Wild cockatiels ©Getty Images

Wild cockatiels ©Getty Images

Cockatiels are small Australian parrots related to cockatoos.

Body and Behaviours

The natural colour of a cockatiel is grey with a yellow face and orange cheek patches.

The crest is yellow-orange. When a cockatel is relaxed, the crest is fairly flat with the tip pointing upwards.  If the crest is upright, the bird is interested. If it is as far forwards as it can go, the cockatiel is concentrating, and if it is right back, the bird is upset or afraid.

They often stand on one leg with the other tucked up close to the body, which is how it relaxes and stays warm.

Diet

In the wild cockatiels eat seeds, grasses and leaves. They may also eat grubs and insects. They drink fresh water.

Newly hatched cockatiel chick ©Getty Images

Newly hatched cockatiel chick ©Getty Images

Life Cycle

After mating with a male cockatiel, a female bird will lay from 3 to 8 eggs. The male and the female take turns at sitting on the eggs. This is called incubation.

Incubation is for about 21 days and then the eggs hatch.  Parent birds feed the chicks for up to 8 weeks. After that the young  birds can feed and look after themselves. 

Cockatiels can live for around 15-20 years.

Cockatiels as pets

A pet female cockatiel ©Getty Images

A pet female cockatiel ©Getty Images

Cockatiels are popular pets, both in Australia and around the world.

Tame cockatiels have been specially bred so there are many different coloured birds. Lutino cockatiels are white, pied cockatiels have patches of dark and light feathers, and there are cinnamon and pearl cockatiels.

Cockatiels make chirping and whistling noises. They are intelligent birds and can be taught to perform tricks, whistle and talk. They are bright, acrobatic and entertaining pets.

A pet cockatiel with eggs in a nesting box ©Getty images

A pet cockatiel with eggs in a nesting box ©Getty images

 

 

As well as seed, pet cockatiels should also be fed fresh green vegetables such as spinach, chard, carrot tops and herbs. Vegetables such as corn, peas, carrots and broccoli are good too as are apples, pears and berries.

They can be given cooked rice and pasta too.

A cockatiel in flight ©Getty Images

A cockatiel in flight ©Getty Images

Responsible pet ownership

Pet cockatiels depend on their owners for food, protection and shelter. Before becoming a pet owner think carefully about all the things you will have to do to care for your pet responsibly.

 

Read more about cockatiels :

Read the kidcyber pages about other animal pets