Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus)

Cockatiels, scientific name Nymphicus hollandicus are a popular home pet.  Here is some information about them:
  • They are the only member of the genus
  • They are the smallest of the Cockatoo family
  • They are natually found in the outback areas of Austrailia
  • Typical life span can be as much as 20 years!
  • Most tiels imitate whistling better than human speech
  • Males are more likely to imitate/whistle/talk than females
  • There is much debate about how to visually sex these birds. The best method is to have them DNA sexed
Normal Grey Tiel Cinnamon Tiel
Lutino Tiel Cinnamon Tiel

There are many variations or mutations of cockatiels. The most common is the  “Normal Grey”, which is most common in the wild.  Some of the variations or color mutations are listed below:
Normal Grey
  • The natural color found in the wild
  • This is the most common tiel you’ll find.
  • Mature males are dark grey with a single white stripe on each wing, yellow face and crest with orange cheeks.


  • Is one of the most common colors apart from normal grey.
  • Coloring is the same as the grey, but is more muted with a brownish tone.


  • Very similar to Cinnamon, but has a more yellowish cast
  • Difficult to tell from a cinnamon unless they’re side by side
  • Generally have deep red eyes instead of black/brown eyes


  • very common coloring
  • Body is mostly yellow and white
  • Can have red eyes

Like most captive birds, seeds alone are not enough. Even though probably 90% of the captive tiels are fed only seeds, they need vitimin suppliments to make up for what seeds don’t supply. A good pelleted food is always best.

Tiels make good pets. They can be social or loaners depending on how they are raised. If you are able to get a hand raised tiel and you continue to handle it, it will make a good pet and allow you to play with it. Many of the tiels are not hand raised and aren’t terribly social.  If you have a social one, you’ll know they love to hang out, eat with you and generally share your time. I’ve personally had several that were hand raised and several that weren’t. They are very different depending on how they are raised, but both still make good pets.

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