The Pet Cockatiel

A loyal friend and playful companion

The Cockatiel is the second most popular pet bird in the world, and rightfully so!

Cockatiels are sweet, personable, easy to care for, intelligent, fun, and all around great family pets. They are great whistlers and the males can actually learn how to talk. They are easy to train and are quiet enough for apartment living. They can be very cuddly and are also independent and undemanding.

These birds come in a variety of colors and mutations, so there are a lot to choose from. Many become well bonded with their owners–I’ve known some that would follow you around like a puppy. What a loyal companion!

You really can’t go wrong with a wonderful bird like this. They are great for first-time bird owners and even families with small children. They can be a little nippy, but with some good training and a little TLC, you can have yourself a wonderful little feathery friend.

Some Color Varieties
Fast Facts
Name Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) or “tiels”
Origin Australia
Size 12″ (30 cm), 75-125 grams
Color Differences In the wild, they are gray with yellow heads and orange cheek patches. However, there are many color mutations that breeders have created including lutino, albino, pied, and cinnamon. Some mutations now available combine these mutations as well.
Owner Good for first-time bird owners.
Average Cost $50-150
Lifespan Approximately 35 years
Noise They are not very noisy, so they are a good choice if you live in an apartment.
Qualities Friendly, quiet, adaptable, easily trained, undemanding, playful, inquisitive, outgoing, delightful personalities, great family pets, may pick a favorite person, but are not one-person birds, intelligent, entertaining, most love head scratches, males are more vocal than females, can be nippy, cuddly, can learn tricks, good at whistling, clean, gentle.
Abilities Good – They are good at imitating sounds (especially whistles) and some have learned how to whistle entire songs. Males are more vocal than females and some males do learn to talk well.
Interaction/Time Requirements They do like a lot of attention and most love getting their head scratched. However, they are also very independent and do well on their own when necessary.
Diet They need a diet for small birds.
Supplies Needed They need supplies for small birds.
See How Cockatiels Compare to Other Types of Pet Birds!
Cockatiel Videos
“Sweet ‘Tiel Affection”

Video by dalsch‘Tiels are very affectionate and can be very cuddly. This video shows just how much they love to have their head scratched. 

“Happy Birthday To You!”

Video by MrSax1191‘Tiels are also great whistlers. One of the best, actually. I’ve seen videos of ‘Tiels whistling the Imperial March and the theme from Kill Bill. This video is a great demonstration of this particular talent. 
Cockatiel Training

‘Tiels are often seen as nippy birds. You definitely need to know how to train your ‘Tiel if you want him to be hand tamed and enjoy spending time with you. Yes, ‘Tiels can be very cuddly if trained correctly! However, if you don’t know how to train a ‘Tiel, you may have difficulty even getting your bird out of his cage.

For this reason, we highly recommend that you find an effective training program for your ‘Tiel. Whether your ‘Tiel is new to your home or you’ve had him for years, a training program will always come in handy. We personally recommend the Bird Tricks Parrot Training Course by Chet Womach. You can see many of his videos for free to get an idea of how much he knows about birds and how he can help you train yours.

Below is one of Chet’s videos that covers the first step to getting your ‘Tiel to step up instead of bite you. This video is a great example of how effective the training courses can be and how they are filled with a wealth of useful information for any bird owner. This video is only the first step in getting your ‘Tiel hand tamed. We highly recommend checking out Chet’s curriculum for taming your ‘Tiel even further.

For more information about Chet’s course, you can visit the Bird Tricks webpage here.
Cockatiel Education

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Have A Great Story About Your Cockatiel?

Share your experience with others! There’s no better way to learn about a pet bird than from an owner.

Some helpful information for potential owners can be: What is the species of your bird? Is he/she friendly? Loving? Cuddly? Talented? Messy? Loud? You get the idea!

Your comment may just help someone decide whether or not this pet bird is for them.