The Joys of Having a Cockatiel as a Pet

Cockatiels make for great pets. These colorful birds are very friendly and they enjoy socializing with people. Differently from other pet birds, they have a longer lifespan, between 10 and 14 years, and they thrive when they have a mate. Here is a list of aspects that you should know if you are considering getting a cockatiel as a pet.


When compared to females, male cockatiels are significantly more vocal. They learn to sing rather easily and they enjoy serenading their mate. Even more so, these pets can be taught how to talk. Even though they can only learn how to speak a couple of words, they are very fun to have around and they are great companions.

According to the specialists, the best time to teach your pet to talk is between eight and ten months. When they live in pairs, cockatiels are, on average, less likely to talk.

Apart from talking, cockatiels can also be taught how to perform various tricks such as how to fly on command, how to perform flips, and handshakes. If you decide to teach tricks to your pet you have to be very patient as one single trick can take months for the pet to learn. So, it comes as no surprise that patience is key.

Monogamous lifestyle

One interesting fact about cockatiels is the fact that they mate for life. Because these pets thrive when they have a companion, it is imperative that you buy a pair and not just one bird. Having someone around when you are away at work is very good for these pets, especially given that they enjoy socializing so much.

Personality-wise, these pets can be very affectionate once they begin to trust you. This is why, at first, you have to be patient and to allow the pet to get to know you before you try to touch it. If you want to know what your pet is feeling, you can look at its crest feathers.

When the feathers are up, this means that the bird is either curious or startled. When the feathers are close to its head, the pet is stressed. If the feathers are held back and the pet grinds its beak, it is, most likely, relaxed.


The cage that you buy for your cockatiel should be rather large so that the pet has plenty of space to move around. However, because they are so popular, you can find many cockatiel cages that you can select from.

These pets live on a diet that consists mainly of seeds. As a treat, you can also feed your bird pieces of vegetables and fruit. In their natural habitat, these birds also eat insects and invertebrates.

Because preventative care is essential, before you get a cockatiel as a pet, you should do some research and find a vet who specializes in bird care.

As they age, cockatiels are prone to develop various diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis or kidney failure. However, this can all be avoided if you take your pet for annual check-ups at the vet. At any sign of illness, it is essential that you schedule an appointment and that you go to the vet.

They are a great first pet

Because of their loving nature, cockatiels are the best choice if you want to buy your elementary school-aged children their first pet. What is more, because they are so small, cockatiels are perfect to have as pets if you live in an apartment. These birds recognize their owner’s voice easily and they require minimal care.

Therefore, your kids will get the opportunity to learn how to care for a pet when they have a cockatiel around. Plus, these birds love to interact and they are not shy. However, at first, you have to teach your kids the importance of responsibility and you should make sure that they know how to look after a pet of this type.

Author: Chris Northcolt

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