Parrots are some of the most common bird species on the planet, and there has always been an exciting aura about them.
Parrots are generally dimorphic; this means that you can’t tell the difference between males and females from appearance.
Cockatiels are a species of parrots that don’t share this character. At maturity, you can tell the difference between a male and female bird which makes you wonder if they behave the same.
Do both the birds sing, and if so, do they sing the same songs? Let us get into it;
Do Female Cockatiels Sing?
Yes, even female cockatiels sing and talk at times. Males are often much more vocal than females, making you think that the females don’t sing, but this is a misunderstanding.
Females can produce sounds such as singing, hissing, chatter, and screaming, but they mostly prefer to listen to the males do it to impress them. It is also a natural sign for courtship between the birds in the mating season, so you would hear I sing if you pay close attention.
How To Tell The Gender Of Your Cockatiel
Cockatiels look different depending on the specific mutation, but males and females in each mutation look alike.
Some features could help you see the difference, but it takes a keen eye to note. Let us look at some of these features;
Cockatiels are identical in their earlier stages of development, and it is almost impossible to tell them apart.
However, between 6 to 9 months, they will molt for the first time and develop a new plumage type.
This new plumage is often more colorful, and it comes with more variations between the sexes; thus, you can tell the difference between the genders. Cockatiels without mutations have yellow heads with orange cheek circles and a grey body.
All juveniles and adult females have markings on the underside of their tail feathers. In most cases, they’re horizontal stripes alternating grey and dark grey, yellow and grey, or grey and white.
Other females don’t have stripes; they have dots or irregular patterns of white or yellow on a grey background.
You can see this with ease, and if not, you can move the bird closer to a light and examine it closely. If you don’t see any patterns, then it is probably a male.
In the typical grey breeds, the male cockatiels typically have brighter facial feathers than females.
They have a bright yellow face with a clear and bright orange spot behind the eye. The orange area is lighter in females, and its color is generally more muted.
In some mutations, only males will develop a yellow face after molting. The females will maintain their juvenile grey or brownish plumage around the head and face. There are cockatiel breeds that only have grey plumage.
In such breeds, the males will have parts with darker grey plumage, making them more attractive to females.
The females, on the other hand, will have light grey plumage. This is not a very reliable method, but it can be used to confirm other tests.
You can also differentiate the genders through behavior. A cockatiel that learns to talk is usually a male. Even if they don’t speak, males are always more vocal than females, and it is common to hear them whistling.
Females tend to be more silent. They rarely sing or whistle, but they prefer screeching and hissing.
Therefore, they will screech more often than a male, which will make their genders clear if you spend time around the birds.
Another behavioral difference is curiosity. If your bird loses interest quickly, it is probably a female.
Male cockatiels are likely to spend a lot of time in front of a mirror, calling and investigating it.
Males will actively try to attract the female by strutting around while whistling, tapping their beak on objects to make sounds, doing quick head dips, and hopping motions.
They can do this whether or not a female is around, so you have to be on the lookout.
Some Outstanding Cockatiel Mutations
When it comes to getting a cockatiel, there are a lot of choices to pick from. Due to the high amount of breeders in the market today, there are more mutations with different color patterns you can choose. Here are some of the most astonishing colors;
1. Common Lutino
This is one of the most beautiful birds on the planet, with a simple blend of colors. It has white plumage throughout its body with a yellow head and orange dots behind its eyes.
The simple colors give this bird an elegant and distinctive look that can’t be matched by any other.
They share the distinctive feather drown that cockatiels have. It is yellow to go with the rest of the head, making a stylish and unforgettable look.
2. Grey Cockatiel
As the name suggests, this mutation has grey as its primary color, but it has some more to improve on its beauty. The most common color on grey cockatiels is white, orange and yellow.
Like all other birds of the species, the grey cockatiel has a yellowish-grey feathered crown to match its grey feathers. It has a pale yellow face with white edges and an orange spot behind its eyes.
In addition to this, it has a white patch on its wings that stretches along the edge of the feather on the wing. The bird could also have some traces of white in the feathers, which make it look even more impressive.
3. The White Face Pearl
This cockatiel mutation has an amazing appearance and color mixture that makes it look like an owl.
From the name, it has a white face with no other color. It has a feathered crown like other cockatiels, but it does not have any yellow or orange feathers on its face.
The feathers on the rest of its body are a mixture of grey and white. The beginning of the feathers is grey, then the ends of each feather are white, which makes the bird look out of this world.
The pattern changes on the tail feathers, with grey being more dominant and white getting reduced to a line at the edges of the feathers.
4. Pearl Cockatiel
This mutation distantly resembles the white face Pearl only that it is more colorful. It has grey plumage with a mix of yellow in the feathers. The plumage has a pattern of thick yellow lines across the bird’s back, making it look golden.
It has a distinctive feather crown that is yellow at the base, and it gets grey as you move towards the tip.
Like most birds of the same species, the rest of the head is yellow with an orange spot behind the eyes.
How To Make Your Cockatiel Happy
If you want your cockatiel to sing or talk more often, you need to make sure it is healthy and happy in your house. A healthy bird sings better, and it will make for a better companion. Here are some things you can do to make your cockatiel happier;
- Cockatiels are social birds that hate being alone. Therefore, you need to spend as much time as you can with your bird to make it more comfortable by creating a bond between the two of you.
- Get a good-sized cage that is big enough to fit perches, bird toys, and feeders and leave space for the bird to move relatively freely. This is good for your bird to have some exercise, including short flights from one perch to another.
- Birds are an intelligent group of animals, and toys are an essential part of their mental health and fun. Provide toys for your birds both inside and outside the cage to keep them occupied at all times.
- Feed the bird a variety of vegetables and other healthy foods every day. You should add a regulated amount of pellets and seeds to balance the diet.
Allow your cockatiel to get enough sleep. A healthy cockatiel should get between 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night. Ensure the room is quiet and relatively dark to allow the bird enough sleep.
- Exercise your cockatiel. Cockatiels need regular exercise even if the wings are clipped. Walking or flying around a room outside the cage will keep the birds happy and stimulated, making for a better companion.
Female cockatiels can sing, but they just have a quiet personality. In most cases, they will screech and hiss or sit quietly and listen to the males’ sing.
This is a part of their mating ritual, and it can be used to tell a male from a female cockatiel.
Apart from the behavior, you can tell the gender of a cockatiel by looking at the feathers. Generally, males have brighter colors than females.
Females also have color specs under their tail feathers, but males lack this; thus, it can distinguish them.
You need to keep your cockatiel happy and healthy if you want it to sing. Provide it with a big cage, a lot of space, enough food and toys to play with and exercise. Also, spend time with your bird to make it more comfortable.