This magical bird is native to Australia. Magic, because in addition to her popular Australian name Corella, she also has a middle name that European naturalists gave her – Nymph (Nymphicus hollandicus).
She was named after the ancient Greek goddesses, young and charming priestesses of Mother Nature. The cockatiels began their victorious march across Europe in 1840 in Paris. Since 1960, Australia has introduced a law prohibiting the export of birds from the mainland, and from that moment on, lovers of these beautiful birds have exchanged and acquired individuals born and bred in captivity.
In Australia, the favorite places of cockatiels are savannas with multiple shrubs, eucalyptus groves along the banks of rivers. Wild parrots like to sit on the tops of old dry trees, thanks to their gray color, the birds blend perfectly with the branches.
Nymphs love open space, so they are not found in dense tropical forests. If you have seen this beautiful bird, it is likely that there will be a drinking spring nearby.
Cockatiels are excellent flyers and very hardy, in search of food and water, like many other species of parrots, they are able to overcome colossal distances. Therefore, sometimes they can be found in the most incredible corners of Australia.
The cockatiel parrot spends its whole life in a flock, sometimes it increases: flocks unite if you need to fly far, and when he chooses a partner for himself, he spends time with him for a whole year.
Birds nest in the hollows of old trees, do not breed in dry years, but the rainy seasons, on the contrary, stimulate birds to mating games. The female incubates 3 to 7 eggs for 22 days. The male actively participates in the process and, after hatching of the chicks, feeds them in turn with the female. Chicks leave the nest after 1.5 months. Feeding the first offspring, cockatiels begin re-laying.
The birds feed on seeds of wild plants and crops. The Corellians are very fond of the grain plantations of farmers and because of their predatory antics, people go to extreme measures: they shoot and poison the birds.
Outwardly, this parrot resembles a small dove. The body length of the bird is approximately 30-33 cm, half of which is the tail. The length of the open wing is 17-18 cm, the weight is from 80 to 150 grams.
The most distinctive external feature of the parrot is the yellow crest on the parietal part of the head, the same as that of the cockatoo. That is why ornithologists have long attributed the cockatiel to this species of parrots. However, over time, after conducting more thorough research, scientists came to the unanimous opinion that this is an independent species. The beak is round, like a cockatoo, but shorter.
Graceful pointed wings and wedge-shaped tail, long flight feathers make the bird very elegant and sophisticated.
The male is much brighter and more expressive than the female. The plumage color is very beautiful: the head, chest, and throat are yellow, the edges of the crest are gray, the spots on the cheeks are scarlet with an orange tint. The main color of the plumage is olive-gray, the flight feathers are ash gray, and the tail feathers are dark brown. Under the wing, feathers are black (with yellow peas), turning to gray to the edge. The beak is gray-black, the wax is ashy.
The body of the female is dirty gray, with a yellowish-gray head, and the cheeks are smaller and brown. In addition, the female’s tail is wider than that of the male.
The average life expectancy is 15 – 18 years. There are also long-lived cockatiels: 20-25 years, but this is very rare.
Maintenance and Care
Keeping a cockatiel at home is not very different from keeping other parrots. First of all, you need a cage made of stainless material 100x40x60 cm in size. This is the optimal size of the cage, in which one or several individuals can comfortably live. It is very convenient when the cage has a pull-out tray. This facilitates the cleaning process and most importantly does not make the parrot experience constant stress from the invasion of its territory.
There should be three feeders: one for dry food, one for wet food, and the third for a mineral mixture, plus a drinker, perches, a bathing suit, and toys.
It is better to use perches naturally and always with bark. Peeling the bark is one of the favorite activities of the cockatiel. Do not forget to scald the twigs brought from the street with boiling water. As for toys, they should be non-toxic and not have small parts so that the parrot does not choke. You can also hang a rope for climbing, but it is better to refuse a mirror.
In addition to arranging the cage, you need to remember about the atmosphere surrounding the cockatiel.
First of all, it is necessary to provide the parrot with long daylight hours – 10-12 hours.
If due to the climatic conditions of your residence, this is not possible, then you need to take care of the artificial sun. A UV lamp should be placed next to the cage and switched on regularly.
Like other birds, drafts and a sharp change in temperature are contraindicated in cockatiels. This must be borne in mind when choosing a place for a cage. The humidity in the room where the parrot lives should be 55-60%. Dry air can have an extremely negative effect on the bird.
Cockatiels are easy to tame and trainable. It is best to start training from an early age, then the parrot will never be afraid of you and will be happy to learn how to follow your commands. These parrots may well master a vocabulary of up to 100 words.
Nutrition and Disease
In the wild, cockatiels feed on seeds of various plants, wheat grains, and even insect larvae. There is always fruit in their diet, and during the eucalyptus flowering period, they can be seen feasting on flower nectar.
At home, all this is replaced by grain mixtures of millet, oats, sunflower seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs, young shoots of permitted shrubs and trees. The mineral dressing should not be neglected.
Your pet should eat about 20 grams of grain per day, and you should definitely make sure that the grains you give to the cockatiel contain proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. A balanced diet is very important to keep your pet healthy.
As for health, cockatiels are relatively strong birds – they rarely get sick. However, anything can happen.
If you notice that your favorite:
• sleeps almost all the time;
• little or no cleaning of feathers;
• has difficulty breathing;
• has dirty feathers on the chest (signs of vomiting);
• sneezes frequently and has beak discharge;
• has runny and foul-smelling excrement;
• does not react to your appearance;
• is very apathetic – it means there are some serious problems.
If there are at least one of the listed symptoms, it is imperative that the bird be shown to an ornithologist for diagnosis and timely assistance.
Remember that you are the one who determines the health, happiness, and joy of learning from your pet. Therefore, be attentive, patient, and kind to your parrot – in return, you will receive a devoted friend who will brighten up your life and such a sometimes boring life.