Cockatiel Body Parts – How Is Your Cockatiel Made Up

In this post, I would like to look at cockatiel body parts and how cockatiels are made up because as a cockatiel owner it is good to know something about your pet so that you can detect whether or not he is healthy.

Luckily, cockatiels are tough and hardy birds and rarely get sick.  Even if they do, it can sometimes be difficult to tell, as they continue to act normally.  But with a little education, early detection and good care, the odds for recovery are great.  For this reason, it is great to know something about how your cockatiel is made up.

Cockatiel body parts are similar to a mammals body.  Cockatiels and mammals both have skin, skeletons, respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, excretory and nervous systems, as well as sensory organs.  Let us take a brief look at how these systems work together.

cockatiel body partsThe cockatiel’s skin is difficult to see under all the feathers, but if you part the feathers gently, you will see thin almost translucent skin beneath.  Birds don’t have sweat glands, so they have to cool themselves off by holding their wings slightly open and opening their beaks.

Make sure never to leave your cockatiel in the heat of the sun, as they can overheat very quickly, and if he gets heat stroke he will require veterinary care.

Birds are the only animals that have feathers and his feathers serve many purposes.  They help birds to fly, keep them warm, attract the attention of potential mates, and birds also use their feathers to scare away predators.

A cockatiel has between 5 000 and 6 000 feathers on its body.  Cockatiels have different types of feathers – contour feathers, down feathers, semi plume feathers and flight feathers.

Cockatiels keep their feathers looking good by spending a great deal of time fluffing themselves out and preening.   If your cockatiel looks as though she is picking on the base of his feathers, he is actually removing oil from the preen gland and spreading it down his feathers.

cockatiel body parts

Birds have bones, but did you know that some bird bones are hollow.  This aids in making the bird lighter to enable it to fly.

Cockatiels also have air sacks in some of their bones for more buoyancy in flight.  Parrots also have ten neck vertebrae in comparison to a humans seven.  This enables a parrot to turn its head 180 degrees.  This enables cockatiels to spot food or predators in the wild.

The cockatiel has a very efficient respiratory and cardiovascular system.  The cockatiels digestive system is very effective in making fuel from its food.

The cockatiel’s body temperature is higher than humans.  Its digestion begins with a highly effective beak that breaks down tough seeds like little nutcrackers.  A cockatiel doesn’t have saliva to break down the food as we do and the majority of the digestive juices are found in its crop.  Unlike mammals, birds do not have a bladder or urethra.

The cockatiel’s sense of taste is not good, and they taste the food on the roof of their mouths and not on their tongues.

Cockatiels have excellent vision and also see colours, in fact, more colours than we do.

They cannot rotate their eyes, but do have flexible necks that help to give them an all-round vision.  The sense of hearing is good, but they cannot hear very high or very low pitched tones, as well as humans, do.

A cockatiel’s sense of smell is not well developed, but they have a good sense of touch using their beaks and feet for this purpose.

Please do not hesitate to add your comments if you have anything else to add to this post on cockatiel body parts.


  1. What happens if my cockatiel broke her bottom beak and a sliver of the other half rests on her top beak? I am so worried she can’t eat her seeds properly? Can’t afford a vet by any means whatsoever! What am I going to do! She seem to be eating but taking awhile! So worried!

    1. Keep an eye on her and make sure she keeps eating or you may have to feed her with a syringe. In most cases, the beak will grow back and the bird will be fine. Offer a variety of softer foods in case it is uncomfortable for your bird to eat just in case.

  2. My cockatiel is bleeding in between her nose because he crashed into our window and we don’t know what to do.?

    1. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, you should get your bird to an avian vet for a check up. If your bird is battling to breath, even though the bleeding has stopped, then you still need to see the vet.

      Trusting your bird has recovered by now.

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