The home of the cockatiel is Australia. Their living area is the entire land, except for the coastal and tropical areas. There they prefer to live on trees and bushes. They are the only species in the genus of cockatiels.
The small parrots are slim and have a body size of up to 32 cm. The weight is 70 to 100 g. The actual appearance is gray with white elytra and an orange cheek patch. The natural and wild forms are grey. The different forms of bred are lutinos, albinos, pearled, piebald, whiteheads, and others. A characteristic feature is the movable spring bonnet.
Acquisition and Maintenance
Cockatiels are sociable, alert, inquisitive, and most importantly, intelligent birds. When purchasing, plan for a large area and for the long term. In order to keep them in a species-appropriate manner, there must be at least two of the herd animals. If they are kept alone, bored, and restricted in movement, they can develop severe behavioral disorders such as tearing out their feathers and screeching loudly. When purchasing, a life expectancy of around 20 years should be considered.
Healthy animals are alert, curious, and relaxed. The plumage has grown evenly and the colors are bright. The beak, cloaca, and feet are clean, unharmed, and without deposits or even parasites.
The larger the cockatiel cage, the better. 200 x 60 x 150 cm (W x D x H) or an aviary can be selected. The correct shape is square, the bars run horizontally, and are climbable. The material is dark-colored and free of zinc and heavy metals. The soil substrate consists of mineral-rich bird sand, which is absorbent and supports digestion.
The facility is multi-level and offers species-appropriate, rigid, and moving toys, nibbling, and climbing opportunities. This includes ladders, mirrors, swinging perches, and rings made of natural materials such as cork, balsa wood, and/or natural rubber. Fresh branches of fruit trees tempt you to nibble. Natural materials are also available for molting, claw, and beak care.
Since Nymphicus hollandicus are flight animals, the cage is not in the middle of the room or directly in front of the window. The right location is quiet, draught-free, dry, bright, and not directly next to the heating. The animals can see everything from the cage. Last but not least, sufficient retreat possibilities and shady areas offer each resident sufficient peace and protection.
In the dark season, special UV bird lamps provide sufficient daylight. The optimal temperature is between 18 and 25 °C. A heated shelter is available for the cockatiels to keep them in an outdoor aviary all year round during the cold season.
Regular cleaning of the cage and furnishings is also important. Freshwater, clean drinking, feeding and bathing areas, and the exchange of bird sand must also be ensured.
The different sexes are difficult to determine. Fawn and older specimens wear a yellow mask, hens do not. They have a yellow-black transverse banding on the underside of the tail and are a little paler than the cocks. Lutinos or albinos show no differences.
All cockatiels sing during courtship. The males sing better than the females.
Feed and Nutrition
The right feed consists of commercially available ready-made feed for cockatiels. The thoroughly cleaned supplement consists of grass and wild seeds, peeled oilseeds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and walnuts. The fatty oilseeds may only be fed once a week.