How You Can Tell The Age Of A Cockatiel? Aging Of A Cockatiel

How You Can Tell The Age Of A Cockatiel

The cockatiel is a small colorful bird that belongs to the parrot family. Their small size makes it easy to tame them. There are a lot more exciting things to know about cockatiel. However, most cockatiel owners wonder how they can determine the age of their cockatiel.

 Knowing the age of a cockatiel can be a challenging task since they take a little time to mature. Once the cockatiel mature, it does not show any other significant changes. However, these are the signs that you can look at that will help you tell the age of a cockatiel.

How You Can Tell The Age Of A Cockatiel

Not owning a cockatiel right from its hatching stage might result in never being sure of its age straightaway.  However, cockatiels go through several changes as they age.  You can tell their age by looking at their face, beaks, and many of their other body features. You can also tell by its sleeping hours and courting behavior.

Tips On How To Tell The Age Of A Cockatiel

Learning the age of your cockatiel will help you know its lifespan. Cockatiel will also provide the needed response to the needs of their cockatiel, depending on their age. Here are some of the signs that will help you tell its age.

The Development, Color, And Quality Of The Feathers

The cockatiel feather can tell you many things about the birds, including their diet, health, lifestyle, and even age. The cockatiel feathers make the most changes during their early period. However, when the feathers fully grow, it will be hard to tell the cockatiel’s age.

Right after the cockatiel hatching, its feathers are about an inch long with a thin tuft of yellow or white underneath. In the first few weeks, some light feathers will start growing. The feathers get four or even five times bigger when the cockatiel gets to two weeks. In addition, the opening of the pin feathers also starts at this time.

Around their sixth week after hatching, the cockatiel begins to learn how to fly. Therefore, the cockatiel feathers and tails will start getting tattered as they will be flapping them. The feathers of a year-old cockatiel have a more dull-colored color than that of an adult.

Their tails are shorter, and the males start losing the stripes on their end. As the cockatiel continues to age, the quality of the feathers also continues to decrease. However, with proper care, the feathers can still maintain their quality.

Feet And Beak

Another way of telling your cockatiel age is by observing its beak and feet. When the cockatiel gets older, its beak may look a bit worn out and scuffed. The smooth texture on their feet can also reduce and become more irregular and bumpy.

A younger cockatiel will have a bigger exposed beak. It is because the cockatiel has short feathers at the beak. On the other hand, older ones have smaller exposed beaks due to a lot of feathers. The feathers cover most parts of the beaks, making them look small.

Posture And Movement

You cockatiel tend to have an awkward posture and movements when they are young. They are still learning to use their legs and wings. They also fluff their feathers more and crouch lower on their perch during their nap.

As for elderly cockatiels, they also fluff their feathers more. However, they do this to keep themselves warmer. It can also be a sign that the cockatiel is sick.

The Cockatiel’s Energy And Playfulness

One sign of youth in your cockatiel is its energy and playfulness. Therefore you can use this to determine the age of your cockatiel. Young cockatiels are more curious and have the enthusiasm to play a lot.

Cockatiels may still be lively and energetic in the second and third years. As they continue to age, the energy decreases, and the activities they engage in become less. Elderly cockatiels spend most of their time taking a nap.

They will have fewer movements and even restrict themselves from flying. However, it would be best to be mindful that these can also be signs of a sick cockatiel. Therefore ensure you give your cockatiel proper diet regardless of their age.

Years That Cockatiel Live As Pets

Cockatiels are one of the pets with the most extended lifespan. However, the lifespan of your cockatiel depends on how you care for your cockatiel. The average lifespan of a healthy and happy cockatiel is sixteen to twenty-five years.

However, if you do not take good care of your cockatiel, its lifespan will reduce to ten to fifteen years. The oldest cockatiel recorded live for thirty-six.

The Age Of A Cockatiel In Human Years

Like all the birds, cockatiel grows differently from humans. Therefore young humans may be adults to cockatiels. The lifespan of human s is around 80 years, and that of a cockatiel is 16-25 years. Therefore, in cockatiels, a bird with ten years is already an adult.

At the age of one year, cockatiel begins to be adults. In humans, a one-year-old cockatiel is like a four-year-old toddler, too young to become an adult. The attribute that cockatiel have of reaching adulthood faster helps them to survive in the wild.

Cockatiel Ages Stages

Cockatiels also go through different stages as they age. These various stages help in determining what the cockatiel can do. Moreover, it acts as a guide to the owners on how to care for their cockatiel differently. The following are some of the different stages cockatiels go through when they age.

Hatchling Stage

It is the first and the earliest stage of a cockatiel. When a cockatiel is three days old or below, it is called a hatchling. You should ensure that you do not take the hatchlings to the nest. They should remain in the incubator.

At the hatchling stage, the cockatiel cannot open its eyes. It may also have wisps on its body. After three days, the hatchling moves to the other stage called nestling.

Nestling Stage

Once the cockatiels past three days, it goes to the next stage called nestling. Cockatiels between the ages of three days to thirteen days belong to this stage. At the nestling stage, the cockatiel can now open their eyes.

Their feathers cannot are still not broken from the respective sheaths. Therefore, they start looking more like tubes. Cockatiels at this stage should not leave their nest.

Fledging Stage

The fledging stage takes place a day after the nestling stage. It starts from the fourth day after the cockatiel hatches. At this period, the cockatiel begins to have feathers. However, their wings and tails are short; hence they cannot fly.

Despite not being able to fly, they can still leave the nest. Cockatiels can walk, hop and even flutter. When leaving the nest, the parent of the cockatiel must be present to guide it.

Weanling Stage

A cockatiel will remain in the nestling stage until it starts to feed itself. Once it starts feeding on its own, then it graduates to the weanling stage. It reaches this stage fourteen weeks after it gets hatched. The cockatiel will stop feeding on its parent’s milk and start eating solid foods.

At this stage, the wings of the cockatiel have developed enough for it even to fly. They go and look for food on their own without the help of their parents. Once they pass this stage, they enter into the next stage, called the juvenile stage.

Juvenile Stage

After learning to feed itself in the weaning stage, the cockatiel now enters the juvenile stage. The cockatiel can only be at this stage if it wears its first full feathers. A cockatiel cannot be in this stage without a complete set of feathers.  The cockatiel will move to the next stage when molting and shedding to replace its original feathers.

Puberty Stage

Once your cockatiel sheds its original feathers, it enters into the puberty stage. The stage begins when the cockatiel is six months. It will remain in the puberty stage until it is one year old and then get into the adult stage.

Adult Stage

The adult stage is the last stage that cockatiels go through after the puberty stage. Once your cockatiel reaches one year, you can consider it an adult. At this stage, it can start to breed and build a family.

What Age Does A Cockatiel Starts To Vocalize?

When a cockatiel reaches eight months, it may start to vocalize. At that age, you can begin teaching your cockatiel to talk. The male cockatiels tend to speak more than the female ones. Apart from conversing, these birds are natural whispers.  They have a range of chirps, cheeps, and sharp cries.

What Physical Appearances Change When A Cockatiel Ages?

An old cockatiel will begin to have dull feathers. Their beaks also appear to be short due to their many feathers. Moreover, they will have rougher and bumped feet as compared to the young ones.


It is not easy to tell the age of a cockatiel without knowing its history. However, the above signs can help you determine what age a cockatiel is. Giving your cockatiel proper care and diet will guarantee its long lifespan. It is best to rule out health issues if you want to determine the age of your cockatiel.