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Common Name: Cockatiel

Scientific Name: Nymphicus hollandicus


Kingdom: Animalia     

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Psittaciformes

Family: Cacatuidae

Genius: Calyptorhynchime

Species: N. hollandicus


The Cockatiel is primarily 12-13 inches long from head to tail. While it’s cousins can range from 12-24 in long, making the Cockatiel one of the smaller species of the Cockatoo. The Cockatiel’s general lifespan in captivity, can be 15-20 years, but in the wild, it’s lifespan can be from 10-15 years. Incredibly, the oldest living Cockatiel has been reported to be 36 years old.


Cockatiels have the ‘’ Normal- Grey’’ or ‘’Wild -type’’ coloration with white ‘’slashes’’ across the outer part of its wings. Cockatiels can be identified due to its face of color. Males have yellow or white face while females have grey or simply light grey.  Also, males have this splotch of orange on their cheeks, including females, but often times it’s mute in the females.  One of the adaptations of the Cockatiels is that it can use each of it’s eyes independently, or use them separately, since both of their eyes are on the sides of its head. They also have great sense of touch, or a ’’Perching-Sense’’. This allows the bird to choose which branch or perch is most stable.


Cockatiels have this crest that they use to show predators, mates, or whatever emotion they have. Like when it feels threatened, its crest goes flat across it’s head. Or when it’s been startled, the crest is vertical. And when it’s relaxed, the crest can’t really be found. Now when it’s mating season, the crest is in a vertical line to look appealing.


A Cockatiels normal daily life includes finding a place to stay and perch, getting food, staying away from predators, and during mating season, perching on a tree, and looking appealing. Now while it’s in captivity, because they are a popular pet, they eat, perch, ‘’workout’’ or play with owners, and chirp.


Cockatiels do generally well because they stay high in the trees and fly fast. Sadly, wild dogs are the predator that eats the Cockatiel, but the Cockatiel has a trick, they go into the trees to avoid the wild dogs.  And because they are a popular house pet, there are many without predators.


Australia is the natural home world of the Cockatiels; they live in the more hotter regions of Australia and migrate to the colder parts of Australia during the winter time where there are higher trees.  Cockatiels are very abundant due to being very popular birds in homes. The population of Cockatiels is actually growing, due to vast amount of people wanting Cockatiels as a pet. They’re on the ‘’Least Concern List ‘’ right now.                                                                                                                                       


The Cockatiel isn’t an Omnivore or a Carnivore, it’s a Herbivore, it eats berries. What enable the Cockatiel to actually compete for food are their speed and agility, their hearing abilities, and their eyesight. The Cockatiel has to compete for food with the native birds of Central Australia for water since there’s maybe 1 water hole every 20 miles.


The things I found interesting about the Cockatiel is that it’s a house pet, it hears like a human, it can mate at less than a year old, and that there is little concern of  it going extinct.        


Author: Chris P.

Published: 3/2010







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