The Cockatiel, everything you should know about this species.

The cockatiel, or also called carolina (Nymphicus hollandicus), is a species of psittaciform bird, cockatoo family, is the only one belonging to the genus Nymphicus. Its name in English is Cockatiel. In a type of bird that its origin is from Australia and is one of the birds commonly used as a pet because of its familiarity with parrots or parakeets. Read on and learn all about cockatiels.

la cacatĂșa ninfa

Description of the cockatiel

This beautiful exotic bird is one of the smallest of its kind, which makes it more agile and fast, it measures between 25 and 33 centimeters, its weight is about 100 grams, it is identified by its erectile crest and in contrast to the other cockatoos, in the tail part it has long feathers, which are considered to represent part of the size of the bird. Its plumage is gray, its wings and head are white, its face is yellow with an orange spot on its cheeks.

cockatiels, a charming exotic white bird , possess many qualities that make them a favorite among their gender to adopt as pets. This is because they are strong birds, easy to take care of, they are intelligent and very affectionate, it is also a very dependent bird, like all domesticated birds they love to have their heads scratched, and they will ask for this frequently. It represents one of the first domesticated birds . I invite you to see this article where you will find the best Cages for cockatiel, which will be the perfect home for your bird.



When they are born they have gray feathers with orange spots on the cheeks, as they get older, the plumage of the face changes to yellow, their eyes are dark brown.


Its appearance is characterized by having an erectile crest on its head, it is usually white, black and grayish tones.


Its plumage in the wild is gray with an orange spot on both cheeks; but when they are bred in captivity, there are la cacatua ninfa, todo sobre esta especieothers such as white, black, yellow or mixed with some spots.


It is of gray color, strong and curved that in many occasions works as another leg to climb, and to grind the food.


In its wings it has white feathers, it is a robust bird, which is not demanding.


It has a very long plumage is its tail, so long that it occupies half of the body of the bird.


They are of lead gray color, they have the fingers in particular form two fingers oriented forward and two fingers oriented backwards, this form in their fingers also helps them to climb and when they are in their habitat to live in trees of difficult access.

Generally when they are in their natural habitat they are located in arid areas of the country, always near the coast, it can be said that it is a kind of nomadic bird, they move in groups of up to 100 birds to get food and water, they eat quietly at ground level, they have a particular style to take care of themselves, while some are in charge of eating the others are riding guard, they have a very good ability to imitate sounds, they are docile, friendly and easy to tame.


Its most common names: Cacatua Ninfa, Carolina, Cotorrita ninfa .
Scientific name: Nymphicus hollandicus .
Classification: Psittaciformes, Cacatuidae, Calyptorhynchinae.
Geographical area: Australia
Size: From 25 to 33 cms


The season in which these birds breed in the wild will depend on weather conditions, especially rainy days. The breeding of cockatiel in the south of the Australian continent is in the months of August to December, while the breeding season of cockatiels in the north occurs when the rains end, in the months of April to June, for the central area they breed in any month of the year always after the rainy period.

The nest of cockatiels is in tree hollows, usually eucalyptus trees near a place where they can be provided with water, usually lay 4 to 6 eggs, amount that often exceed. The incubation of the eggs lasts approximately 20 days. The chicks leave the nest after three or four weeks.

Captive Breeding

For the reproduction of cockatiels in captivity the first thing to consider is the place where these birds will go and the cage where they will live, they are not large birds, but they require a more or less large cage that allows them to fly. The ideal size for a cage will beF 1 meter by 1 meter by 1.5 meters.

The nests of these birds should be made of wood and have a square shape and measures approximately 18x18x18x30 centimeters, the box should be filled with a material such as sawdust or shavings to prevent the eggs from rolling. This pair of cockatoos if they get along well will probably spend the rest of their lives together, it is advisable to keep them together.

Generally the male is the first to inspect the nest and peck at the nest entrance, this will depend on how the male and the female cockatiel in heat manifest themselves. After they have entered and exited a couple of times and the female accepts the nest, mating will begin.

In mating the male begins his courtship with a nice song of female cockatiels and song of male cockatiels , giving movement to the wings and shaking from side to side the head, the male chases the female with his eyes, while making a beautiful dance accompanied by whistles.

The first egg is laid ten to fourteen days after mating, which lasts a few days, even several times a day, that if they have done well, and also depends on the female, the eggs are usually laid in the afternoon or evening at intervals of 48 hours each, the process of hatching and reproduction of cockatiels begins with the female laying eggs at the bottom of the nest, can lay five to eight white eggs, the average size of the eggs is 24.5 x 19mm.

