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How to determine the age of cockatiels by external signs?
How to determine the age of cockatiels by external signs?

When deciding to get a feathered pet, a person risks facing several problems even before buying it. The future owner, having no idea about the age nuances of the animal, can purchase an old or sick bird. To protect yourself from possible disappointments, you should learn to distinguish young from adults. The article will help you figure out how to determine the age and gender of a cockatiel parrot.

Bird recommendations

When choosing a cockatiel, or a nymph (the second name of these parrots), it should be remembered that adult and young birds practically do not differ in size. For this reason, attention is paid to other parameters: the color of the eyes and plumage, the appearance of the paws and the behavior of the pet. At the same time, it is far from always possible to rely on the words of a merchant, because his main goal is to sell a parrot, no matter the age of the latter.

Such attempts to sell elderly nymphs are rare, but knowing how to determine their age will not be superfluous. Experts advise buying birds that have reached the age of 10-14 weeks.It is believed that such specimens get used to a new owner much easier and faster and master their habitat.

Features of plumage

The appearance of young individuals is somewhat unpresentable. The newly appeared plumage does not fit tightly to the body, which makes the bird look disheveled. The tail is adorned with short feathers. Adult parrots have longer, more delicate tail feathers.

parrot plumage

At the age of 3-4 months, Corella has a very dull plumage color. The first molt begins by 6 months and ends closer to a year, after which the pet acquires the color of a mature individual. In instances of mutation coloring, this process takes longer and is completed by two years.


The head of these birds is decorated with a bizarre crest. How to determine the age of a cockatiel parrot with it? In a young pet, the crest is not fully formed and consists of rather short straight feathers. At the same time, a closer inspection will allow you to notice the tubules of new feathers that have not yet opened.

At the top of the head of mature specimens, a fully decorated ornament consisting of long feathers flaunts. The crest of an adult parrot ends in a graceful curve. It is noteworthy that sometimes in older birds under the tuft there may be a small patch of skin devoid of plumage.

Eye color

Bird eyes will also help you figure out how to determine the age of cockatiels. The photo below shows a fairly young individual. Such birds are characterized by shiny, almost black beady eyes.

Bird's beak and eyes

In older birds, a brown tint is noticeable in the iris, and the eyes themselves fade. The iris of the eyes of a very old parrot turns light brown.

Special attention should be paid to cockatiels of non-standard mutational coloring, for example, lutino. Juvenile specimens have red eyes, while older ones turn dark cherry.


Age-related changes affect the condition and color of the beak of a feathered pet. In young cockatiels, the stratum corneum of the beak is smooth, without any detachments, and has a light gray color with a pink tinge. The young also differ in the proportions of the nostrils. In relation to the beak, they are noticeably larger than those of mature nymphs.

Over time, the cornea darkens and the beak becomes almost black with a gray tint. The older the bird, the more noticeable the damage and defects on its beak. Sometimes growths may be visible.

Paw condition

There are two schemes for determining the age of the cockatiel by the appearance of the paws: by the color and condition of the scales. In young individuals, the skin is a lighter pink shade and is covered with barely noticeable thin scales. The bird's toes end in smooth light-colored claws.

Condition of the parrot's paws

With age, the scales covering the paws noticeably coarsen. The skin darkens, becoming a gray-brown hue, and wrinkles are more visible. The claws become coarser and longer, gradually becoming almost black.

Parrot behavior

How to determine the age of cockatiel by behavior? Since the young have not yet fully masteredart of flight, it often prefers to be closer to the bottom of the cage. In addition, juveniles are poor in hygiene, which is why the tail and wings of young birds are often soiled in droppings.

bird behavior

Unlike adults, there is some clumsiness in the movements of juveniles. This is explained by a slight imbalance, which will soon pass, and the parrots will be more confident on their feet.

Determining the sex of a bird

All of the above parameters allow you to figure out how to determine the age of the cockatiel. The sex of the bird is distinguished by almost the same signs, which appear at different periods of the bird's life.

At a very early age, you can only tell a male from a female by singing. It becomes possible by 3, 5 months of life. The chirping of males is more melodic.

At the age of 6 months, this species of parrots begins to molt, during which the color of males becomes somewhat brighter than that of females. But this parameter is not always guaranteed to help determine the sex of cockatiels, as individuals are still too similar.

Gender of the pet

As the year progresses, the differences become more apparent. The pointed dark wings of males are decorated with a white oval, and a yellow crest shines on the head of young beauties. The body acquires a pearl-steel tint, and bright red-orange spots are located on the cheeks. The cheeks of the females are not so saturated in color, and the plumage of the body is dusty gray.

The behavior of individuals also differs to some extent. Males are the most talkativeand increased activity. Often they create noise by banging on different surfaces with their beak. Females are noticeably calmer.

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