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  1. #1
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    Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    I have a lutino cockatiel and he is below 8 months old. I think he started molting and I want to know how old he is, but there is no DNA testing here and the store keeps giving me different ages. Can you visually tell your bird's age without DNA testing? Also, does his size increase as he ages?

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    Baby Tailfeathers Supporter!Tailfeathers Supporter! Lyn's Avatar
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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    I have no idea how to tell a tiels age, but I know my tiel has not grown in size from when we got her at 10wks old, neither has my conure.
    Peaches Green Cheek Conure
    Mango Lutino Cockatiel, flew away September 13 2006

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    Good Bye Tailfeather WolfRyder's Avatar
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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    DNA testing is for sexing an animal, not for age. Once a bird has reached maturity you can't really tell how old they are.

    For a very young tiel, I understand, there are bars on the tail. Though I think pearls keep bars. Hopefully someone who knows more can tell us more.


    marlsy's daughter, Kelsi(age 13) made this sig for the contest

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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    I also have a lutino! She started molting when she was about 6 months old. So, if this is your tiels first molt, it's probally around that age. But I don't think that you're going to get any closer than that. Good luck getting a more accurate age!
    In loving memory of Mattie the...

  5. #5
    Ferret Freak Tailfeather PhoenixK's Avatar
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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    There are some ways to roughly tell a bird's age by looking at them. Their size does not change, but there are some other things that do. (Oh, and when I say you can tell a bird's age, I mean you can tell whether or not they're a baby; you can't tell the difference between two years and eight years.)

    For me, the give-away is the facial structure. Young birds have immature "baby" faces. Their "eyebrows" aren't as bunchy and prominent, their beaks are smoother, and they generally look happy and dopey all the time. ^_^ But this is something you grow to notice after you spend a lot of time around birds. If this is your first bird, you probably won't notice the difference.

    Birds also lose their baby feathers at their first molt. For males, this often means a drastic change in the way they look. The only thing is... I don't know enough about lutinos to know if their adult feathers look different from their baby feathers. But usually, even despite the color, baby feathers are a little more scruffy and disheveled, and after the first molt, a bird often looks a lot smoother and cleaner.

    In other mutations, baby birds often have white spots on their chest and inside their wings, bars (stripes) on their tail and on the feathers around their legs (which looks like stripey underwear ^_^), and a darker face. In other words, with the exception of the spots on the chest which are a pure baby feature, they often have "female" coloring as babies. They might still have a few stray baby feathers at up to one and a half years old.


    This is baby Ebo. Here's a good example of the smooth, happy, dopey face.


    And here you can see the spots on his chest and inside his wings, as well as the stripes on his legs.


    And this is what he looks like now, at two years old.


    (Notice he still has one stray stripey tail feather.)

    And as you can tell, his face looks much more serious now.


    But yeah, maybe someone who knows more about lutinos will drop by and tell you what specific changes happen with them.

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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    I think that the above explanation was good....here is another visual..here is baby Abby;He had cute little white spots on his chest....




    And Abby now..we got Abby 7-3-2005 so he isnt a year old..but you can see the white on his face is more pronounced. Everytime a new tailfeather grows in it is pure gray..and does not have stripes on it.




  7. #7
    Ferret Freak Tailfeather PhoenixK's Avatar
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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    Awwww, Abby is so cute!!! Those pictures are also a good example of how baby cockatiels look more scruffy and messy, while adults look a lot smoother.

    Gaahahaha, still laughing at Abby's loserly heart-shaped wings... ^__^

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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    Yeah I see his baby photos and I am like..aww poor Abbuu! lol

    Baby Ebo looked like a different bird! Now he always looks so serious!

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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    Thanks for the tips, I'm guessing he's 6 months old because he started molting. Btw, great pics!!!

  10. #10
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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    I don't have any good info to add, but just had to comment on the adorable pics! I just love those stubby little baby crests!

  11. #11
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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    Awwe! Look at the birdies! C-U-T-E! Phoenixk, are you sure that's Ebo? He looks sooo different! And cuter in every picture!

    RIP all my baybees<|3
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  12. #12
    Ferret Freak Tailfeather PhoenixK's Avatar
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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    Hehehe, yeah, Ebo's changed a lot. ^_^ When I first took him home, all the pet store employees were insisting that he was a girl because of his coloring. I think that since then, Ebo has been trying to flaunt all his manly qualities as much as possible to make up for that misconception. ^_^

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    Re: Can you visually tell your cockatiel's age?

    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixk
    Hehehe, yeah, Ebo's changed a lot. ^_^ When I first took him home, all the pet store employees were insisting that he was a girl because of his coloring. I think that since then, Ebo has been trying to flaunt all his manly qualities as much as possible to make up for that misconception. ^_^
    Maybe this is Abby's problem...he has a pink leg band...and we were told he was a girl..thus the girlie name! lol Poor Abbuu

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