Cockatiel-Taxonomy, Habitate, Health Issues


Cockatiel is a small to medium-sized, Australian Parrot also called Nymphicus hollandicus. They are also known as weiro or quarrion. They are the only member of their cockatoo family. Cockatiels are renowned pet birds as they love to be around humans. These beautiful comical birds secured the no.1 position in America to have as a pet bird. Cockatiels have a distinctive yellow crest on the head and grey plumage on the body. They have a very friendly personality and sociable nature. 

  • Origin: Australia
  • Population: N/A (Not Quantified)
  • Suitable Temperature: 18°C to 28°C
  • Grooming Requirements: Medium
  • 1st Sighting: 1700s
  • Price Range: $60 to $600
  • Scientific Name: Nymhicus Hollandicus
  • Body Size: Small
  • Body Type: Slender
  • Average Weight: 100g (3.52 Oz)
  • Colors: 30+
  • Wingspan: 30 cm
  • Life Span in Wild: 10-15 Years
  • Lifespan in Captivity: 20-25 Years
  • Temperament: Adaptable, Friendly
  • Intelligence: High
  • Vocalization: High
  • Affectionate: Medium
  • With Kids & Other Pets: Sociable
  • Biting chances: Low
  • Flying Skills: High
  • Dependency Level: High

Scientific Naming

The scientific name for the beautiful cockatiel is Nymphicus hollandicus. This name helps scientists and bird lovers to understand more about these playful parrots. The word “Nymphicus” tells us that they are lively and charming just like playful nymphs. The second part of the name is “Hollandicus”.

This belongs to their home country, Australia. This naming culture helps the experts to study and classify these birds accurately. It also ensures that everyone shares the same understanding of their traits and behavior. Even though we commonly call them cockatiels, their scientific name gives us a deeper look into their biological identity and their place in the world of bird classification.

Taxonomy of Cockatiels

Cockatiels fall under the order Psittaciformes, which is a diverse group of colorful and smart birds that are called parrots. Therefore, In 1793, Scottish writer and naturalist Robert Kerr called the cockatiel “Psittacus Hollandicus”. For a while, scientists were unsure about the cockatiel’s biological relationships. It was once thought to be part of broad-tailed parrots but was eventually placed in its own subfamily, Nymphicinae, confirmed by molecular studies. The genus Nymphicus tells their classification and within this genus, the singular species Hollandicus identifies the cockatiel as a unique member. So, in 1832, Wagler categorized it and got its category called Nymphicus.

The cockatiel is closely related to cockatoos. Because they share key features like an erectile crest, gallbladder, powder down, and specific facial feathers. This connection is strengthened by documented cases of successful hybrids between cockatiels and other cockatoo species. Now, it is officially classified as a member of the Cacatuidae family. The simple classification is mentioned below for easy understanding.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Cacatuidae
  • Genus: Nymphicus
  • Species: Hollandicus

Social Behaviour

Cockatiels are renowned as friendly and affectionate birds. They are very social birds and like to stay around humans which makes them wonderful companions. They have a natural tendency to form strong bonds. In their native country Australia, they stay in flocks with their companions. Even in captivity, they look to create social interaction with other birds. They are very lovable and want the attention of humans.

So, It’s important to spend quality time with them. They also enjoy perching on shoulders, cuddling, and participating in various activities with their owners. They are loving and pretty birds without any doubt.

Cockatiels are very communicative birds and communication is a big part of their social behavior. They express themselves through melodious whistles, chirps, and even mimicry of sounds and words. With an understanding of their vocalizations, people can know their moods, needs, and the things they want to say.

Cockatiels also have a playful nature. They love to play with toys and do interactive activities for mental stimulation. They are very gentle but they may show territorial behaviors if they feel outside threats for their nests. They are emotionally sensitive birds that need affection and love from their owners. They can feel stressed in isolation or if they feel ignored. They feel contentment and happiness if people give them time and interact with them. All of this overall affects their health too.

Cockatiels are very intelligent birds they like to make sounds. They are so quick to learn from their environment. Some cockatiels can learn specific songs and can also mimic their tunes with human songs. The males have more varied calls than females. They can also say words and phrases or imitate sounds from their surroundings, even without being taught.


Cockatiels love to play and fly openly. They live in different places like dry areas, open woodlands, and scrublands in their hometown. In the wild, they like to be in groups and have a strong sense of community. They often stay in eucalyptus trees and use tree hollows for roosting and nesting.

When you keep them at home, it’s important to create a living space that is a bit like their natural home. This means giving them a big cage with bars they can climb on, different perches, and toys to keep their minds active. It could be similar to the lively surroundings they’re used to in the wild. Cockatiels also enjoy being in natural sunlight, and it’s good for them to have a balance of time with people and alone.

