While many parrots are hard to know their gender by just watching them visually, male cockatiels have very different features. What are male cockatiels like?
Cockatiels are one of the most favorite pet birds nowadays. They are charming, beautiful, smart, and friendly. Male and female cockatiels are all wonderful companions which can make many things.
While not all parrots are easy to let you know which ones are males and others are females, cockatiels have many markings which you can base on to determine what gender of your cockatiels is.
In addition, some behavioral tendencies can unveil if one is a male or not. Some male cockatiels can show song and courtship behavior early in their first year of life. However, it is normally harder to realize these characteristics when the birds are still immature. That’s why it is recommended to wait until 10-12 months of age.
What do male cockatiels look like?
When having a good grasp of adult cockatiels’ color patterns and behavior and combining these factors, you can easily determine the males that have a lot of outstanding appearance features. Normally, male cockatiels appear more colorful on their head part and grey lower side. Also, male cockatiels have black nails and brown eyes.
- They have yellow or white on their face and round orange patches on their both ears. So they are often called “cheddar cheeks”.
- Their feather’s initial color is grey though the shape of grey is slightly different in each cockatiel parrot.
- The lower side is usually black.
- In the tail of male cockatiels, there are collectively 12 feathers. The color is light in the middle feathers while the top back is usually lighter in color than other parts of the body.
- Male cockatiels have darker wings and back while the color of their head is brighter compared to other body parts.
- Male cockatiels have grey beaks and legs.
- Their nails are often black and their eyes are brown.
- On males’ wings when the birds open them, there are long white spots that look like a triangle.
- With the adult birds, especially after their puberty with the production of melanin. The grey color on their face and tail feathers gradually changes to yellow and there are no more spots feathers.
What are the typical behaviors of male cockatiels?
Each bird has its own natural behaviors, but based on some general observations, you can realize the differences in how male cockatiels behave.
Generally, male cockatiels are more vocal and prone to mimic. The 6 month males can usually whistle, sing, and like to mimic sounds. And they often make some showing off activities like hopping, strutting, tapping their food dishes or toys.
- Male cockatiels seem to be outgoing, entertaining, and curious about the surrounding environment.
- They continue showing off themselves, making noise, and like to attract attention.
- Male cockatiels are very good at mimicking sounds and learning to whistle a tune.
- They are also more likely to enjoy watching human daily activities and hanging on your shoulder.
- They all like to have plenty of interaction and companionship from friends, humans, and avians. They tend to be skittish or irritable when they get tired and do not have enough positive interaction.
- It would be very good if you could arrange a room in your house to give them safe, free flights.
- In case there are not someone or something the bird is attached to, it tends to make contact with repeated loud calls
- Like females, male cockatiels like to live in a large cage and have toy insides so that they can shred and swing on.
To explain all the typical behaviors of male cockatiels like singing, strutting, and knocking mentioned above, those are parts of courtship behaviors. In the wild, all of those help males to attract and bond cockatiel females, leading to mating and giving young births. They can court a prospective mate (avian or human) with the showing off. If the females appreciate and agree to mate together, the males will stand on the females’ back and tuck their tail under the females to transfer genetic material to fertilize eggs.
Then, the males will help to take care of the eggs and babies later on. They explore the surrounding environment to seek holes and potential nest sites. It could even sit on a small object like an egg and defend it in the same way as females do. In case of tamed cockatiels that you want your birds to also take breeding, you should make them a nest box to provide their cavity.
If male cockatiels do not have a female to mate, they could self-stimulate with similar postures over a toy or bowl. They could even do this on a human hand or shoulder. If this is too much, you should know that the male birds are not stimulated enough by other activities in their life and need more than that.
While other parrots are hard for you to visually tell they are males or females, male cockatiels are easy to recognize. You can base their feather colors on the parts of their body or observe their behaviors. Like the color patterns, their behavioral activities can help you to determine whether they are a male one. Also, it is important to be aware of the male birds’ personality traits and needs so that you will be better in taking care of this pet bird.