the cocktail parrot is recorded up to 36 years, which is a huge age in cockatiel species.
Cockatiel has a great personality and famous all around the world especially in the US because of their fragile nature and a Crest on their heads which relate cockatiels to the cockatoo, and that’s why called as a small cockatoo. The position of the cockatiel’s crest shows the mode of the bird. The crest of a cocktail parrot is round or curve from its tip and flat near to the head when they are in anger. The color of the crest is grey when they are chick but the color of the crest changes to white or yellow when they adult.
The “grey” cockatiels have grey with the white flashes on the outer edge of their wings. The face color of the female is light grey or grey while the color of male on the face is white. But both male and female have orange color on their cheeks near the ear.
The “albino” cockatiels are fully white. They have white color all over the body, both male and female have no color difference, they possess totally white color feathers. But albino cockatiels have different eye colors like black and red, and then name black eye albino or red-eye albino.
Currently, there are round about 22 color mutations which have been clear by research. Some color mutations are native to Australia like Fallow, silver spangle, faded, etc. Some other color mutations which can be kept as a pet in homes are Pearl, whiteface, lutino, cinnamon, olive, pied and albino. These were most common in captivity.
Cockatiel birds are sexually dimorphic when they are adults because when they are a chick, they all look like females. They can be differentiative after their first molt.
Males: when a male cocktail parrot adult after 7 to 8 months of hatching, his crest color changes to white or yellow. The color of the face is white and yellow or orange patches on their cheeks become sharp means brighter in color. Usually, the male is differentiated on the basis of dots on their tale they lack dots on the tail.
Females: the crest of a female cocktail parrot is remains light grey or grey in color. The face also not clear white as male but also an orange patch on their cheeks and dots on the tail is prominent.
The color in cockatiel is due to pigments, there are two different types of pigment which is commonly found, these are:
Lipochromes (orange color on the cheek and yellow color on face and tail is due to this pigment)
Melanin (grey color in feathers, beak, eyes is due to this pigment)
Diet and Feeding
Cockatiels care is the most important factor, the total life of a bird depends on its diet. If the diet is best the bird lives a long life but if you don’t take care of your bird then no chance of its survival. Cockatiels eat a variety of food in a diet like fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, seeds(sunflower) and pellets. Well, care of cockatiel can increase the lifespan up to 30 years or more.
Mostly cocktail parrot eats seed diet due to this may bird suffer from mineral deficiencies and malnutrition. So, a low-fat diet leads to a long way of preventing disease in a bird.
Cockatiel birds usually start breed in winter or spring season, they start mating from August and season of laying eggs is from August to April, within this period the cockatiel breeder pair breeds 3 to 4 times or depend on their caretaker. The clutch size is 3 to 4 eggs per clutch, they incubate eggs up to 20 days, both male and female cocktail parrot incubates the eggs.
Mostly time female cockatiel sits on eggs, male sit only in afternoon time because female cockatiel eats something and do some refreshment. The young cockatiel fed from parents up to 2.5 months but they leave the nest after 3 to 4 weeks.
Talkative and Sound
Cockatiels are able to speak words they only whistle in beautiful voice and the voice of the cockatiel bird is loud but when they whistle the ups and downs in their voice takes the attention of nearby people towards itself. These birds are some noisy but only when they are excited or in fear, otherwise, they whistle in very sweet notes.
Birds are not talking and rather not speak only whistle to a specific sound. It depends on the person or caretaker that how much he understands his bird nature. And provide all of the things which they need.
Cockatiel as a Pet bird
A cockatiel is smart and social parrots that’s why most people want to bring this bird in home, these parrots are the most common pet bird. The sweet whistle and behavior of cocktail parrot, peoples love a lot and brings to our homes. The beautiful crest on their head also attract people and people like the most.
As cockatiel is playful and fresh nature parrot. They also love to play with different types of toys, which are made up of wood or plastic or some other.
The handfed cocktail parrot is very amazing, cute and sweet. As they know the nature of the person with the passage of time, they sit on their shoulders when the person comes near. They are friendly with the person and not shy.
Cage: Cockatiels are small birds, that not requires a huge cage for their residence. The best cage size for their residence is 2 by 2 means 2 feet in height and 2 feet width. Within this, a pair of cockatiels easily live and breed.
Box: Usually the size of the box which I use is 10 inches in height and 8 inches in width. This is the perfect size for a cockatiel pair for breeding.
In captivity egg binding is the most common issue in these parrots. It is due to some deficiencies in a female cocktail parrot. In this situation female don’t able to lay an egg the fats accumulate in their back and swallow. Female stops to eat anything and week. Sometimes this will result in the death of female cocktail parrot due to egg binding.
This problem of birds, use oil in their diet like olive oil. Mix some drops in their feed and provide to the bird. Because, mostly egg binding is due to dryness in their body.
The price of cockatiel parrots is $250 to $300, depending on their mutations the price may increase or decrease. In Pakistan, the price of grey cockatiel parrot pair is about 3000. Eno pair price is 6 to 7 thousand and a fallow cocktail parrot is expensive in Pakistan.
My Experience of Cockatiel Parrot
A few months ago, I have round about 15 pairs of cockatiels, all of them are the breeder. I much take care of them, I provide vegetables, fruits and mixed feed which contain seeds and many kinds of cereal in their diet. Some of these pairs breed very well but some are not well for breeding. The main problem of not good inbreeding is egg binding. The whole month I am in anxiety due to this disease but after consulting a veteran. He gave me a suggestion of using oil in their diet every after two days.
My most of the pair after using this method performs well and results in, they laid 3 to 4 eggs and hatch them well.