This helps them feel safe and happy. They like to take baths in water so it’s recommended to keep a little amount of water in a dish for them to play with. You can also spray some water on them to keep them moist. But avoid bathing them using pet shampoo because they contain chemicals that can remove their natural oil from feathers.

Physical Appearance

This tiny bird is wonderful and delightful. The plumage color is light yet gives a very calming feeling. With a lemon-yellow head, orange cheek patches, and grey body, this bird has no match in its innocent beauty. They are smaller than other cockatoos. Their size is about 12 to 13 inches long with their long tail feathers.

The Crest 

Cockatiels have a crest on their head. This crest is like a bunch of feathers on their head. The color of the head and crest is lime yellow. This crest is also used to show their feelings and emotional status. When they are surprised or excited the crest stands up straight. When they are in a normal or relaxed mood the crest feathers slant a bit and when they are upset, the feathers get flat against their head. If the cockatiel wants to look attractive or try to flirt, the crest gets flat but sticks out in the back. When they get tired, the crest is halfway up and the tip often curls up. 

The Body

The usual or wild-type cockatiels look mostly grey with white patches on the edges of their wings. The faces of male birds are yellow or white while female birds have mostly grey faces. The faces of females have a round orange area that is called “cheddar cheeks”. This orange color is bright in adult males but not as vibrant as it is in females. You can often tell if a cockatiel is male or female by looking at their face.

Diet and Feeding

A good mixture of food helps to keep cockatiels healthy and happy. The food for them is similar to what they like to eat in the wild. This food includes high-quality pellets specifically made for them that provide them with important vitamins and nutrients. They like to eat fresh fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, broccoli, and leafy greens to give them extra vitamins and antioxidants.

They can also consume seeds but it should be in small amounts because seeds have lots of fat. Cuttlebone and mineral blocks are also good options for them to add to their diet because they help to strengthen their beak and bones. With the food, it is always recommended to provide them with clean water.

When people keep them as pets they also feed them what they eat themselves and cockatiel also loves to share with human foods. However, it is necessary to avoid feeding them toxic stuff like chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and avocados as this can make them sick. An important point is to keep an eye on their weight and adjust how much they eat. It helps to prevent them from getting too fat or not getting enough nutrition. It’s a good idea to check with a bird vet to make sure you are feeding your cockatiel the right way. All these efforts are making sure they stay happy and healthy.

Grooming of Cockatiels

Grooming is an important task you need to do if you keep them as a pet. For this purpose, regular visits should be done to the vet. You can do it by yourself with proper guidance from a vet. It is important for their health and to keep their feathers looking good. You need to trim their beaks and nails sometimes. Their beaks grow and nails can get too long in just a few weeks. So regular trimming is needed to maintain them. You can give them toys to chew on which helps with their beaks. 

Bathing or misting is also good for their feathers. It keeps them clean and healthy. It’s important to keep their living area or cage clean too, so they don’t have any feather problems. You can also trim the wings of them with the help of a vet if they make high flights to windows or fans. Wings can grow back in 2 or three months, so regular checks should be maintained. Going to the bird doctor for regular check-ups helps you know how to take care of them better and keep them healthy.

Life span of Cockatiels

Cockatiels have a normal life span of around 12 to 15 years. But this life span can vary if they are taken care of well in a home and given a healthy diet. They can live from 16 to 25 years. The oldest known cockatiel lived to be 36 years old.

Breeding Habits

Cockatiels usually start breeding when it’s monsoon or rainy season. They are usually known as monogamous which means they stick with one partner. They form a strong bond that can last their whole lives.

During breeding time, male cockatiels may do things like sing, bob their heads, and show off their colorful feathers to attract a mate. If the female shows interest the pair is formed.  In the wild, they make nests in tree holes, especially in eucalyptus or gum trees, and like to live close to water. But at home, if you want to have their babies then give them a proper nest box with soft bedding.

The female lays eggs after mating and these eggs are about 4 to 7 in number. Both the male and female take turns to keep them warm for about 17 to 23 days. They work together to take care of the baby birds when they hatch. The baby birds start flying about 5 weeks after they are born.

Common Health Issues

Cockatiels are very beautiful but sensitive birds. Just like any pet bird, they can have health problems that need attention and care. The understanding of common health issues helps to deal with them and to make sure they get the right veterinary care during their sickness. Some of the common health issues are discussed below to give you some information about them for better care.

Respiratory Issues

Cockatiels can get respiratory problems if the air in their environment is not clean and clear. The problem is often from things like drafts, cigarette smoke, or dusty surroundings. The signs of this problem may include sneezing, wheezing, or a runny nose.

