Tiels n' Gees - Cockatiels & Budgies

With in-depth information on Cockatiels and Budgies.

General Information: Cockatiels

Getting Started

Male or Female

Mutations (Variations)

Other Useful Information

Getting Started

  Adaptability, playfulness, inquisitive, hardy, capability to learn how to speak/whistle, a friendly personality. A cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) has all of these traits. All cockatiels are friendly companions with simple requirements in captivity to make them a good choice for people that are buying their first bird. They can be a good friend and companion to any person, young or old. Whether you want a single friend or an aviary filled with cockatiels, you also need to need to know if a cockatiel is right for you and your lifestyle. If you are buying just a single bird, you may want to know that without another cockatiel, your bird will be completely depended on, as you will become its surrogate partner. If you chose to keep a pair of cockatiels, then you will be able to leave them alone without having to worry about them getting bored or stressed out. They can also usually be put into the the cage or aviary as other seed-eating birds. One thing to understand is that you cannot keep your cockatiel in its cage all day. If you do, then your bird will deteriorate in quality. So make sure they get some supervised free-flying time. 

Male or Female

   For many people, the sex of the bird will not matter. For those wishing to breed cockatiels, the gender will obviously be important. The first thing you need to know is how to tell one gender from another. In young cockatiels, this is no easy feat, as both the male and female will look almost exactly alike. In older cockatiels and those with coloring of wild cockatiels, the sexes are more easily told apart. In all males, the colors of their face are more vibrant than in the females. If you are still having troubles telling the difference between a male and female then it is best to consult the pet dealer or breeder.

   Both the female and male will become tame for you if you get them at a young age. But if you care about your bird's ability to mimic and sing, the male is the bird that you want. The reason for this is because of their courtship behavior. As part of their show to their chosen female, a male will usually mimic different sounds that they hear.

Mutations (Variations)

   Okay, so as you should know that with any animal, there are many different variations, or mutations of Cockatiels. But with cockatiels, these mutations are split up into 3 categories: Color Variations, Patterns and Facial Variations.

  The first category that we will look at is color variations. Presently there are 6 distinct and recognized color variations that a cockatiel can have. These are: Cinnamon, Fallow, Normal Grey, Luntino, Olive and Silver.

   In the second category, which is patterns, we can find Pied and Pearl cockatiels. These mutations just cause patterns to appear on the feathers

   The last category is Facial Variations, which covers the last three mutations; Pastel Face, White Face, and Yellow Face.

Color Variations

Cinnamon cockatiels (left) are characterized by their grey-brown feathers instead of the dark grey feathers of others. Their eyes are also noticably darker while their beaks and feed are a more greyer color than other variations.

Fallow cockatiels (right) are similar to cinnamons except for their red eyes, pink beaks and feet, as well as their brown feathers are paler and more yellow than those of a cinnamon. they are also much rarer because it is a recessive mutation.

This is a Grey cockatiel, and it is quite obvious as to how the name came about because from the neck down, the bird is almost entirely grey, other than the white you can see on its wings. you can also see that this is a male due to his yellow face and bright orange/red cheek patch. Female Greys usually have a face that is more grey and the cheek patch is more pale.
Lutino cockatiels are characterized by the lack of grey and brown plumage (feathers), which results in a white bird with the normal yellow face and orange cheek patch. The eyes of a lutino are red and the beak and feet will be pink. Also, you will notice that in many lutino birds, instead of pure white, the body of the bird is a mixture of a pale yellow and white along the body, as seen in the picture of our bird, Eko.

  Olive cockatiels are a more rare variety because it is a recessive mutation. Olives are noted for their light grey feathers and their very pronounced yellow face, which gives the feathers a greenish tinge.

  Also they will have a slightly scalloped pattern on their wings, where the edge is darker and fade to a light pale center.

Other names: Emerald, Spangled

 

I am currently still working on restoring this page so I will add descriptions for the other variations soon. In the meantime here is a list of the other variations:

Pied

Pearl

Silver

Whiteface

Yellow cheek

Pastelface

Other Useful Information

All cockatiels that are born and raised in captivity have a life span of around 12 or more years, which is longer than the lifespan of their wild Austrailian cousins.

The one thing that you must be warned about is a cockatiel's lack of cleanliness. Because they are not "tidy birds," the food and water dishes need to be cleaned daily, every week the cage cleaned, and every two weeks the cage, toys and perches need to be disinfected. Another down-side to owning cockatiels is that even a well tamed bird will screech. If you have other pets in the house, this can cause problems: a) Dogs can have fits of excitement that is caused by a free-flying bird. b) Cats are a definite no-no due to the fact that they can seriously injure, or in serious cases, kill your bird.

Any children that you have can benefit from having a cockatiel companion. The bird will enjoy the relationship as well, as they are affectionate, well-tamed, and are always willing to play games. They can also help with your child's education. By helping to take care of a cockatiel, a child can become more aware of the beauty of nature and it will teach them to respect and love the natural world.