As the smallest members of the Cockatoo family, cockatiels are considered the ideal pet for first-time bird owners. They are gentle and docile, do well around children, and make great companions for retirees.
Cockatiels originate from the land down under, and can be found in almost any lightly forested or grassy areas throughout most of the continent of Australia. They look like a smaller version of the cockatoo, sharing the characteristic crest and broad head, and they range in size from 10″-14″, unlike the larger members of the Cacatuidae family.
Many are drawn to cockatiels as pets because of their beauty, manageable size, and their flexible and adaptable nature. They tend to adjust well to a working family’s busy schedule and absences and are available in many color variations, including gray, lutino, pearl, pied, cinnamon, fallow, and charcoal.
They must be handled from a young age to prevent aggression, but are very affectionate once tamed. Males are generally more vocal and can be quite protective of their mates, and they can be taught to whistle songs and talk around 8-10 months. Females, though quieter and less vocal, tend to be more affectionate.
Though the cockatiel is a smaller bird, it still requires plenty of space and adequate exercise. Our motto for cage size is always “the bigger the better.” Plan 1/2″-3/4″ bar spacing and enough interior space to comfortably accommodate toys and perches. Cockatiels enjoy climbing, so horizontal cage bars and ladders are ideal for encouraging this behavior.
If you’re considering a cockatiel, they have a lifespan of about 10-17 years, and the average cost of a cockatiel is between $80-$100 for grey’s and about $150-$175 for a mixed color cockatiel.