Q-Bird the Cockateil
By Bird Club member Kathleen O'Keefe
Q-Bird is a rescue / adoption Cockatiel with quite the personality. Sex is currently unknown but we feel that is not important as we don’t plan on breeding nor are we looking to increase the number of Cockatiels to the household at this time.
He loves to fly around the upstairs, landing on various “perches”; window sills, Venetian blinds, unlit lamps, the other birds’ cages, his cage, and an unused dragon incense holder. We have added a rope perch to the outside of his cage and also have a play area for him to sit on. There is also a ladder from the top of the parakeets’ cage to his and he walks right up it.
Although he can be a little nippy, he has not chomped down hard. He was abused by his owners in their misunderstanding of birds and small children. They created a hand-shy bird. Once he is out of his cage, he steps up with no problem onto hands, fingers, arms or a wooden dowel.
He loves millet, dandelion greens, chickweed and a variety of goodies we have found at the various stores around town made for birds of his size. So far he has willingly eaten millet if you hold the stick in your hand and offer it to him.
Q-Bert is very entertaining and very “talkative”, we just don’t know quite what he is saying. So far he is not mimicking sounds, but I think once he settles down he will be more then willing to learn. He is out of his cage at least two times a day for a couple hours at a time.
Cockatiels are wonderful avian friends. The species is from Australia and were found in European homes in the late 19th Century. The Australian Government instituted a strict ban on the export of Cockatiels in 1894. So, all our birds of today are from the original captive breeding. Despite restrictions, Cockatiels continue being popular pets among aviculturists.
When they first became pets they were called Cockatoo Parrots. About 1926 these birds were given the name they are called by today.
They are great avian pets because they are wonderful at learning all types of tricks, repeat distinctive words and sentences; if they are short.
Color varieties recognized by the aviculturists include; dark grey, pieds, lutinos, pearl, cinnamon, fallows, silvers, white-face, albino, cross-mutations, and splits.