Yes, Cockatiels are cockatoos which is why they’re known as Australian parrots. They’re sometimes called “self-climbing lorikeets” in the trade, also due to similar appearance and vocal patterns.
Cockatoos are mostly native to Australia and that’s where most cockatiels originate although there are reports of them found in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Solomon Islands etc.
Differences Between Cockatoos And Cockatiels
One distinguishing factor between cockatoos and other types of parrot is their nail; in birds with claws the tip often curves inwards towards each other for better gripping while foot or toe nails always grow out sideways or straight back against the soles of feet/toes for both walking on ground and climbing.
Cockatiels have clawed feet while most species of parrots have flat or toe nails, which can help with ID’ing some species that are similarly colored to cockatiels.
Cockatiel wings are proportionately shorter than other types of parrots so they fly using quick fluttering wing strokes rather than gliding the way other parrots do.
Cockatiels are the smallest of all cockatoos and some species like Major Mitchell’s or Red-tailed Black Cockatoos (also known as Rock Parrot) may be slightly larger than an average cockatiel; lifespan can vary from 15 to 30 years depending on various factors such as sex, health, genetics etc.
As a whole, cockatoos can be identified by their crest feathers which vary from species to species although most of them have relatively flat crests that extend from the head towards the back while resting.
Unlike Cockatiels and other parrots that rest with their heads on one side of body, cockatoos usually rest either with their heads on the same level with body or head turned backwards. One exception is the Palm Cockatoo known for its unusually long crest that can extend to the upper part of their backs while resting.
How to identify a cockatoo
You can identify a cockatoo among other parrots by its crest. Most of them have flat crests that extend to the back while resting.
Cockatiels are known for their beautiful color and sweet nature, they’re also very playful which makes them a favorite pet among many people around the world.
Cockatiels And Cockatoos In The Wild
In the wild, cockatiels live in family groups that consist of about 6 birds; cockatiels are not very social but they still interact with each other through vocalizations.
Cockatoos can be quite loud (most of them) and some species like Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo make loud sounds only at dawn and dusk.
Cockatiels are very social parrots and they can mimic various sounds including whistles, beeping sounds etc.
Cockatoos live in pairs or small family groups of about 6 members, whereas cockatiels usually thrive in larger flocks numbering over 10 birds.
Both species are very affectionate and playful so it’s not unusual to see them playing various games either with themselves or their owners.
Cockatiels and cockatoos both require a lot of toys and can spend several hours each day engaged in playtime activities.
Why do they have different types of crest feathers on their heads?
Cockatoos have flat crests that extend from the head towards back while resting. And as they age, their feathers around the crest regions tend to gray out and fall off due to wear and tear. Cockatiels have smaller crests also extending from head towards the back but not as large as those of cockatoos.
They have different types of crests because they’re native to different areas. For example, Major Mitchell’s cockatoo is found in the dry parts of Australia so they have flat crests that help reduce heat loss while resting.
Similarly, Palm Cockatoos are found in tropical forests with high humidity levels so their long crest feathers provide insulation against extreme weather.
Which Bird Makes A Better Pet? Cockatiels Or Cockatoos?
Both cockatiels and cockatoos make good pets.
Cockatiels are generally cheaper than cockatoos, sometimes by a significant margin, and this is likely due to the more abundant native habitat of the cockatiel in Australia.
For this reason, some people may find it easier to care for a smaller bird with less fuss and more affordable costs.
On the other hand, both of these birds do require about the same minimum amount of time per day (roughly an hour) of interaction-time with their owners to ensure they get enough attention and exercise; if we don’t interact with them on a daily basis, they’ll misbehave or stop acting like members of our family (e.g. talking) altogether.
Regardless of the species you choose, they both have sweet and affectionate personalities as long as you take good care of them.
The bottom line is that it’s really up to your personal preferences when deciding between a cockatiel or a cockatoo; many factors like space, budget, time, etc must be taken.