Lee Richardson Zoo

Cockatiel

Order:  Psittaciformes - parrots

Family:  Cacatuidae - cockatoos

Scientific Name:  Nymphicus hollandicus

 

Description: A small Australian parrot with a yellow and gray wispy crest, it is one of the most wide-spread and smallest of all cockatoos. Forehead and face are yellow with an orange cheek spot. Gray plumage set off by prominent white shoulders. Males are a darker gray and have a brighter yellow head than females. Central tail feathers are long and slender. Average body weight 2.8 to 3.5 oz. and length 13 in.


Home Range:   Found all throughout Australia but mostly in the interior mainland.

 

Habitat Type:   Arid and semi-arid open country with water. Savanna, open woodland, grassland, cultivation, and grain stubble.

 

Reproduction:   Monogamous. Mated pairs or family groups probably make up the basic social unit. Breeding usually occurs from August to December occasionally as early as April. Nests on floor of a tree hollow usually located near water. Birds enter hollow tail first. A clutch of 3 or 7 white rounded eggs is incubated by both parents. Pair may lay several clutches in a single season. Incubation is about 20 days. Fledging is at 25 – 30 days.

 

Diet in the Wild:   Feeds mostly on the ground on seeds of grasses and herbs; also berries and grain crops (sorghum and sunflowers).

 

Diet in the Zoo:   Millet, ZuPreem® Cockatiel and Parrot diets mixed and misc. fruit.

 

General Information:   A strong flier. Outside breeding season forms large nomadic flocks that follow the seeding of native grasses and cultivated crops. It is a popular cage bird. Domesticated birds have been bred for numerous color mutations and are well established in captivity.

 

Conservation Status:   A common bird in the northern part of the continent. Large flocks may be considered pests by farmers growing grain; some are destroyed by permit. IUCN Red List; Least Concern.

 

 

Resources

"Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia, 2nd edition. Volume 9. Birds ll, edited by Michael Hutchins, Jerome A. Jackson, Walter J. Bock, and Donna Olendorf. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group, 2002. Pg. 284,285. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Graham Pizzey, 1980. Princeton University Press. N.J. Pg 177. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 4.Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Edited by J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. 1997. Pg .279. Cockatiel photos and facts. (n.d.). Retrieved October 03, 2016, from http://www.arkive.org/cockatiel/nymphicus-hollandicus/