25 May 2018

Cockatiel

Cockatiel bird

Correct handling is essential

Those who have dealt with the needs of cockatiels will have noticed that the common ideas that this bird is the “ideal bird for beginners” or is “easy to handle” don’t necessarily apply. If you follow the basic rules for the correct care for this species, you will greatly enjoy your entertaining mini-cockatoos and they, in turn, will enjoy your company.

We would like to talk to you about some of these basic rules and make you aware of the basic needs of the cockatiels in your care:

Don’t keep one cockatiel alone!

Cockatiels are social animals that always look for close contact. If a cockatiel doesn’t have contact with another of the same species, it will build this connection with you. Even if you might like that it doesn’t leave your side at the start, it becomes unpleasant when it demands your undivided attention and constant presence. Your cockatiel will then respond to your probably unavoidable lack of attention with a bloodcurdling cry. This innate call is used in the vast plains of Australia to keep the group together. A cockatiel will use this cry to call you in the same way that it would call for the others in its flock. This dreaded cry has unfairly earned cockatiels a negative reputation as a “crier” and has surely caused a strain between a few neighbours. Psychological changes and serious behavioural changes can also be a reaction to loneliness. In particular, males will tend to become aggressive while females tend to become listless. Please also consider that a mirror isn’t a replacement for a mate and it has no place in a cockatiel’s home.

Living with other species of bird

Cockatiels can live peacefully in the same aviary as budgerigars, turquoise parrots and red-crowned parakeets (as long as they don’t breed) but they all speak totally different languages! It can also be the case that cockatiels find it hard to gain acceptance from the feisty and more “aggressive” budgies. Cockatiels should really only be kept in pairs of the same species.

Flying free

Cockatiels are natural born flyers! If you have ever witnessed the full extent of their flying skills and considered that cockatiels are flocking birds who cover great distances every day in the search for food, it would never enter your mind to keep these birds locked up without allowing them to fly around freely for several hours each day. Please allow your feathered friends time to fly freely every day because it is necessary in order to strengthen their muscles and bones and to stay healthy. You can also enjoy watching their skills as they fly quickly and extremely elegantly around the room. It is not advisable to have cockatiels as pets if it is not possible to allow them to fly.

Keeping busy

Keep your cockatiels occupied! The more you are able to satisfy their instincts to nibble and play, the more lively and healthy your cockatiels will be. Homemade toys, climbing ropes, branches to nibble on are just some of the things that cockatiels like to play with so they can mirror their instinctive behaviour in the wild. An unchallenged cockatiel will become sluggish and depressed.

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