Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Cockatiels: Tiny Cockatoos, Coral Cheeks, The Second Most Popular Choice Of Pet Bird

Cockatiels: Tiny Cockatoos, Coral Cheeks, The Second Most Popular Choice Of Pet Bird 

We've always been charmed by the dapper looking crown and rosy coral cheeks of a Cockatiel. While it may be a fun dream to actually own a large tropical feathered friend, a few restrictions may turn some folks toward an alternative that is more appropriately sized. With the vast range of olour variations with feathered friends today, it's still exciting when you discover a species with similar features in a much tinier package— the Cockatiel is one such Bird species. 
Jack the Cockatiel on Instagram
Don't these fellas remind you of their larger cousins, the Cockatoo?

Small Bird Species: The Cockatiel

Cockatiels were first sighted in Australia as early as the year 1770. This fun-looking species come in second place right after Budgerigars in terms of popularity as the favourite household pet. Not until further research which revealed that Cockatiels are actually a species of its own kind, they used to be regarded as the same species as Cockatoos. Being the smallest of the Cockatoo family, Cockatiels bear the same crested head that is oh-so-expressive.☺
Cockatiel history
There are many disputes as to how this specie's name came about. Cockatiels have been given a myriad of names in different regions of Australia, such as Weiro and Quarrion— In old documents and writings, Cockatiels were often referred to as “Yellow-Top Knot Parrot” and “Crested Parakeet”. Eventually in 1832, the Cockatiel gained its own classification.

Appearance Of A Cockatiel

Size — Cockatiels grow up to have an average length of 30 cm from crown to tail. However, their long tails make up half of that total, so you can do the Math— the actual body size of a Cockatiel is only 15 cm, just slightly longer than that of a Budgerigar!

Features — Two very distinctive features of a Cockatiel is none other than their expressive crested head, and Rosy orange cheeks in a circular shape. Like most breeds of Birds, females usually bear a less vibrant overall plumage.
KevinsBirds on Instagram 
Colours — In the wild, Cockatiels have a primary plumage of Grey with White strips on both sides of their wings. Breeding has brought about a variety of colours today, like Lutino, Albino and Cinnamon.  

Fun Fact #1      Love those coral shade cheeks? Cockatiels are also fondly nicknamed “Cheddar Cheeks” by enthusiasts— and we can totally understand why! J

Cockatiel Care Tips

Hygiene —  Keeping your pet Cockatiel clean is easy. You may opt to use a fine-spritzer spray bottle to give your pet Cockatiel(s) a good round of cool misting. Alternatively, owners place a perch in the loo and turn on the shower at low pressure— water from the shower should not be heated. Good weather is a great opportunity to let your feathered companion(s) bask in the Sun for a bit, watch the don't want heat stroke to set in!

Food — A fresh change of food and water should be provided daily, and a good diet would consist of seed mixtures for Cockatiels, and the occasional inclusion of Vegetables and Fruits. Treats such as Spray Millet is one of their favourites, most recommended for effective training ☺  
Jack the Cockatiel
View a list of safe parrot foods:

Housing — An appropriate housing for a Cockatiel should have ample space for the Bird to flap its wings, and hop or leap around, especially when this species is known to be rather flighty. The home should also be able to house perches, toys, and other accessories like food and water bowls.

Toys — Fill up their cage with toys such as mirrors, and perches made of wood, rope, and mineral blocks for hours of entertainment. Don't forget the cuttlefish bone— a great source of calcium intake and maintenance of beak and claws. 
Ozaokame on Twitter
Other Pets — Cockatiels are fairly sociable creatures that require some attention daily. For working folks, it is recommended that you have them in groups or pairs— slow gradual introduction is advised for new family additions in the household.

Cockatiel Personality And Behaviour

The popularity of Cockatiels as a household Pet is backed by a few reasons— most of which relates to its gentle, sweet, playful and quirky nature. Best renowned for their ability to whistle, the call of a Cockatiel is neither piercing nor unbearable in time. If you live in an apartment, this may well be a much more feasible choice of pet Bird for you as compared to a large Parrot.
Affectionate Cockatiel
Human speech is also said to be achievable through prolonged interaction with owners and training, preferably from a very young age. Male Cockatiels are known to be more responsive to speech training. Bonding with you on a daily basis eventually leads up to a close friendship that could entail an occasional head rubbing session.☺

Fun Fact #2      How does one even begin to understand a pet Bird? Well, emotions of your Cockatiels are sometimes readable via the behaviour of its Crest head!

Standing upright — Excited, Happy, or Shocked
Flattened against head — Agitated, Wary
Hanging loose, Half — Calm, Relaxed
via RedBubble
With proper care, a Cockatiel can live up to an average of 20 years— be ready for a long commitment! Having a feathered friend can be a ton of fun, especially when they are responsive to training. Even if they don’t, many bird owners find it therapeutic to watch their pet Birds.

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