Cockatiels in the Wild
There are many differences in the cockatiels we have from domestic breeding and those that wild in the wild lands of Australia. Cockatiels both captive and native are adaptable to their surroundings. Native birds are always on the move and never look back.
All of the wild cockatiels are normal grey, with a bright orange cheek patch and bright yellow crests and faces. They have long pointy tails and slender bodies. The females have a muted orange patch and their faces and crests are not as bright yellow as the males. Juvenile cockatiels look like mature adult females and can often times be confused as females until their first molt. Their first molt takes place around 6 months of age.
Native cockatiels are only found on the continent of Australia. They are found widespread on the mainland usually in the north or in the dry inland. They travel in pairs or in small flocks to areas where food and water are readily available. Cockatiels usually never stay in one area for a very long period because their food source runs out and forces them to move on to other areas. For the most part cockatiels in the wild are monogamous, so often times mate for life.
They feed on crops of an unsuspecting farmer, so they have a hard time eating whenever crops are destroyed. They eat a variety of grass seed, nuts, berries, and search the ground for insects as well. Cockatiels will rest in areas with trees and a water source and then gather in large flocks to fly to areas of food. Even though they eat in large groups, they do not move from place to place in large numbers.
Breeding for native cockatiels can happen during any time of the year, as long as weather conditions are suitable for gathering food and water for the young. In areas that are hot and dry, they tend to wait until a rainy period, so that water is readily available to them. The female cockatiel’s clutch usually consists of 2-8 eggs and takes approximately 18-22 days for them to hatch. Both parents help with raising the babies by taking turns on incubating them as well as feeding.
Cockatiels as a wild bird eat a diet that is much different than the captive birds, but their intelligence and ability to adapt to weather, environment, and food sources make them a great pet.