Pet Bird Species: Cockatiel –

Cockatiels are popular pets for a good reason: they’re an affordable bird with lots of personality.

These attractive parrots have long tails and perky crests. Their natural coloration is grey with white wing-stripes, a yellow crest, and an orange cheek spot; the males have a striking yellow face. They can also be found in cinnamon, white, silver, or pied (mottled) varieties.

These 11-13-inch-long birds require a lot less space and bird food than a large parrot. They are also relatively inexpensive, compared to larger or rarer parrots. They live an average of 15 years, plenty of time to develop a long-term friendship with your bird. They are talented mimics, able to learn a few human words or songs.

Wild cockatiels live in the Australian deserts. But this species is easily bred in captivity – young birds are readily available from many pet stores or direct from local bird breeders. To ensure the best possible pet, purchase a single young, hand-raised bird. This gives it a chance to bond to you, and before you know it, you are that cockatiel’s best friend. If you get two or more cockatiels, they will be more difficult to train, though they may be happier than a single bird when you’re away from the house.