Are Cockatiels Color Blind? Fascinating Facts You Never Knew

Are cockatiels color blind?

You have been wondering about it, which is why you are here to check out the answer. 

Cockatiels are well-known for their gorgeous and colorful plumage. Yet, the question is, do they actually know the colors their feathers have? Can they see colors?

If so, what colors are they capable of seeing?

We will answer these questions in this post, so keep reading to learn more. Let’s get started.

are cockatiels color blind

Are Cockatiels Color Blind?

What not many people are aware of is that cockatiels are able to see various colors. Some of these colors are not even something that humans can perceive. But their eyesight is likened to those of a human’s vision, except for the fact that they can see clearly ultraviolet lights. What this means is that these birds are capable of seeing a very wide spectrum of colors.

With this in mind, you may be even more curious about how they see their foods. Are they particularly drawn to fruits or vegetables or seeds with brighter colors? Or do they not care at all?

Cockatiels are colorful creatures. They are particularly more attractive to us humans because of their gorgeous plumage. And so this leaves us wondering how many colors they really see. According to experts, cockatiels see various colors – more than the reds and yellows and blues in the color wheel. They see ultraviolet light, as well. Thus, they see colors of different ranges – such as blues and purples that look almost white to a human’s eye.

They see every color of the rainbow and even beyond. This is contrary to what humans first thought of, that cockatiels only see in gray, white, or black. Hence, they are capable of distinguishing various hues and colors. They also see colors in a different way.

But for the most part, cockatiels see primary colors such as yellow and blue. What this means is that all colors included in the blue spectrum and every shade of yellow is easily distinguished by these birds. 

Their way of seeing colors resembles the way we view colors from our computer screen. When we stare closely at the screen, we can see that every pixel is composed of tiny dots in shades of blue, green, and red. These are combined in varied proportions, which is what makes up the numerous colors that we are able to see on our screen. 

As for cockatiels, they can perceive color by way of combining yellow and blue light in a number of proportions. They can also combine these colors to obtain a wider color range than what humans can see.

And as we have mentioned earlier, cockatiels perceive colors in a different way as they are capable of seeing ultraviolet lights. So, there are more colors that their eyes can see, as well as a more sophisticated color discrimination. Hence, they are able to tell the very minute difference between one color and another. 

Birds have two kinds of color vision, which is the single and the double cone. Cockatiels have the double cone vision, which enable them to have an acute level of color discrimination ability. This is also what helps them to distinguish ultraviolet light, which is something that other birds cannot see.

This double cone vision is what enables them to find their mate and food, as well as evading predators. When they search for food, they also use the double cone vision in distinguishing between unripe and ripe fruits. 

For example, they are aware that ripe fruits have a brighter hue as compared to unripe ones. So, they know which one they should eat. As for their search for mates, male cockatiels tend to display brighter and more vibrant plumage to attract female cockatiels. And when it comes to avoiding predators, these birds are good at blending in with their environment, so they are not easily seen by these threats. They can match the colors of branches and leaves.

Now, as for their single cone vision, this is useful when it comes to orientation and navigation. This is why they are able to fly well in the sky even when it is cloudy or dark. The single cone vision enables them to distinguish the difference between light and dark colors, so navigating is done right. 

Moreover, when they perch on a branch, they can remain stable and prevent themselves from falling because the single cone vision helps them to see the contrast between various shades of gray. So, it is easy for them to orient themselves on different surfaces. 

Certain colors are particularly more appealing to cockatiels such as orange, yellow, and green. But they also have some unique preferences, which is why it is best to experiment to know what your birds prefer the most. For the most part, however, they like vibrant and bright hues instead of muted and dull ones. When it comes to patterns, they like strips more, as well as other patterns.

There have also been some questions about the birds being color blind and unable to distinguish colors well. Basically, birds with a normal vision have vibrant plumage with shades in various types. But when they are color blind, they have washed out or muted plumage. 

So, if you assume that you have a colorblind cockatiel, it is best to take your pet to the vet and get it checked. While this condition is not at all harmful to cockatiels, it can also be linked with other health issues. 

In the case of a color blind cockatiel, it may have a hard time choosing its mate or even finding food. So, it is best to have your pet assessed by an avian vet to get this problem sorted out.

Read More: Can Cockatiels See In The Dark? Surprising Facts You Never Knew!


So, are cockatiels color blind? As we have shared in this post, these birds can see a wide variety of colors – even ultraviolet light! This is what makes them unique and fascinating, which allows them to function well in their environment. Some cockatiels, however, may be color blind, which is why you need to have your vet take a look at them to see what can be done to address such an issue. 

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