The Cockatiel parrot is a species of the drier parts of Australia. It is an attractive bird despite its generally grey appearance. The highlight is the pale yellow face and crest and its distinctive orange ear patch in the male; the female being paler and greyer on the head. It is a bird of the open plains, open scrublands and woodlands and where cereal crops are grown.
The Cockatiel is a very popular cage bird. I can remember having one in a cage when I was a child. It will mimic the human voice and can be taught to say a few words.
I have recorded this species in our garden on a number of occasions over the years but it is by no means common here. Over the last month, however, I have seen and heard a solitary bird in the mallee scrub at the back of our house. I haven’t managed a photo of it yet. I suspect it is an escaped bird from someone’s aviary as it allows me to approach to within a few metres before flying off a short distance. Our neighbour has had several of this species in her aviary but I haven’t had a chance to ask her whether it’s her bird or not.
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