An Australian resident – a cockatiel parrot (another name is a nymph), is a representative of the cockatoo family and belongs to the order of parrots of the genus Nymphicus. In their natural habitat, these birds nest in forests or bushes located on the banks of rivers and reservoirs. Sometimes they visit semi-desert plains and steppe regions with grassy vegetation. Wild cockatiels are shy: to quench their thirst, the parrot flies close to the surface of the water and, in an upright position, takes several hasty sips.
The main food for birds are grass seeds and small insects. On eucalyptus trees, nymphs feast on the nectar of inflorescences, and when wheat ripens in the fields, parrots visit there and peck at the grains with pleasure.
The Corella parrot is a small bird, its dimensions, including the tail, are 30-35 cm. The tail is long – 15-16 cm – and pointed at the end. The weight of an adult cockatiel is 95-110 grams. In a parrot, feathers grow on the back of the head, forming a crest, the beak is curved, small in size. Adult males are brighter in color than females. Males have feather coloration in rich gray-olive hues, cheeks are a bright orange-yellow color, and a crest is yellow.
The female is more modestly colored – her feathers are of the usual light gray color, her cheeks are pale brown, and the crest and head are pale gray with a yellowish tint. Young chicks of either sex look the same in color as an adult female. Flight and tail feathers have light yellow oval spots. On the outer side of each tail feather there is a yellow stripe on the underside. If the chick is male, then when it grows up, the yellow spots and stripes disappear from it, while for females they remain.
Feather color change occurs one year after birth.
In the wild, the nymph breeds during the rainy season, when there is a lot of food for adult parrots and their offspring. Since cockatiels are awake and sleep on trees, they prefer to equip their nests in the same place, choosing hollow areas inside dried branches. During the rainy season, parrots have time to lay two clutches of eggs.
Each clutch contains 3 to 7 eggs. The egg looks ordinary – it is white and up to 2 centimeters in size. Both parents incubate the eggs – during the 21st day, the male replaces the female. By the end of the incubation period, small, covered with yellow fluff, chicks appear. The female and the male take part in feeding the babies also alternately. The chicks leave the nest after 5-6 weeks.
During the period of feeding the first brood of chicks, the female lays the next clutch of eggs, and the whole process is repeated from the beginning.
Corellas have adapted well to captive breeding, and over time it was possible to breed breeds that differ from each other in plumage color. The life expectancy of a parrot in the wild does not exceed 10-15 years. Birds live in groups of 10–50 or more representatives. Parrots tend to gather in flocks during the breeding season or during prolonged drought. In captivity, with proper care, nymphs can live up to 25 years.
Due to the fact that the nymph breeds well in captivity, ornithologists and breeders managed to bring out various subspecies of these birds, which differ from each other in plumage color.
Characteristics of the most common species.
- white coloring – the eyes of the birds are black, the main plumage with a pronounced yellow tint. In males, light feathers grow in the undertail area and a pair of such feathers are in the tail. In the female, the tail feathers are all light, and in the area of the undertail, according to the main tone of the color, we will see a marbled light yellow pattern.
- Albinos – the eyes of birds are red due to the fact that there is no pigmentation at the genetic level. The feathers of the nymphs are white or with a slight cream tint, but the feathers on the head, including the crest, are yellow in color, and the cheeks are orange. In albino males, the whiteness of the feathers is more pronounced than in females. Females may have yellowish spots on the wings, in the undertail.
- Light gray color – black eyes, pale gray feathers. This subspecies was obtained by crossing gray and white species, so the nymph of light gray color inherited all other signs from the gray species – yellow head and crest, orange cheeks, light tail feathers.
- Lutino color – the eyes are red, and the color of the feathers is yellow. White feathers can be seen on the wing, and very bright orange spots on the cheeks.
- cinnamon color – this subspecies has a dark beige color of the main feathers, and on the head there may be yellow feathers and a crest of the same color. The cheeks are yellow in females and orange in males, tail wing feathers are light yellow. The eye color of parrots is black.
- Dark yellow color – is a type of cinnamon color. The plumage varies from light cream shades to rich yellow. In the process of species mutation, it is noteworthy that only gray feathers change color, while the rest of the color remains the same as in gray cockatiels.
- Sheki coloring – the peculiarity of the color is that there are blotches of white on the plumage of the parrot. The most valuable is the individual, in which the spots are symmetrical while maintaining equal proportions of the main shade and white.
- Pearly motley color – the edges of the feather plates are dark, and the central area is white or pale yellow. The intensity of the main color ranges from dark to light shades. The base color can be gray or cinnamon. This coloration is retained for life only in females. Males lose their color contrast during molting.
