The Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) are popular pets, but are also wild birds. Males generally make better pets then females. Experts are still trying to decide whether the cockatiel is actually a cockatoo or a parakeet. It has features that are seen in both types, but it is generally thought of being a cockatoo more than a parakeet. Although cockatiels have a distinctive and loud call, they are not as loud as their cousins, the cockatoo.
The wild cockatiel is very similar in appearance to cockatoos, their colors, however, are different. The wild cockatiel is mostly gray, with streaks of white on the wings. They have a yellow crest on the head, with orange ear coverts. Hens are normally duller in color. The tame cockatiel on the other hand, can be many different colors due to breeding, the face, however, is nearly always yellow.
Cockatiels originally came from Australia, no-body is certain when they were imported to Europe, but guesses are made at around the 1800s. The first breeding was said to happen in France in the 1850s. By the 1900s cockatiels were being breed by a number of people. In this time they were still fairly expensive, but inferior and imported stock could be obtained at a cheaper price, this was, however, still fairly expensive. The cockatiel first became a common and popular pet in the 1960s, and remains a popular bird to this day.
Cockatiels live in large flocks, often hundreds in size and are sighted in agricultural areas. Despite the fact that cockatiels like to feed on the ground they are difficult to approach, as they have some of the flock members acting as sentinels, who warn the flock when danger is sighted, after the flock has been warned they can fly away quickly.
Cockatiels are relatively easy birds to tame and look after, after the budgie they are the most popular parrot-like pet in the world. Cockatiels have been said to be the best bird for a beginner. They are lively, curious and cheeky. Their main diet is seeds and greens, seeds should be a mixture of sunflower, canary and millet. Greens can consist of most fruit and veg, but lettuce, cucumber, corn and apple are favourites. As well as being fairly easy to look after, the cockatiel is a very rewarding pet, which, despite not being the best at it, can mimic sounds and will be very interested in everything. But some live in the wild.
Most cockatiels live over a 15 to 20 year life span, but some have been known to live over 30 years. Wild Cockatiels live for about 6 to 8 years less than a pet, mainly because of cleanliness and nutrition. The best time to start training a cockatiel is at around 6 to 10 months after hatching.