The cockatiel measures about 30cm in length. In the wild these birds are grey and their undersides are silver-grey-brown. They have white flight feathers and white wings. The forehead, crest, face, cheeks and throat are all bright yellow in the male, with round orange-red spots around the ears. Females have a paler colouring on their heads.
Cockatiels need roomy cages (at least 1m x 1m)for their long tail feathers alone. These birds are elegant fliers and therefore should have the opportunity to fly freely around the room. They can survive in an outdoor aviary for the whole year, if provided with a frost-proof shelter. Although the beak is very strong, the bars of the cage do not have to be any thicker than one millimetre.
When the cockatiel is big enough, you can erect a variety of swings, ladders & ropes in its cage as they love to play and climb - a climbing tree on the roof or outside the cage will also suffice. Cockatiels don't take to birdbaths so you can wash it with a watering can filled with lukewarm water.
TRILL® Cockatiel food will satisfy its basic dietary requirements. You could provide some of this seed mix as germinated food (leave to soak for a day). Cob husks are a tasty treat, and greens such as salad leaves, vegetables and foliage, and fruit are also part of a healthy diet for a cockatiel.
In the wild, cockatiels live in large flocks that are made up of pairs that will mate for life. This is why you should keep two cockatiels together rather than just one bird on its own. Same sex birds will get on well with each other and they will only tolerate smaller birds under certain conditions; they are the strongest in any fight and could easily hurt budgerigars or canaries.
A cockatiel pair will brood in a large parrot-nesting box. Before mating, the cock will dance in a courtship display around his hen, and sing it some of its most beautiful songs. The female can lay up to six eggs and the chicks will hatch after 18 days and are fed and protected by both parents.
Origin: Arid regions of Australia
Temperament: Become tame quickly, curious, sociable
Call: Fairly loud, melodic
Features: Learns to talk, imitates tunes