Cockatiels originate in the hot dry interior of Australia, but they are now all bred in this country, and have adapted well to our climate. A communal bird, they make interesting and intelligent pets, and suitable for either cage or aviary. The normal colour is grey, but variations are bred such as white, cinnamon, pied, pearl, silver or lutino (pale yellow) Young birds are darker in colour than their parents, have shorter tail feathers, and a pink cere (nostrils). Mature cocks (in the grey type) have a yellow head and crest, while the hens have a greyish head, some yellow on their wings and the under surface of their tail feathers. Both sexes make equally good pets.
A single bird will require a lot of attention and stimulus or it may become bored and frustrated- a common cause of feather plucking. If the bird is to be left on its own for long periods, it is better to give it a companion. In an aviary Cockatiels will mix with Budgies, Canaries and some small parakeets.
Budgie cages are not big enough or strong enough for a Cockatiel they need a more substantial cage, with space for the bird to open it's wings fully, and with bigger perches and a bigger feeder.
Cockatiels are seed eaters, and ground feeders by nature. They require quality Cockatiel seed, a cuttlefish, mineral block and millet sprays. Fresh water must be available at all times, and they will benefit from fresh fruit and green vegetables.