Cockatiels And Parakeets: Birds From The Parrot Family

Cockatiels And Parakeets

There are many birds that people would love to pet, and some of them are cockatiels and parakeets. These two birds come from a family of parrots. Most people find themselves in a dilemma of which of the two to choose as their pet. Knowing about the two and telling their differences may help you choose the one you want.

Cockatiel And Parakeet

Cockatiel and parakeet are birds that belong to the family of parrots. They are both beautiful birds, so most people want to keep them as their pets. Moreover, it is not hard to keep them. It would be best if you knew each bird separately first and then know their similarities and differences.


Some of the traits that make most people love cockatiel are cuddly, comical, and outgoing. These birds have a talent for whistling, especially the male cockatiels. Apart from whistling, they also enjoy having fun around their cages or nestling on the shoulders of their favorite person.

Cockatiels’ native home is the semi-arid region of Australia. Unlike other parrots that originate from dense rainforest habitats, cockatiels do not have ear-piercing screech. It might be because of the open environment of the semi-arid regions of Australia.

Care And Feeding Of Cockatiel

Cockatiel love to have fun around its cage. Therefore, your cage should be spacious enough to accommodate all of its toys and also food bowls. Moreover, they also need enough space to flap their wings without hitting anything.

Cockatiels are known to be flighty birds. Therefore, the cockatiel cage door should be large enough to ensure it is easy to return to their cage. Moreover, cockatiels are natural ground scavengers. Therefore they will most likely scavenge for food on the bottom of the birdcage. You should ensure that you first cover the cage’s bottom with newspaper. Afterward, sprinkle crumbled treats to your cockatiel.

Cockatiels thrive well when they socialize since they are social birds. Therefore you should allow them to interact with you by talking to them or spending time with them in your room. To ensure your cockatiel is healthy, you need to give it a healthy cockatiel diet such as Lafeber Premium Daily Diet Pellets.

Personality And Behavior

Did you know that you can teel the mood of a cockatiel by observing the position of its crest feathers? You will know that a cockatiel is curious or startled when its crest feathers are straight up. When a cockatiel is in a relaxing mood, it will slightly hold its crest feathers back. Moreover, you will know that a cockatiel is defensive when it holds its crest feathers flattened close to its head.

Cockatiels love toys that can get easily destroyed by tiny beaks like paper, softwood, or cardboard. Male cockatiels like to find reflective items so that they can whistle to them. Moreover, female cockatiels love to find dark, enclosed areas such as behind furniture to nest in.

Speech And Sound

Unlike budgies, the nature of cockatiels is to whistle rather than talking and the male cockatiel whistle more than the female one. However, you can teach a cockatiel also to talk. Cockatiels do not screech, but they chirp. They have relatively low noise volumes hence making them perfect apartment pets.

Health And Common Conditions

When you see a cockatiel sneezing, do not get worried. Cockatiels might clear out dust by sneezing a few times a day. A clear discharge can also accompany sneezing. However, if there is persistent sneezing and unclear discharge, you should contact the veterinarian.

Female cockatiels need more attention than male ones. You should ensure you add extra calcium like cuttlebone to the diet of your female cockatiel. Female cockatiels often have health issues of chronic egg-laying that depletes the female cockatiel of vital vitamins and calcium.

When you often give your cockatiel a seed diet, it will lack vitamins and minerals. Moreover, all seed diet poses a danger to your cockatiel as it may cause fatty liver disease due to high fat in the diet. Giving your cockatiel a well-balanced diet will prevent many illnesses, making it live up to twenty years.


The meaning of the Latin name of parakeets is “songbird with wavy lines,” which perfectly describes the bird. The parakeet also originates from Australia. Parakeets breed during the rainy season when there is plenty of food and water.