- Pied silver color – the feathers of these birds, at first glance, are the same, light, but upon closer examination you will see two shades on each feather – white and pale gray. The intensity of this combination in different subspecies varies from very light tones to darker ones. Cheeks, crest and head with a silver color have a yellowish or cream tint. There are species in which the cheeks retain an orange color.
- white-faced look – the head and tail feathers are painted white, while the rest of the mass of feathers is gray or cinnamon. The white-faced species do not have a pronounced coloration of the feathers in the cheek area. The crest usually has the same color as the main body of feathers, but only in a lighter shade.
- white-winged species – it is characterized by the fact that when coloring, like an ordinary gray nymph, white-winged parrots have white feathers in the wings.
- black-winged species – with the usual gray plumage, there are feathers of a darker color on the back, in the area of \u200b\u200bthe undertail and wings. On the wing of a black-winged species, you will always see a spot of a whitish hue. Males and females of this species differ little in color from each other.
In fact, there are a very large number of types of coloring of nymphs: white-faced variegated cinnamon, pearl gray, pearl cinnamon, pearl lutin, white-faced-pearl, and so on. In a number of countries now there are already show standards for the color of cockatiels. It is the nymphs, in comparison with all other parrots, that have the largest number of plumage color options.
How to choose?
It is better to buy Corella in a pet store, where they are sold from trusted suppliers after passing veterinary control. They come to the store in the morning or in the evening and watch the nymphs at the time when they are most active. This should be done in such a way as not to attract the attention of the bird – for this, stand near the cage.
A healthy individual behaves actively – she is interested in food, toys, neighbors in the cage, and even what is happening outside of it. If the bird is lethargic and indifferent to everything, then this is a sign of its ill health. Sometimes a parrot can just sleep and you will see that he is sitting on a perch, holding tightly to it with one paw.
Before buying, inspect the appearance of the parrot, taking it carefully in your hands. Make sure that all the feathers are in place, there are no bald spots, sores on the body, the feathers are not ruffled and lie flat. Look at the paws – all fingers should be in place, whole and healthy. Let’s move on to the beak – outwardly it should look smooth, without damage, with a correct, tight closure; we immediately look at the nasal passages – in a healthy nymph they are dry, without secretions.
The eyes of a healthy bird are always bright, shiny, without lacrimation.
Pay attention to how the bird eats. If she is actively looking for food and eating it, this is a good sign. Look at the droppings – it should be of a thick consistency, while in sick birds the droppings are watery.
When choosing a cockatiel, pay attention to its behavior. If you want to find a parrot that will be friendly and make contact with you, pay attention to the most active, noisy and curious individuals, they willingly let you pull themselves together. Nymphs get used to humans best at the age of 5 to 6 weeks. It also happens, of course, that a bird cannot get used to a person because of its fearfulness, but this is more an exception than a rule.
If the purpose of your purchase is to breed cockatiels, then choose adults aged 1.5 to 2 years. For healthy offspring, take birds from different litters so that there are no genetic relationships between them. Determining the sex of a nymph is a difficult task, the easiest way to do this is in birds with a traditional gray color, when the plumage clearly shows where the male and female are. In hybrid species, sex determination is difficult and an inexperienced breeder can easily miss.
The nuances of taming
The acquisition of a long-awaited pet is always a joyful and exciting event, but for a nymph, new living conditions are always stressful. Before establishing contact with the cockatiel, the pet must be given 2-3 days to adapt – at this time it is best to leave it alone, protecting it from sharp sounds, flashes of light, smells. To calm the cockatiel, you can start talking to her in a quiet voice little by little. So you will begin to accustom her to you and arouse interest.
You will soon see that the parrot is very sensitive to communication, and it is necessary for him. To quickly make friends with a parrot, the cage with the bird should be at the level of your eyes. When the nymph is left alone, she can turn on the radio or TV, which creates the sounds she needs.
Next, you need to teach the bird to stay with you outside the cage. To do this, they take the cockatiel out of the cage and go with it to a room with closed windows so that the pet does not fly out into the street. The bird is released, and when it sits on some object, they approach it and talk friendly. Over time, the nymph gets used to you and can be taught to sit on your hand.
The learning process is not fast, it is repeated over and over again and soon the bird will get used to doing what you expect from it.
In order for the taming process to go smoothly, you need to praise your pet and give a treat for every success. Parrots love to be petted, picked up and given attention.
Maintenance and care
If you decide to get a cockatiel, you need to understand that breeding will be associated with certain financial costs. You need to buy a spacious cage, toys, two containers for food – dry and wet, a drinking bowl, a bathing container. In addition, you will need a small carrier in order to carry your pet to the vet.
