These days, there’s plenty of great parrot advice floating around, and though much of it applies to the cockatiel, any cockatiel owner will tell you that her bird is special. That attitude might seem biased, but it’s true. The cockatiel requires some special considerations that new owners should know in order to best care for these unique birds.
1. Bird Dust
**For the full article, pick up the April 2008 issue of BIRD TALK**
The cockatiel is one of three commonly kept parrots that create an abundance of bird dust. The other dust culprits are the ‘tiel’s close cousin, the cockatoo, and the African grey. You might notice a layer of fine, white dust covering pretty much everything near your cockatiel’s cage, especially objects that draw dust with static, like the television. This dust comes from white powder-down feathers that grow close to the bird’s skin. These feathers emerge among the down feathers, and both are used to help insulate the bird. What’s unique about the powder down feathers is that the tips crumble into a fine dust as the bird preens, spreading the powder throughout the feathers and helping to waterproof the bird.
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