Care And Feeding

When one takes good care of a parakeet, it can live from seven to fifteen years. However, the average life span of parakeets is less than seven because of mistreatments, accidents, or lack of knowledge of the bird. Parakeets are most likely to get obesity, fatty liver, foot disorders, scaly face, and intestinal parasites. Therefore you need to take good veterinary care of these birds to avoid those diseases.

Most parakeets are ground-feeders eating mainly seeds and plant materials. However, giving your parakeet Lafeber foods is a healthier way to feed it. Lafeber foods contain everything that a parakeet needs to be healthy.

Personality And Behavior

Did you know you can tame a parakeet to become your loyal, loving friend? However, it would be best if you were patient when taming it. Parakeets are social birds, and therefore they do not like to be put into isolation. Parakeets thrive well with children as long as they are respectful to them. Moreover, these birds are more talkers than whistlers.

Speech And Sound

The best talking bird in the family of parrots is the parakeet. They can quickly learn words and phrases when they hear them from people. The male parakeets are more talkers than the female ones. The female knows few words, but their whistle is better.

Health And Common Conditions

Due to lack of iodine, parakeets often get tumors and goiters. Moreover, they are also prone to all-seed diet conditions such as psittacosis, scally face, and leg mites. However, you can avoid these diseases through proper veterinary care.

Similarities Of Cockatiels And Parakeets

  • Both cockatiel and parakeets belong to the family of parrots, and they have hooked beaks for cracking seeds. They also both originate from Australia and are numerous in aviculture. Moreover, they both like living in a flock and lay eggs in holes in trees.
  • Both cockatiel and parakeets can survive in less than ideal situations as they are desert-adapted birds.
  • The male cockatiel and parakeets are the ones who learn to talk faster. Moreover, they both make good apartment pets since they are not noisy. They are also quiet night hence making them good neighbors.

Difference Between Cockatiels And Parakeets

  • One notable difference between these two birds is their appearance in size, color, and head. An average parakeet size is approximately seven inches long, while a cockatiel is eleven inches long. The color of cockatiels is solid gray with red cheek patches, while parakeets have a green color with yellow faces. Moreover, a cockatiel has a sike on its head, while a parakeet has a bare head.
  • Parakeets and cockatiels also differ in their lifespan. A parakeet has a shorter lifespan compared to a cockatiel. The average lifespan of cockatiels is approximately sixteen to twenty-five years. However, reports are stating a longer lifespan of up to thirty-two years. On the other hand, the average lifespan of parakeets is about six to twelve years.
  • Another critical difference between a cockatiel and a parakeet is their prices. The cost of a pet is a crucial factor when choosing the pet you want to keep. A cockatiel is more expensive than a parakeet because of their sizes.

The price of a parakeet varies depending on its color and where you buy it. However, the average price of one parakeet is approximately $10 to $60. On the other hand, the approximate cost of one cockatiel is between $75 and $250. However, the prices vary depending on the mutation you select

Which Is Better Between Cockatiel And Parakeet?

You cannot tell which bird is better because it all depends on your personal preference. Some would want cockatiels as their pets, while others would prefer parakeets. However, having an idea of their differences can help you weigh which bird is better for you.

Can A Parakeet And A Cockatiel Live Together?

Yes, they can live together since they are not aggressive. However, putting the cockatiel and parakeet in a separate cage is advisable if you plan to buy both birds. Despite being not aggressive, they are still animals, and therefore they can get into a fight. However, you can let them play together under your supervision.

Can Cockatiel And A Parakeet Share The Same Food?

Yes, they can eat the food meant for the other without bringing any after-effects. Both cockatiel and parakeet are medium-sized birds and have the exact dietary needs. Therefore they can share their food. However, cockatiels should have more portion of food.


Cockatiel and parakeet have some differences, but there are also things that they have in common. Understanding how they differ and are similar will help you choose the pet that fits you best. It would be best to remember that there is no better bird than the other since it depends on your preference. Cockatiels and parakeets are among the best apartment pets you can have due to their lower noise volume.