Your Cockatiel’s Body is a miracle!
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.
The cockatiel’s body is 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.
The 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 holding the beak open. 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 will require veterinary care.
Birds are the only animals that have feathers. 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 you 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.
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 cockatie’ls digestive system is very effective in making fuel from it’s food. The cockatiel’s body temperature is higher than a humans. It’s digestion begins with a highly effective beak that breaks down tough seeds like little nut crackers. 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 food on the roof of their mouths and not on the tongues. Cockatiels have excellent vision and also see colors. They cannot rotate their eyes, but do have flexible necks that help to give them 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.