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Cockatiels

Your newly-purchased cockatiel is the light of your life. He whistles like a charm, delights in your company and even sits on your desk as you make out the monthly bills. TV has lost its appeal to you…you are now totally entertained simply by watching your adorable cockatiel.

Cockatiels

The Enchanting Cockatiel

Cockatiels make wonderful pets. They are small, affordable, adorable, entertaining and easy to care for.

A Brief History of Cockatiels

By the 1840’s, cockatiels were starting to be kept as pets throughout Europe. Within 40 years, their popularity sky rocked. In the 1940’s cockatiels displaced parakeets as the most popular pet bird in Europe. Today, cockatiels are the second most popular bird and have held this position since the 1950’s. In the early days, cockatiels were only available in their natural gray color. However, by the 1940’s breeders began developing color mutations. The first color mutation was a gray cockatiel with spots of yellow and white, known as the pied. Today, these handsome birds are available in 9 different colors including: lutino (light-yellow feathers on body), cinnamon, albino (all white with pink feet and red eyes), silver, pied, fallow (grayish-yellow), pearl (gray and white fathers), whiteface and yellow face.

In 1894, the Australian government placed a band on importing cockatiels to Europe and the United States. As a result, all cockatiels available today are domestically bred. These hand-raised cockatiels make better, more trainable pets than other parrots who are caught in the wild and need to be domesticated. Cockatiels are natives of Australia and have been called by a variety of names in their homeland, including quarrion, weero, cockatoo parrot or crested parrot.

The birds live in small flocks of 2-12 birds. During the early morning and afternoons they look for water and food. For the rest of the day they sit in trees where they blend in and hide themselves from natural predators.

Physical Characteristics

Cockatiels are close to 12 inches long and weigh between 2.8-3/5 ounces. They are hardy birds who can live up to 32 years. In the wild, cockatiels are completely gray with no color variations.

Abilities & Temperament

You’ve dreamed of having a parrot for years. You’re in love with their beautiful colors, distinct abilities and superb intelligence. But on the flip side, you’ve dreaded the thought of having a screaming bird whose deafening calls awaken your neighbors in the middle of the night. Plus you’re terrified of purchasing one of those Majestic African Grey’s or gigantic Macaws, only to discover that the bird has a tendency to bite, either in fear or in play.

Well, you can put your fears to rest, because the cockatiel is, in a word, the perfect parrot. A cockatiel offers all the benefits of owning a parrot without the potential downfalls. Cockatiels are relatively small birds. This makes them exceptionally easy to care for and eliminates any intimidation you may feel due to the bird’s gigantic beak.

In addition, because cockatiels are relatively small, they do not need a huge bird cage. A small cockatiel cage will work just fine. Cockatiels do well in just about any type of bird cageso long as there is enough space for them to move around. A finch cage or a canary cage could be a tad small. You can easily purchase a discount bird cage or a cheap bird cage. Visit CagesUnder500Dollars.com to see our more affordable bird cages!

Stainless steel birdcages are great for cockatiels. If you want to jazz up your bird enclosure, consider a corner cage. Corner cages are perfect for smaller birds like the cockatiel. They are also a very attractive addition to your living room.

Because cockatiels are curious creatures, they will want to stick their head through any crack or cranny they can to do some exploring. For this reason it is essential that you purchase a bird cage with small spacing between the bars. Otherwise your cockatiel could get his head stuck. Bars should be spaced ½ -- ¾ inches apart.

Whistling Dixie

While cockatiels are not great speaking birds, they are exceptional whistlers. These little birds can whistle a variety of catchy tunes. One tune many cockatiel owners enjoy teaching their bird is the melody to the 1950’s TV show Andy Griffith.

In the wild, whistling is one of the primary ways these birds communicate with one another. When a male cockatiel is attracted to a female, he will gently whisper his affections in her ear. Once your bird bonds with you, they may demonstrate their affection in the same way. You can encourage your cockatiel to whistle various tunes by playing music while he rests in his parrot cage. It won’t take long for your cockatiel to pick up one these melodies.

Grating Beaks

When a cockatiel is happy and content, he will sit in his bird cage, merrily grinding his beak until he falls asleep. For some people this sound drives them crazy. If you can’t tolerate the constant noise of a grating cockatiel beak, purchase a cage cover for your cockatiel cage. The darkness may help your cockatiel drift to sleep faster and put a stop to the grating sound a tad sooner than normal.



Resources:
American Cockatiel Society www.acstiels.com
National Cockatiel Society www.cockatiels.org

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