Nutritional Deficiencies

If they don’t eat the right food or their diet does not have enough nutrients then cockatiels can lack important nutrients they need. For example, not enough calcium might cause problems with laying eggs or their bones. So, a good and balanced diet is crucial to prevent these issues.


Eating too much and not getting enough exercise can make cockatiels overweight. They can have digestion problems and obesity because of it. This can lead to joint problems and liver disease. This can be avoided by keeping an eye on their weight and giving them a balanced diet helps prevent this.

Feather Disorders

If cockatiels are having abnormal feather growth or plucking them then this indicates there is something with their health. This condition leads to various health problems like parasites, nutritional issues, or stress. It is important to find and fix the root cause to solve these issues.

Beak and Nail Issues

If their beaks or nails get too long then it can be uncomfortable for cockatiels. These can make it difficult for them to eat and feed themselves properly which can lead to health issues in them. So,  regular grooming, like trimming beaks and nails helps to prevent these problems.


Female cockatiels may have egg-binding, this condition is when they face trouble passing an egg. This condition is an emergency and needs immediate vet attention.


This is also known as avian chlamydiosis. It is a bacterial infection that can affect cockatiels. It shows symptoms like tiredness, breathing problems, and changes in droppings. It can also spread to humans so needs special care if they experience it.


It is a viral infection that is mostly seen in young cockatiels. It causes problems like tiredness, weight loss, and strange feather growth. Proper vaccination can help to prevent it.


Older cockatiels might have fatty tumors that are called lipomas. If these affect their movement or quality of life then they might need surgery.

To prevent all these health issues it is necessary to Keep an eye on their health. Moreover, regular vet check-ups, a clean living space, and good care are important for keeping cockatiels happy and healthy. If you catch any signs of illness then immediately take them to the vet, it can help treatment more likely to work.

Cockatiel Pros and Cons


  • Cockatiels are awesome at making strong bonds with their owners, giving lots of love and companionship.
  • They are usually calm and easy to get along with. It makes them a good fit for families or people new to having a bird.
  • They do playful things, make cute sounds, and can even learn tricks, adding joy to your home.
  • They live a pretty long life between 15 to 25 years. That means you can have a lasting and special connection with them.
  • Compared to bigger parrots, cockatiels don’t need as much space. So, they can fit well in different homes.


  • Cockatiels can be talkative, especially in the mornings and evenings. This might be irritating to you if you’re sensitive to noise.
  • They produce powdery feather dust which might be a bother for people with breathing issues. So, keeping things clean is important to manage this.
  • They can be a bit messy, scattering food and leaving droppings. Regular cleaning is a must to keep things tidy if you have them.
  • They can get sick too. So, planning for possible vet bills is important for being a responsible owner.

Frequently asked questions

Cockatiels have a lifespan of approximately 12 to 15 years. It depends on factors such as genetics, diet, and overall care. With good care and health, it can increase to 25 years as well. 

A balanced diet for a cockatiel includes high-quality pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Seeds can be given in moderation but not much. It’s important to avoid foods that are toxic to birds, such as chocolate and avocados.

Regular cage cleaning is essential to maintain a healthy environment for cockatiels. This cleaning involves daily spot cleaning, weekly thorough cleaning, and the removal of uneaten food. These are good practices to prevent the buildup of bacteria and ensure a clean living space.

Yes, Cockatiels are social birds and often look for companionship. They are emotional and can form strong bonds with humans. So, providing them with interaction and mental stimulation helps them live happily. Some cockatiels may also enjoy the company of another bird.

In cockatiels, feather plucking can be a sign of various health issues. It includes stress, illness, or boredom. So, it is crucial to identify the issue such as changes in the environment or health problems. For this purpose, Consulting with an avian veterinarian is recommended.

The scientific name of the cockatiel is Nymphicus hollandicus. This name tells its classification among animals and birds.


Cockatiels are beautiful small to medium size beautiful birds. They are commonly known as weiro or weero. Their scientific name is Nymphicus hollandicus, native to Australia. They have lime yellow and a crest. A patch of vibrant orange color appeared on their cheek making them more stunning. The color of their body is grey. People love to keep them as pets because of their friendly and loving nature. They have lovable personalities, colorful features, and friendly nature.

It is important to understand their basic needs, such as a balanced diet, proper grooming, and social interaction for a healthy life. A fulfilling relationship can built with them by building trust, companionship, and a commitment to their overall well-being. They like to mimic tunes and show cute behaviors towards their owner. Cockatiels have a special way of forming lasting connections and becoming cherished family members and lifelong feathered friends.

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