The Beautiful Cinnamon Cockatiel
The Cinnamon cockatiel is obviously so named because of one of its primary colors. The bird is a sex-linked recessive mutation, but aside from its differences in color, it is no different than any of the other cockatiel types. The Cinnamon cockatiel is a developed strain, and does not exist in the wild. The parent strain is the Gray cockatiel, native to the island of Tasmania, which lies off the coast of Australia. The cockatiel is one of the fastest flying birds in Australia, and in the wild is often seen in large flocks. It is this flocking tendency which makes the cockatiel such a wonderful pet. Just as herding tendencies make some animals good pets and companions, the flocking tendency make the cockatiel a very social little bird.
About The Cockatiel – The cockatiel is a member of the parrot family and of the larger Cacatuidae family. It is closely related to the cockatoo, a primary difference is the cockatiel has a long tail, like a parakeet, while the cockatoo does not. A characteristic of the bird is the erectile crest, which is held erect when the bird is excited, and flattened when it is angry or defensive. A cockatiel can grow to a length of about 12 inches, half of that being its tail, and weighs in at around 3 1/2 ounces. As a pet, it is fond of toys and likes to climb and can learn to talk and whistle, although males often do a better job of learning to talk. When possible they should have the opportunity to exercise by being let out of their cages in the house from time to time, or kept in a fairly large cage if that isn’t possible. A children’s playpen with screening is usually be a nice size for a bird or two.
The cockatiel is an easy bird to handle and also easy to breed if one wishes to do go that route. They will lay about 5 or 6 eggs which have an incubation time of approximately 3 weeks. The most difficult aspect of breeding is probably caring for the newly hatched chicks, who have to be fed every couple of hours for several weeks. This is a very hardy bird however, one that does not have much of a history in the way of diseases.
Coloring – As mentioned above, the Cinnamon cockatiel is a sex-linked mutation, which influences its color. This simply means that a gene affecting the melamine pigment inhibits the brown pigment from turning into gray or black, as is the case with the common Gray cockatiel. Instead, the bird having this gene will take on a cinnamon color, including a brown coloring extending to the eyes, feet and beak. A Cinnamon cockatiel is born with the same plum color eyes other breeds of cockatiel have, but this coloring changes to brown in just a few weeks. The Cinnamon cockatiel also exhibits more of a yellow coloring than is found in other breeds. The other breeds have underlying yellow coloring but it is much more pronounced in the face and chest of the Cinnamon breed. Age, sunlight, and health can also play subtle roles in the coloring of the birds. The fully mature birds normally have the brightest and most pronounced coloring, especially as new feathers which appear following a molt, will generally be brighter and sharper in color than were the older feathers they replace.
Availability – The Cinnamon cockatiel should not be particularly difficult to find, though its availability can vary of course from location to location. The breed is sufficiently abundant in the market place however, so that a local pet shop could probably order one if they don’t normally keep the breed in stock. Cinnamon or not, a cockatiel makes a nice pet and companion.