Cockatiel 101

Quick Facts
LIFESPAN: Approximately 20+ years
SIZE: Up to 12” (30 cm) long

Socialization & General Care

  • Cockatiels require a lot of attention. If you work all day, consider purchasing a pair of cockatiels, as they will be able to keep each other company.
  • Talking and whistling to your cockatiel will provide the interaction and socialization they require.
  • Some cockatiels are afraid of the dark and have “night frights.” To prevent night frights, put a nightlight in the room where your cockatiel sleeps, and don’t completely cover the cage at night.
  • New surroundings can be stressful for your cockatiel. Allow 3-4 days for him to get adjusted to his surroundings.

A cockatiel is more likely to talk if it is hand fed


  • Cockatiels are herbivores and should be fed a fortified pellet-seed blend.
  • As seeds are high in fats and do not contain all of the nutrients required to keep your bird healthy, they should make up no more than 30% of your bird’s diet.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables should be offered daily and any uneaten food should be removed before it spoils. Acceptable choices are dark leafy greens, zucchini, carrots, peaches, bananas, apples and grapes.
  • Treats such as spray millet and packaged treats can be offered sparingly.
  • Fresh water should be available at all times and food and water dishes should be cleaned daily.


  • Moulting is a natural process when birds lose and replace their feathers.
  • A nutritious diet is needed to promote the re-growth of lost feathers.
  • Protect your cockatiel from temperature fluctuations, drafts and frightening experiences while moulting. Health Issues to Watch For
  • Change in the consistency, frequency or colour of droppings.
  • Ruffled feathers for prolonged periods.
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss.
  • Sitting on bottom of cage for prolonged periods.
  • Laboured breathing, sneezing, coughing and crusty beak or eyes.
  • If you notice any of the symptoms above, seek veterinary care.

Fun Cockatiel Facts

  • In the wild, cockatiels like to live in large groups – sometimes as many as 500!
  • Cockatiels imitate sounds from their environment.

How to Clean a Bird Cage

How to Clean a Bird Cage

Summer Bird Watching: Who’s That Tweeting in My Window?

Summer Bird Watching: Who’s That Tweeting in My Window?