Cockatiels are tiny close relatives to the Cockatoo. They have a beautiful crest of feathers on the top of their head which can be lowered or lifted, to indicate their mood. Both cockatiels and cockatoos are also in the parrot family, and share several common features with other parrot species. Firstly, all parrots have a very strong downward-curved bill which is designed for easily crushing seeds and nuts. This bill can also be used to bite very hard as a defense mechanism, though for a small parrot isn’t much in the way of protection from larger predators. This amazing tool on the front of their face can also be used for climbing, and parrots can comfortably hold their entire body weight with their bill as well! Another feature that all parrots share is their toe placement. Secondly, all parrots have short legs, and what are known as zygodactyl feet, meaning they have two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backwards. These special “feet hands” (along with their beaks) can assist them with climbing trees. Their feet can also be used to help them hold food items (like nuts) while they consume them. Thirdly, parrot species of all types also have an “upward sitting stance” when perching at rest. Parrots, like the cockatiel, are diurnal (mostly active during the day.)
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