Cockatiel

Nymphicus hollandicus

Species Information

Come meet our colourful cockatiels! If you cannot find their whacky mohawks and vibrant cheeks, then just listen out for their piercing calls and you’ll soon find them!

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Cockatiels are native to Australia, where they are found largely in arid or semi-arid country but always close to water.

Worldwide there are currently 22 cockatiel colour mutations established in aviculture, of which eight are exclusive to Australia. Mutations in captivity have emerged in various colours, some quite different from those observed in nature.

Feed on a variety of seeds, grain, berries, and nuts.

10-14 years in the wild, up to 25 years in human care.

These social birds are seen in pairs or flocks of up to thousands. They have ritualistic behaviours before mating. A female will erect their tail feathers to signify readiness to mate, whereas males communicate this by whistling songs, strut-like walking, holding wings up high, as well as rapidly pounding their beaks. They have crests of feathers on the top of their head which they use in communication. They do this by the angle at which the crest is held is indicative of a bird’s mood.

They will usually breed during spring rainfalls, as this means food will be plentiful. A male cockatiel will then check that nests are safe and chew on wood to decorate their nests. Once they repeatedly pop in and out to signify it is safe, a female will begin to roost in the hollow, high trees near water. They are monogamous, finding their partner at an early age. Both sexes take turns of incubating the 2-9 eggs for 19 days and feeding alongside the large flock of other cockatiels.

Least Concern

They are one of Australia’s fastest birds, flying up to speeds of 70 km/h!