Cockatiels are small cockatoos endemic to Australia. The ones sold in the United States and around the world are raised from captive breeding stock, as Australia stopped exporting these birds back in 1894. They are located in most of Australia, except for the island of Tasmania, and are rarely found in the coastal regions of the country.
Dry and Hot
Wild cockatiels live in dry regions where they sometimes have to spend periods of time without drinking water. They readily travel to find it. They reside in arid and semiarid grasslands and farmlands, and eat many different kinds of fruits wherever they're found. They also eat insects, worms, larvae and pollen to supplement their diets during the rich summer months. Unlike their tame counterparts, they rarely have to resort to eating just seeds.
Social and Nomadic Birds
Cockatiels are social birds, living together in large flocks. They eat, play and breed in family groups. They are able to protect each other from predators by taking flight whenever a bird hears or sees something unusual. These flocks are nomadic in nature and will move as a group to wherever water and food are plentiful; and will remain there until the seasons change again and the birds have to move on.
Living Near Farmlands
Farmers often complain of wild cockatiels becoming pests on their farmlands, eating hundreds of acres of planted crops and fruit trees. These birds go wherever food is plentiful; if that area is farmland, they will migrate there and claim those places as home. When thousands of birds have moved to a farm, the results can be devastating to the farmer. Sometimes the farmers have no choice but to destroy some birds to save their crops.
Cockatiels live in wide open places where they can spend a lot of time flying, playing and socializing with other members of their flocks. This means they tend to avoid cities. But since the cockatiel's natural range is in the interior of the country, and most of the cities are coastal, this is not a large problem. These birds do a lot of flying while searching for food and water, so they are rarely inactive.