Avian Art Atlanta

The artist, J. Price Wiesman on Cockatoos and Cockatiels

Cockatiel Parrots

Cockatiels are from Australia where they are found over most of the continent except for the coastal areas. It is not a parakeet as some believe due to their long tails; but is closely related to the cockatoo. They have been domesticated for a long period of time and many believe the cockatiel is one of the best birds to introduce to beginners in parrot keeping. They are hardy birds, easy to feed, long lived and very reasonable in price. They are also very easy for a child to handle; however, I do suggest a lot of parental supervision at first. Cockatiels can easily live into their teens and some have been known to live into their late twenties. While they do best in a large cage, they don’t require the very large heavy cages of the parrots. They love to whistle and can talk. One cockatiel I’ve met can actually whistle 6 different songs.

As with all pet birds, I strongly recommend buying a young bird from an established breeder as young birds can be nervous to start with but settle down quickly and become very tame. A lot of people prefer a male as males tend to be more vocal. While the original cockatiels were mainly grey with white on the wings, and yellow on the face with a bright orange dot; nowadays, there are many,many color combinations available which range from pieds, to cinnamons, to lutinos, and so on. With so many colors now available, I suggest you become acquainted with the various colors before you select your bird.

As stated above, Cockatiels make excellent family pets. Like any bird, take the time to make your bird a part of your family. Also, provide a lot of toys and things to amuse your bird when you are not there. Click here to see a picture of a cockatiel.

Cockatoo Parrots

Cockatoo Parrots originate in Australia and the islands off the coasts of Indonesia and New Guinea. They can be divided into two major groups: the black cockatoo and the predominantly white feathered cockatoo. The black cockatoos are extremely rare and very expensive if found.

There are many types and sizes of the “white” Cockatoo Parrots and one should really become informed on the different cockatoos regarding their personality traits. Overall cockatoos are intelligent, very loving birds and strongly bond with their owner. They thrive on attention; loving to be scratched and to snuggle. I do not recommend a cockatoo for the novice as I feel that they are very “needy” birds. They literally want all the attention they can get and will become quite vocal if not with you. They will screech for long periods and can be very destructive. It is strongly recommended that one get a young bird and provide lots of toys; as well as take the time to teach the new bird how to play and amuse itself with these toys. Also, provide lots of chewing toys and as large a cage as you can afford. Encourage many bathing opportunites which will cut down on the feather dander. This said, a lot of people truly love their cockatoos and would never part with them. They have become the focus of their lives and evenings are spent with their bird on their shoulder. Due to their intelligence and strong need for attention, never get a cockatoo unless you are willing to devote lots of time to your bird. You will be rewarded with a truly loving baby. Lack of attention can also lead to feather plucking and other avian problems. Nothing is so sad as finding a neglected cockatoo completely denuded of feathers. Click here to see pictures of a cockatoo.

Cockatoos and Cockatiels Prints by J. Price Wiesman


This print is from a painting of a male and female Cockatiel. The female was my daughter’s bird "Boo". Boo proved a charming companion and stayed in her dorm room while my daughter was away at college. She easily adjusted to college life and was enjoyed by my daughter. Being a hen, Boo never really talked but then again, never made noise and was allowed to "remain at college". I am afraid that Boo was another case of an unclipped bird "escaping". My daughter had graduated and was moving home. She was waiting until she got home to have Boo’s wings trimmed. In the process of moving her things back into the house, she set the cage down on the porch. The cage tipped over and Boo flew off never more to be seen. Once a bird flies off, the bird is confused and usually flies far and does not stop until exhausted. We did advertise, spent hours driving around in the car, put up posters, but to no avail. I do hope that someone found her as she was a special pet. Again, whatever bird you have, always keep the wings trimmed. It makes for a better pet and also keeps your bird safe.



Sulfer Crested CockatooCockatoo, Sulfer Crested

This is a beautiful Sulfer Crested Cockatoo. Sulfer Crested Cockatoos are medium sized, quite intelligent and some become very good talkers. This was my first attempt to paint a white bird and I tried to capture this birds alertness. He was a truly proud guy.



Cockatoo, UmbrellaCockatoo, Umbrella

This shows how cuddly an Umbrella Cockatoo can be. They love to ruffle their feathers and be scratched. Many umbrella owners consider this to be the most loving of the cockatoos. While Umbrella Cockatoos can be very sweet, they also are very intelligent and can become quite loud when they want attention. They also require a lot of chewing toys and can be destructive if not watched. Have heard stories that they can also become very good escape artists.