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The cockatiel eggs are incubated between 18 and 21 days, this incubation begins from the second or third egg laid, the pair of birds alternates for this process, the male incubates from morning to evening and the female incubates from dusk until the next morning. Since incubation starts all at once, the first chicks will hatch together, unlike the last eggs, which will be opened at intervals of 48 hours each.

The sexual maturity of these birds is at 7 months, but it is always recommended that their reproduction begins at one year of life, this bird has the virtue of procreating throughout the year, it is recommended that this bird is reporoduzca maximum 3 times per year, since the parents are exhausted, especially the mother.


This singular species of birds lives in the interior of the Australian continent, it is usually found also in the deserts, savannahs and Australian prairies, they are usually found also in the cultivated areas, where generally they are not welcome because they become a pest, and in general in different places, less in closed forests. They are becoming accustomed to living in cities in their countries of origin.

la cacatua ninfa, todo sobre esta especie

This bird is a nomadic type, highly dependent on the availability of food and water. They like to live together or in flocks, but when they migrate they prefer to do so in smaller groups. When dusk arrives, they gather in groups on tree branches to spend the night, making loud sounds until they find a place where they can sit comfortably to sleep.

They forage in preferably flat areas, eat ripe seeds of herbaceous plants, fruits, berries, nectar from eucalyptus flowers and also eat small insects. They feed mainly on the seeds of grasses, which makes them search everywhere for the different species of grasses on which they feed; they inhabit the whole of Australia, avoiding coastal areas; man has introduced them to Tasmania.


If you are wondering what do cockatiel or carolina birds eat , this is an exotic granivorous bird, in its natural habitat it eats on the ground ripe seeds, fruits, berries, nectar of flowers of the eucalyptus plant, besides ingesting also small insects. The cockatoo in freedom flies hundreds of kilometers and spends a lot of energy, in captivity this does not happen, so the diet must be adapted to its needs.

The feeding of cockatiel birds should always be based on three phases, dry food such as seed mixtures, fresh food, this is equivalent to 80% vegetables and 20% fruits low in sugar, and finally extras and cacatua ninfa, todo sobre esta especie

The dry ration that corresponds to a mixture of high quality seeds, such as: millet, canary seed, wheat, brown rice, oats, buckwheat, hemp, sorghum, safflower, these are some of them, but the more variety the mixture of seeds the better fed the cockatiel will be. The ration that should be provided to the bird we will take it into account according to its weight, only 12 to 14% of ration, if the bird weighs 100 grams only corresponds to 12 to 14 grams of food.

Taking into account that the birds do not take full advantage of the ration that is placed in the feeders, we must add a little more than what corresponds to them. You can vary the dry food ration of the cockatiel by giving it prizes such as an energy bar, millet on branch, black pipe, and thus not make the feeding of this exotic bird so monotonous.

The fresh ration of cockatiels is particularly vegetables, especially those of green leaves, this exotic bird has a preference for green leaves, you can notice it if you hang a lettuce leaf over its cage. Most cockatiels will eat at this time, even those that are not used to it. Minimum daily should be three different types of vegetables and three different types of fruits per week.

Vegetables with edible leaves are low in fat and calories rich in protein, dietary fiber, calcium, vitamins, and folic acid, among them is the lettuce vegetable harmless to the cockatiel, will not cause any health problems on the bird, it is little nutritious but very filling, if the cockatiel consumes a lot of lettuce instead of other vegetables will not be well fed.

I also recommend you to see this article about the best Feed for Cockatiels

The other types of vegetables that we can use for the varied feeding of thecockatiel, an exotic bird are the following: chard, chicory, envy, rucula, lamb’s lettuce, celery, dandelion, thorns (these preferably cooked), endive, cabbage, watercress, alfalfa sprouts, thistle leaves, parsley (this should be consumed by the cockatiel moderately and outside their reproductive period).

We also have other vegetables but with less acceptance by the cockatiel, an exotic bird are: red and green bell pepper, cucumber, zucchini, carrot, tomato (in moderation), beets, green beans or pods, broccoli, garlic in moderate quantity.

To present the vegetables to the cockatiel and that it is of better acceptance it is advisable to hang it in its cage because this way it will have more resemblance to its habitat than to place it in a chopped container.

