Slim, parrot-like bird with large head, hooked bill, and upward pointing crest; long wings and tail. Mainly gray with large white wing and shoulder patches. Pale yellow face with gray patches and orange-red cheek spot; face colors more intense on male.
The Cockatiel breeds from August to December. They lay their eggs in a tree hole near water. They makes a soft platform of wood dust within the hole. Usually 5 white eggs. Both the male and female will incubate the eggs.
These birds are a popular cagebird. The Cockatiel is a small cockatoo that lives on the dry grasslands of Australia. They favor grasses which are easy to gather from the ground. Seeding is unpredictable in the drought of the Australian climate, so over much of its range the Cockatiel is forced to live as a nomad, following the rains to find the seeding crops. Outside the breeding season it will travel in small flocks of up to 30 birds. But if the area has a lot of seed there will be a lot of flocks that will land and feed on the fields.
The Australian goverment permits the shooting of cockatiels under license. This doesn’t make much of a difference on the total population, however.