Cockatiels are about as close to the perfect pet as you can get! With their happy personality and easygoing nature, these attractive little parrots will soon win you over. Lavishing you with love and attention!
In their native habitat, the arid interior of Australia, these small parrots are quite nomadic. They travel in flocks following food availability, settling in scrubby low desert vegetation but always close to water, such as creeks and rivers. When their food supply dwindles they move on.
The cockatiels native habitat has made them well suited as pets. They are hardier, and adapt easily to change and are easy to breed. A big plus is that they are not noisy and can be left for long periods of time. They are intelligent, inquisitive, and easy to train, and with their very gentle nature, that makes them a pet that children can safely care for!
These attractive little parrots are the smallest member of the cockatoo family (cacatuidae), sharing many similarities including the characteristic crest, broad head, and males and females that share incubation responsibilities. When danger is suspected, both adopt a crouching posture. From this stance, they slowly sway back and forth, slightly lifting the wings and emit a sort of hissing sound. It’s believed that no other Australian parrots exhibit a similar fear reaction.
Young cockatiels are more slender than the adult, have incomplete feathering on their head, extensive barring on their breasts, and pinkish to light grey bills. Young birds reach full size at about 9 months, though they begin to molt at about 6 months and will continue to molt yearly from then on. The adult cockatiel weighs 3 to 4 ounces and is about 12 inches from beak to the tip of the tail. The adult generally has darker feathers and beaks. Males usually have brighter yellow heads and cheek patches, as well as prominent crests. Most cockatiels live 12 to 14 years, though they can live as long as 25 to 30 years.
Trying to tell a male from a female is difficult, immature birds look alike and it is difficult to sex cockatiels until they have been through their first molt and the adult coloring shows, which usually occurs when they are six to nine months of age. Other than the visual sexing that can be performed on mature birds, some breeders also check the pelvic bones as means of sexing a bird. The basic idea is that the pelvic of female cockatiels are more flexible and further apart -- as the egg has to be able to pass through it. It is actually pretty similar to the difference seen in human males and females.. Women usually have wider pelvic bones than males. This applies to cockatiels as well. However, just as is the case with humans, females can have "boyish" figures with narrow hips; and some males have wider hips. This also applies to cockatiels. Additionally, immature birds have wider pelvic bones, this method of sexing is not 100% either. Please leave this method to the experts, as it is very easy to injure your bird if you don't know what your doing!
A lot of the excitement for cockatiel breeding can be explained by the many beautiful mutations that have occurred over the years, starting with the normal grey, then pied, cinnamon, lutino and pearl, white-face, silver, albino, and yellow cheek, just to name a few. Breeders are waiting to see what mutation will pop up next, which explains the enthusiasm and joy they get from their hobby of breeding cockatiels.
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