March 24, 2018 PetGuide
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  • Size: 11-13 inches
  • Lifespan: 15-25 years
  • Bird Species: Cockatiel
  • Colors: Grey, Yellow, White, Various
  • Sounds: Chatterer; Vocal Communicator
  • Interaction: Highly Social
  • Comparable Breeds: Budgerigar Parakeet, Goffin's Cockatoo

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One of the world’s most recognizable birds, Cockatiel is the go-to choice for an avian family pet, due to their friendly and easygoing personality. Of course, considering that they have a lovely temperament, a knack for learning, and flashy looks, it’s no wonder they’re so popular! These cockatoos are well known as the ultimate pet bird, well suited for the beginners or as a children’s pet. With these traits, training them will be a simple and fun task.

Cockatiels are fun and friendly- a perfect bird for children and beginner pet owners.

Like many of their cousins, Cockatiels originated in the Australian continent, thriving in the arid scrubland of that nation’s hinterland. Coming from those harsh conditions, cockatiels adapted perfectly to the milder climates all over the world, quickly becoming the perfect image of a hardy and healthy pet, requiring very little in order to be happy and strong.

Cockatiels have a very showy appearance and are treasured for it. One of their distinctive markings is their crest. Many of its different positions will signify your pet’s current mood. When your cockatiel is angry or scared, their crest will be flat, and when they’re excited, it becomes pointy and vertical.

They grow in length to about 13 inches, and their long tail feathers make for a good part of their size. With proper care, healthy diet and exercise, these birds can reach a lifespan of up to 25 years.

These cockatoos love to express themselves vocally! With plenty of room and natural light, they’ll soon liven your house up with their familiar and subtle melody. Don’t hesitate to put on some music or whistle melodies yourself if you want to expand their repertoire. They’re very inquisitive and will soon pick up simple tones and voices to repeat. You should try teaching them, as they are sure to love the interaction.

Cockatiels are known for their coloring, which is one of the many small details that make them unique. Originally they were mostly grey colored, but through the years the breeding introduced a lot of new and beautiful color mutations. You can easily spot which bird is the male and which the female, as males have a yellow head. Another unique and cute mark of cockatiels are the red circles on their cheeks – as if they are blushing!

The unique and cute looks, complete with distinct “blushing” cheeks, might be the Cockatiel’s best-known trait.

You should provide a source of fresh water each day where they can stay hydrated and take a bath. Cockatiels will absolutely love it! Most of their food needs will be taken care of by the usual Cockatiel seed mix found in pet stores. It is balanced and provides all the essential nutrients your pet bird needs. You can also include additional vitamins and proteins in their diet with an occasional piece of apple, banana, or carrot.

And don’t forget to surprise them with a cuttlebone, which will help them sharpen their beak and replenish their intake of calcium.

As it is the case with all pet birds, Cockatiels need a spacious cage to call their home, preferably one with sidebars, as these birds love to climb. The cage should be kept at room temperature and in a draft-free, dry space.

In general, these are strong and resilient birds, with longevity to boot. However, some key clues that indicate something is wrong should be remembered. These include apathy and overall lack of activity, puffy and ruffled feathers or loss of appetite and weight. Although these symptoms are rare, they can still occur. In general, cockatiels are strong and adapt easily to common surroundings. With just the basic effort and care, your pet will thrive and be happy!

Take care of your cockatiel’s needs – interaction and plenty of space are important for its health.

Cockatiels are friendly and social, playful birds. A wide and spacious cage will do them good, as they require plenty of exercise and room to play. Perches and parrot toys will help keep this smart bird entertained, but it’s best to get a pair of Cockatiels to keep each other company while you’re at work.
These affectionate birds also love to socialize and interact. Devote a bit of your time to play with your pet, teaching them new tricks or simply giving them attention- without your company; your feathered pet is bound to get moody and aggressive.

Photo credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock; pinkjellybeans/Shutterstock; Nick Beer/Shutterstock

Comparable Breeds

Go to Budgerigar Parakeet

Budgerigar Parakeet

  • Size: 7-8 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years
  • Bird Species: Budgerigar
  • Colors: White/yellow-based, other colors
  • Sounds: Whistling, mimicry, chitter-chattering
  • Interaction: Highly social
  • Comparable Breeds: American Singer Canary
Go to Goffin’s Cockatoo

Goffin’s Cockatoo

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 40 years
  • Bird Species: Cockatoo
  • Colors: White
  • Sounds: Vocal, Noisy
  • Interaction: Social, Energetic, Affectionate, Spoiled
  • Comparable Breeds: Moluccan Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot