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Qld Cockatiel Breeders Society Show Standard

General Conformation

The Cockatiel is a full bodied bird with graceful proportions.  From the top of the shoulder curve to the tip of the wing, from the top of the skull to the vent and from the vent to the tip of the tail (ideally) should measure 150mm.  The goal being a 300mm bird with a 60mm crest.  The total bird being 360mm.


Should be long,with good density, curving from the top of the cere fanning out to give fullness.  Ideally a length of 60mm


Should be large and well rounded with no flat spot on top or back of the skull.  The eyes should be large, bright and alert, and placed at mid-point between front and back of the skull.  The brow should be well pronounced when viewed from the front and should protrude enough to indicate good breadth between the eyes.  The beak should be clean, of normal length, and tucked in so the lower mandible is partially visible.  Cheek patches should be uniformly rounded, well defined, and brightly colored (especially on the males) with no bleeding into surrounding colours.  Adult male Cockatiels will have a bright, clear, yellow head, sharply defined where the yellow meets the border of the main body feathers.  A deep bib is preferred.  All feathers should be fully formed with no evidence of pin feathers.  Baldness will be faulted according to the degree of severity of each bird on the show bench.  The aim is for no bald spot even in Lutinos.


Should be relatively long with a very slight curvature above the shoulders and have a small nip above the chest area.  The appearance of the "bull" neck or the "ramrod" posture is undesirable.


The body of the Cockatiel when viewed strictly from the side angle can be somewhat deceptive, as only a well rounded outline of the chest will indicate whether the specimen has good substance.  A frontal (or back) view shows more truly the great breadth through the chest (and shoulder) areas of an adult Cockatiel (more prevalent in hens).  It is the strong muscular development that enables the Cockatiel to be such a strong flier.  A Cockatiel should have a high, broad, full chest (more prevalent in hens), a slender, tapering abdomen, a wide, straight back (no hump or sway), and be a large, sleek bird.


Should be large, wide and long, and held tightly to the body with the tips close to the tail with no drooping of the shoulders or crossing of the wings. The wing patch should be wide (ideally 16mm at its widest point), well defined and clear of darker feathers. All flight feathers should be in evidence. Covert feathers should illustrate their growth pattern clearly.

Legs and Feet

Should hold the bird erect and grasp the perch firmly with two toes pointing forward and two back. Feet should be clean, and claws not overgrown or missing.


The longest flights should be the extension of an imaginary line straight through the center of the bird's body. A humped back will cause the tail to sag too low, and a "swayed" back might elevate the tail higher than desired. The feathers themselves should be straight clean and neither frayed, split or otherwise out of line. All flights should be in evidence.


A bird in top condition has clean, tight feathers: no frayed or missing feathers, no half grown or pin feathers. The beak and claws must be of suitable length. There should be no unnatural roughness or scaling on the cere, beak, legs or feel. If a bird is in good condition, it will be almost impossible to get it wet. Water will roll off like it does off a duck.


In a good show stance, the exhibition Cockatiel should indicate a central line approximately 7O degrees off the horizontal. The bird will present and display well on the perch.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


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