The Cockatiel is one of the best known and most loved of all
the parrot family. They are cheerful, friendly, and easy to train;
making them one of the most popular pet birds throughout the world.
The Cockatiel is perhaps best noted for its wonderful
disposition, intelligence and bright personality. They are much smaller, 12.5 inches
(32cm) at maturity, than a lot of the other parrots, making
them much easier to care for. Another wonderful thing about Cockatiels is
they are relatively quiet compared to their larger cousins: Macaws, Amazons
and African Grey Parrots. They are much more resistant to viral
diseases than their larger relatives. In addition, some cockatiels
have even learned to speak a couple words. While speaking is not the
norm for cockatiels many have been known to whistle long, complex songs.
One of the most notable physical attributes of the Cockatiel is his
beautiful crest. The ideal height of the crest is three inches.
Cockatiels are available for purchase readily and can be seen in many
different color variations.
The 'Normal' Cockatiel's color variation is typical of
Cockatiels in the wild. The primary color of plumage is gray. Gray is seen
on the tail and chest with a paler gray color on the abdomen, the middle
tail feathers, lower back and upper tail coverts are also a pale shade of
gray. Occasionally there is some brown tinting as well. Yellow coloring is commonly seen on the lores, crest, throat and cheeks, with orangey-red
markings on the ear coverlets. White is commonly seen on the wings,
appearing on the foreword secondaries, and the greater wing coverlets. Their
bill is gray in addition to gray feet. The iris is typically dark brown. The
female has notable gray markings in the face and crest, with a duller orange
coverlet. For show, the gray color of normals should be uniform
The White Face Pearl and White Face Pied Cockatiels: These are
the same as the Normal Cockatiel, but they lack color. The males will
display a pure white mask.
The Silver Cockatiel: The Silver Cockatiel is aptly named, as
its plumage appears a dull metallic silver color. There are two types
of silvers, the Recessive Silver which has red eyes, which is very unusual
for a cockatiel, and the Dominant Silver which has black eyes.
The Pied Cockatiel: The pied
Cockatiel is perhaps the best known.
dictate 75% yellow to 25% dark gray color variation in the plumage.
Many different variations of this ratio can be seen in pet quality
The Fallows Cockatiel: The Fallows Cockatiel is quite lovely. It is seen in light cinnamon with yellow tinting all over his plumage.
Unlike many other color variations its eyes are red.
The Albino Cockatiel: These Cockatiels are missing all color.
They are a pure white bird with red eyes.
The Cinnamon Cockatiel: As the name
would imply, this Cockatiel has lovely cinnamon plumage throughout.
The Lutino Cockatiel: The Lutino Cockatiel can only be
described as beautiful. The Lutino exhibits a striking deep buttercup yellow
plumage. The color is consistent throughout; sometimes some wing
feathers are seen in a lighter shade of yellow than the rest of the
The Pearl Cockatiel: These Cockatiels have well defined heavy
pearl markings. The markings are typically seen in buttercup yellow,
with females having more pronounced markings than the males.
In addition to these color variations, the cockatiel has also
been seen in several different types of cross mutations. Some newer,
rare mutations include Olives, Yellow faces, and Pastels.
The Cockatiel originates in Australia and is seen widely
throughout the continent, except in some humid coastal areas. In their
native land they are commonly called "Quarrion". The wild Cockatiel has a
love of areas near water and is also commonly seen in a wide variety of open
terrain areas. This bird is not only common domestically, but is quite
common in the wild as well.