Cockatoo, Leadbeater’sCockatoo, Leadbeater’s

This is one of the rare Cockatoos. They are positively beautiful and very expensive if you happen to find one for sale. It took me many tries to capture this bird with her crest up. The first time I saw her at a bird show in Atlanta, I was unsuccessful. She was sold but the breeder kept her until the next show when she would be completely weaned. During this period, the breeder discovered that this parrot did not like a whisk broom and would raise her crown whenever she saw one. Needless to say, at the next show, we got the broom out and I was able to get this pose. I also call this painting my "Floyd" painting as it was painted while I was working a convention in Miami. At that time, Hurricane Floyd was bearing down on Miami so I had some spare painting time. Fortunately, the hurricane veered at the last moment and missed Miami. A truly fun experience. The orchids were from the hotel.



Red-Vented CockatooCockatoo, Red-Vented (Golfin)

The Red-Vented Cockatoo is on the endangered list as they are found on only one island in the Phillipines. Their numbers are very small and there is an extensive attempt to preserve this species of cockatoo. In the U. S. they are protected also and one must get special permission to own one with the requirement that the bird must be used for breeding purposes. I was fortunate that there is a breeder here in Atlanta, and this little bird was brought to one of my Club meetings. Except for the beautiful red coloring on the tail, red-vented cockatoos appear to be very much like the golfin cockatoo which my daughter had … even down to the same personality. They are fearless, active birds … very intelligent and seek constant attention. They are one of the smaller cockatoos and make delightful pets if you are willing to give them the attention they seek. They truly love to be scratched and will become quite vocal if ignored. Remember my daughter taking her bird to one of the major large pet stores. There was her bird, hopping up and down on her shoulder and shouting "hello", "hello" to everyone at the store … quickly become the center of attention which is what he wanted. Truly intelligent, remarkable birds.



Umbrella CockatooCockatoo, Umbrella 2

This print shows the other side of the Umbrella Cockatoo. While cuddly, they also let you know what they want. Umbrellas are very intelligent and definitely not timid. Think I was able to capture this mood. A lot of Umbrella Cockatoo owers also relate to this pose as well as the sweeter one.



Cockatoo, Rose BreastedCockatoo, Rose Breasted

Rose Breasted are truly beautiful birds. Though not as expensive as the Leadbeater’s, they are still hard to find and expensive. This bird was bred in Michigan and I found her at a show in Atlanta. Fortunately, after she preened she would always raise her crown and I was able to photograph her with her top up and wings out. Many people consider Rose Breasted Cockatoos to be the quieter of the Cockatoos and the best pets.



Cockatoo, MoluccanCockatoo, Moluccan

For some reason, it took a long time to do a good painting of the Moluccan. This is one of my better attempts. Moluccans have very strong personalities and when they raise their feathers, they no longer resemble a bird shape as you can see. The Moluccan Cockatoo is highly intelligent and extremely demanding. They are very loud and very destructive unless watched closely. They are also one of the largest and most beautiful of the cockatoos with their beautiful pink coloring. Moluccan Cockatoo owners are extremely dedicated to their bird and devote a lot of time to their bird’s care. From what I’ve seen, people either are fanatical in their love of Moluccans are they avoid them like the plague. Moluccan Cockatoos form a tight bond with their owner. They are demanding and require a lot of attention. Please do not consider getting a Moluccan unless you are totally committed; if not, both you and the bird will suffer.



Cockatoo, Black PalmCockatoo, Black Palm

I was very fortunate in that there is a breeder of Black Palm Cockatoos here in Atlanta; and I was not only able to handle "Merlin" but also able to take many wonderful photos. Black Palm Cockatoos are very hard to find and highly expensive, but wonderful birds. They are extremely intelligent and high energy. Like all Cockatoos, they love being scratched and need lots of attention. Merlin did not seem as "needy" as some of the other cockatoos but she still liked lots of attention. She particularly loved to get on my shoulder and rub her cheek against mine. By the way, when scared or angered, her checks turned a brighter pink. She could also completely cover the beautiful pink color on her lower cheek with her feathers.



Cockatoo, MoluccanCockatoo, Moluccan 2

I had to try to paint a Moluccan again. This time I really feel that I captured the essence of the bird. They are truly very stately, proud birds. I found this Moluccan for sale at a bird show in Atlanta. As you can see, the Moluccan is a truly beautiful bird. This Moluccan Cockatoo was sold shortly after I photographed her and she now has a really good home.