The fruit should be incorporated into the diet of the cockatiel about three times a week approximately, you should try and if you accept it will be fine but if you do not accept it nothing happens if the cockatiel this consumes a variety of fruits and seeds. among the fruits that can be given is the apple with skin, strawberries, pomegranate, tangerine, cherries, apricots, grapefruit, peach, blueberries, blackberries, pears, carrots (grated is a delight for them). In addition, it is essential to always put water and change it every day, it must be fresh and very important at room temperature.

A calcium intake is necessary as lime tablets or bone, in the breeding season is very good to add to their diet ground hard-boiled egg including the shell, it is recommended to avoid some vegetables such as spinach, chard and parsley for its high content of oxalic acid, as this intervenes in the metabolism of the cockatoo more specifically altering the calcium.

The extras and treats that we can include in the feeding of the cockatiel are the following, these with the intention of rewarding this exotic bird can be offered on a weekly basis, wholemeal bread, striped sunflower seeds of small size, fruit juice, breadfruit, whole grain cereals without sugar, wild berries, snacks for birds, wholemeal cookies without sugar.

It is important to keep in mind that some foods such as avocado, eggplant and raw potato cannot be given to them since they are highly toxic for the cockatoo or cockatiel parakeet , therefore, they should not be included in their diet.

How do you identify the sex of the cockatiel

If you are looking for how to know if the cockatiel birds are male or female , the first thing is to let this exotic bird, develop its adult plumage, both the male cockatiels and the female cockatiels look identical young, after six to nine months this bird molts its feathers for the first time and the new layer of feathers will present variations in color which will differentiate them. Now identify if the cockatiel bird, an exotic bird, has a standard plumage, if it has a gray body, yellow head and orange circles on the cheeks.

If these characteristics are not present in the cockatoo or cockatiel bird it means that its parents were crossed to obtain another type of plumage and it will be more difficult to identify the sex, basically in this case you will have to concentrate more on evaluating the behavior of the bird.

la cacatua ninfa, todo sobre esta especie

Now let’s look at the tail feathers of the cockatiel, they are normal gray color usually have some markings on the underside of the tail feathers, are usually horizontal stripes of gray and dark gray, white and gray or yellow and gray, but some females points on the gray base. If you do not notice anything, place the cockatoo so that its tail is exposed to light and look closely, with this procedure if you fail to see any markings then your cockatiel is male.

Females can be identified by the yellow dots under the wings and also the yellow markings under the tail, you need to place them in a bright light to see these differences. We can also find some differences in the faces of the cockatiels, the face of the male usually has more striking feathers with bright orange dots on a bright yellow color.

la cacatĂșa ninfa, un ave exĂłtica

Some breeds develop a yellow face in males after molting, but females retain the gray or brown face of their youth. Sometimes the cockatiel has a white face but a gray body, sometimes males with no cheek spots and some females with dappled spots on both cheeks that match the body plumage.

The plumage of the cockatiel, an exotic bird with gray body plumage becomes more intense in males and lighter in females, but this method is the least reliable for confirming sex, only serving as an aid to confirm the above signs. In some breeds the female also has light yellow dots on the inside of the wings.

Cockatiel classes

There are several varieties of cockatiels in terms of certain characteristics and colors of cockatiels , either by some genetic cause or by mutations of these. Among the best known we can mention the albino cockatiels or white-faced cockatiel , gray cockatoo or also called gray cockatiel or ancestral gray cockatiel and harlequin cockatiel.
As for the species coming from cockatiel mutations we can name the following: lutina cockatiel , pearly cockatiel , cinnamon white-faced cockatiel , yellow cockatiel , green cockatoo or olive cockatiel, among others.

Diseases of the cockatiel

Cockatiels are very intelligent and affectionate exotic birds, but at the same time they are sensitive because the emotional changes due to handling, noises, inadequate conditioning, can seriously affect the health of this small bird. There are several care for cockatiels , since they require a lot of attention and a sweet and kind treatment.

Some of the diseases of cockatiels are the following:


It is a disease that attacks not only the bird but also humans, is caused by the bacterium Chlamydiophila psitacci, the main symptoms are: conjunctivitis, ocular secretions, sinusitis, weight loss, green and yellow diarrhea, if you have these symptoms do not hesitate to take your cockatoo to the vet. Its medication is with antibiotics for both birds and humans infected, it must be treated in time because it can be lethal.

Common Cold

This type of disease has some symptoms similar to psittacosis, but it is not serious, it is accompanied by repeated sneezing, lack of appetite, and difficulty breathing. For the cockatiel with a cold the treatment we should offer is very simple, it needs a lot of care, vitamins and an adequate temperature. This is a normal and common health problem in the bird, take it to the vet.


