Abeit a lot smaller, cockatiels are also family of cockatoos. Cockatiels are most related to the Raven cockatoos family (Calyptorhynchus species) but are a separate genus. The Latin name for cockatiels is Nymphicus hollandicus. Cockatiels are popular pets and come in many color mutations. The general information about food, toys, housing and other cockatoo-tips in this website also apply to cockatiels.

A young cockatiel in wildtype color
Nickname Quarrion or weiro
Common name
Scientific name
Nymphicus hollandicus.
Color of feathers
Many color variants, wildtype is grey, white and yellow
Color of crest Yellow in wildtype
Body size
30 cm long
Sex differences
Subtle differences in color, 100% sure is DNA testing
Affectionate Yes
Cage or aviary
Both possible
Usual cost Cheap

Natural origincockatiel1

Cockatiels originate from Australia, where they live in the dryer inlands of the continent. A population of wild cockatiels also occurs in Puerto Rico, because people released them there.

The natural habitat of a cockatiel is grassland, scrublands, bush lands and small forest areas next to waterways. They do not occur in rain forests or other heavy forested areas. Cockatiels live in groups of around 5 to 20 individuals .

Cockatiels as pets

Young cockatiel
Young cockatiel

Cockatiels are very popular pet birds. Because of their small size, relative intelligence and friendly nature they make great pets. If the cockatiel has been handled from a young age it will generally be tame and non-agressive. It can learn tricks and can learn to whistle songs with medium accuracy.

People have been keeping cockatiels as pets in Europe sinds 1850. And still this small species of cockatoo is a popular pet in Europe, the Americas and other places in the world.

Cockatiels need a lot of attention if they are kept alone, but they can also be kept as groups in aviaries. Cockatiels can be very loud and produce a lot of feather dust.

Cockatiel color variations

Young wildtype cockatiel
Young wildtype cockatiel

Because cockatiels breed easily and have been kept as pets for more than two hundred years, breeders could select for different color mutations in cockatiels. There are more than 15 color variants in pet cockatiels. The wildtype color of a cockatiel is a grey body with a yellow head, white patches on the wings and bright orange cheek patches. Color variants include completely white cockatiels, cockatiels with  wildtype colors exept all grey feathers are replaced by white feathers, cockatiels with white or dark splotches on the feathers and cockatiels that are completely yellow in color.

All pictures are made by Omar Youssef of his pet cockatiel Koko. Thank you Omar!

Cockatiel video

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