In the diet of a parrot, 65–70% should be food in the form of grains, and the rest should include vegetables, fruits, boiled beans and corn, greens. There should always be fresh water in the cage, which must be changed immediately after contamination.
All raw vegetables and fruits must be washed before being given to the bird.
It is necessary to accustom the bird to water procedures – so that the cockatiel does not get sick, it is irrigated with feathers every few days. To do this, take a spray bottle and spray warm water on the pet’s feathers 1-2 times. Soon, at the sight of you with a sprayer in your hands, the bird itself will begin to show activity in water procedures – it will spread its wings and wait for irrigation.
Corellas love to bathe in water trays, but such procedures are not carried out if the room is cool, otherwise the pet will catch a cold.
Between October and December, the parrot begins to molt – it sheds old feathers and grows new ones. Usually this time coincides with the breeding season. The pet becomes aggressive and experiences constant itching due to the change in plumage. At this time, he must be given vitamin and mineral supplements, and also protected from sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
For the reproduction of parrots, it is necessary to equip the cage so that home conditions resemble natural ones. You will need to make a house where they will build a nest. In order for a female to lay a clutch of eggs, foods high in calcium must be present in her diet.
Caring for parrots takes time every day: they need to be fed on time, monitor the availability of water, and regularly clean the cage.
The pet needs to trim its nails if necessary, provide bathing, show the veterinarian once a year and, of course, communicate regularly.
If your pet is sick, you will notice a change in his behavior. The parrot may begin to rush around the cage, scream, be aggressive, or, on the contrary, become quiet and indifferent to everything. In this case, without wasting time, seek the advice of a veterinarian.
Common cockatiel diseases.
- Inflammatory diseases – stress, fear, poor nutrition, improper temperature regime weaken the body, and against this background, under the influence of bacteria and viruses, inflammatory processes of the beak begin, and then the digestive system. A white coating appears on the mucous membranes of the tongue, the tongue swells, enlarges, the bird cannot eat, it is difficult for her to swallow and breathe. The pet refuses to eat, he is losing weight, apathetic, and this condition can quickly lead him to death. For diagnosis, a swab from the oral cavity is taken from the bird and treatment is prescribed. At this time, feeding is carried out with a liquid mixture through a syringe.
- Growth and deformation of the beak – the wrong composition of the diet contributes to the fact that the keratinized parts of the beak do not wear down in a timely manner and grow. This happens on soft feed without the proper load on the splitting of hard seeds. Deformation of the beak over time leads to its incomplete closing and disrupts the process of eating. To fix this, perches from branches with bark are placed in the cage, mineral stones are placed to grind the beak, and the bird is also transferred to another diet, in which it will receive solid food with vitamins A, C and calcium.
- scabies mite – the disease is transmitted with poor-quality feed, through dirty bird utensils and from sick birds. The tick parasitizes in the area of the beak, cloaca, near the eyes and on the paws. The decorative appearance of the parrot deteriorates, the bird weakens and may die. For treatment, the cage and all objects in it are sanitized, and the affected areas of the bird are smeared with aversectin ointment every three days until complete recovery.
- parrot plucking its feathers – the cause may be infection, stress, lack of attention, pests, pereedy, hormonal disruptions, poor living conditions. Veterinarians advise to exclude protein from the diet – cottage cheese, eggs – and add mineral supplements. In addition, it is necessary to check and, if necessary, change the conditions of detention. In the presence of feathers in the cage and the bird itself, insecticidal treatment should be carried out.
- Gastroenteritis – the bird does not eat well, the litter is liquid, green in color, with half-digested pieces of food and an admixture of blood, there may be vomiting. The parrot is nervous, constantly approaches the drinking bowl and drinks a lot of water. The nature of the disease is infectious. For treatment, sanitization of the cell is needed, exclusion from the diet of greens and sprouted grains. The feed is mixed with the powder of Levomycetin or Phtalazol tablets, pieces of activated carbon or oak bark are added.
- Intestinal dysbacteriosis – an infectious disease that affects the intestines and is accompanied by liquid droppings. For treatment, the bird is given “Polifepan” for 5 days, which is mixed with grain feed. In addition, intestinal enzymes of the Linex preparation are added to the parrot’s food for two weeks.
Dosages and treatments for your parrot are best discussed with your veterinarian. Self-medication may not bring the desired results and only aggravate the condition of the pet.
According to the owners of the cockatiel parrot, communication with a pet gives them a lot of positive emotions. Parrots often eventually equate to full-fledged family members. Corellas are friendly, sociable and interesting in their behavior. Caring for them becomes a habit and is not as burdensome as it might seem at first. Children love these birds for their restless and cheerful disposition, and adults enjoy watching the pranks of their feathered favorites.
For information on how to tame a cockatiel parrot, see the video below.