Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) are beloved Australian birds that not only are abundant in wild environments of their home nation, but are also extremely common pet parrots in other parts of the world. If you're contemplating bringing a cockatiel into your home, average life expectancy of the species is a vital aspect to consider.
Cockatiels are dainty, smallish parrots that are part of the family Cacatuinae. They typically grow to between 11 and 14 inches in length. As far as plumage coloration goes, cockatiels are frequently gray, white or yellow, although with prominent and bright orange blots. However, many diverse color mutations of the species also exist, whether snow-white albinos, "gold cheeks" or any of numerous other varieties. Their temperaments are often companionable and pleasant, and they are adept at copying voices and other sounds. Out in the wild, cockatiels tend to gravitate away from coastal regions. They are not big fans of thick woodlands and seem to appreciate airy settings. Common habitats for them include farming sites, savannas and scrubland.
In their natural wild habitats, cockatiels, on average, live between 10 and 14 years, indicates Animal Diversity Web via the University of Michigan. Their average age for passing away is younger in the wild than it is in captivity.
Cockatiels that are kept as pets -- or that live in other captive settings -- can stay alive for up to 25 years or so. This requires a lot of diligence on the part of the cockatiel's caretakers, though, from healthy diet and routine veterinary checkups to sufficient daily physical exercise and interaction. The longer lifespans of captive cockatiels are a result, largely, of captive diets that are designed specifically to encourage well-being. Captive cockatiels also don't have predator concerns, and birds of prey are prominent predators for them.
In nature, cockatiels take in diets that are heavy in seeds and tiny insects. Acacia seeds are a particular preference for cockatiels. They sometimes feed on fruit, too. In captivity, they dine mostly on commercial pellets that cater to their specific dietary demands. Fresh vegetables and fruits are also integral elements of their captive diets. Along with food, living environment also can affect cockatiel longevity. From temperature monitoring to roomy cage size, there are a lot of different factors to consider.
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Nymphicus hollandicus
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Nymphicus hollandicus
- BirdChannel.com: Cockatiel Birds
- World Parrot Trust: Cockatiel - Care in Captivity
- World Parrot Trust: Cockatiel - Species Profile
- World Parrot Trust: Cockatiel - Status in the Wild
- ASPCA: Bird Care
- Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images