These are a dangerous parasite since they weaken the bird where they colonize, they suck the bird’s blood and reproduce quickly and in large quantities, they run the risk of infecting humans and other pets living in the same place. The main symptom that detects that it has mites is that the cockatiel scratches a lot .

In the market there are atomizers that help to control this pest, but it is not convenient to abuse them, the most advisable thing would be to take a specimen of this animal for its study and evaluation and thus to be able to eradicate them definitively. To avoid this annoying animal we should keep the cage of this bird very clean and disinfected.

la cacat{ua ninfa, un ave exĂłtica.

The soured Buche

This happens when there is undigested food lodged in the crop, the common symptoms are a bulging crop, and a very bad smell. The solution is to take it to the vet and have the doctor unclog the bird’s crop, only a professional can solve this problem, otherwise the cockatiel would suffer irreversible damage.

la cacatĂșa, ninfa un ave exĂłtica

Feathers plucked

If the cockatiel starts to pluck its feathers it is a symptom of concern that means the bird may be going through a period of stress and depression. It could also be a lack of minerals in its diet if so we will see that the bird eats the hemp of its feather, and should be included in its food some food supplement that corrects this lack of minerals in the bird.


This disease can be caused by the ingestion of some inadequate food or excess of lettuce, a solution would be to give the bird a little vitamin B12 (4 drops in 30 grams of water), if after giving the vitamin the diarrhea does not stop it would be best to take it to the vet, because it would already be caused by a parasite called coccidia, this affects different birds.

Ovarian occlusion

This disease needs the immediate attention of a veterinarian because it means that an egg is stuck inside the female, preventing her from finishing the laying and hindering the bird’s defecation process. This could lead to the bird’s death if it does not receive urgent attention. This problem is not easy to detect, let’s observe the bird should have a bulging belly and if defecation process, generally the cockatiel is shown with discomfort, weak and apathetic.

Life span of the cockatiel

If you have wondered how long a cockatiel lives or even how long a cockatiel lives in captivity, also called carolina, these have an estimated lifespan of 10 to 20 years, if you have all the care required for this cute and very friendly wild animal. With patience the cockatoo can emit sounds that a human can teach them.

Training a cockatiel

The cockatiel after parakeets are the most popular bird to be tamed, not only because it is a very cute bird but because it learns quickly and is usually available in abundance, its song is very pleasant and can learn to imitate the human voice and say some simple words. If you want to know how to tame a cockatiel , first of all it is recommended that the bird is acquired between 12 and 14 weeks of birth because at this time they respond better to training.

If a cockatiel is acquired at an older age, it will already have acquired habits or has already been trained by another person, which makes the process more difficult because they put up resistance. It must remain isolated from any other bird, even if they are of the same species. It should be a specific place to avoid moving it constantly which will only cause discomfort and disorders in the bird, the most appropriate is to have it in the respective cages for cockatiels .

la cacatĂșa ninfa, un ave exĂłtica.

Avoid anything that may scare the bird, leave it alone for a while, let a gradually low light for the bird to become familiar with the environment where it will live, some experts recommend that it is better to wait about two weeks before starting to tame the bird, others just say they only need a little time and others say only hours, in any case we must approach the bird gently talking softly to him until he is calm.

After a few days the bird will begin to emit slight whistles when it feels that its owner is approaching, when this happens you will know that the domestication process has begun. Quietly reach out and grab it gently around the wings, it is likely to bite you with its beak, sometimes they are painful but those of young birds rarely produce any damage.

If we do it often and keep our hand on it, it will realize that the bites are useless and will stop biting. Older birds tend to bite much harder and even gush blood, clean the wound as you would any other. There are methods of punishment but this only delays the process of domestication of the bird, affecting the behavior of the cockatiels . For all these reasons it is perfect to have a pet cockatiel.

Many people do not know what to call their pets, that is why they look for names for cockatiels , as well as for other birds and pets. Among the most used are mythological names of this beautiful bird, as well as common names of their liking.

Cockatiels with other birds

These birds are usually quite peaceful, but there are often some problems regarding mating and nesting sites; cockatiels or carolinas get along well with many other small bird species such as canaries, parakeets, exotic birds and other small loons, but they have to be kept well away from larger parrots because they can be attacked. It is recommended to place twice as many nests to avoid fights between the cockatiels.

“This species, unlike others, is not in danger of extinction”