Cockatiels

Image of three cockatiels.

Cockatiels are among the most popular pet birds. Small parrots with a variety of color patterns and a crest, they are attractive as well as friendly and easy to tame. Because of their small size, cockatiel care and taming is easier than some other parrot species. They are capable of mimicking speech, although they can be difficult to understand. However, they are quite good at whistling and can often be taught to whistle tunes.

Choosing a Bird

It is best to choose a hand fed baby or at least a young bird that has been handled regularly. Prices will vary with color and you can expect to pay a bit more from a conscientious breeder, but a well handled young bird is worth any extra cost. Cockatiels are quite widely available at pet stores, but these birds may have an unknown history. As a result, they may be older, not used to being handled, and harder to tame.

Look for a bird that is bright, alert and active. A bird sitting quietly with puffed feathers might be ill and is best avoided. The feathers should be smooth and shiny and lay down flat on the body. The feathers around the vent/cloacae should be clean, dry, and free of fecal matter. The scales on the feet should be smooth, the nails in good condition, the beak should be smooth and well-shaped, and the nostrils should be clear and clean.

Housing Cockatiels

Cockatiels are active and playful and should have a large cage. Opinions on the minimum size vary, but a good rule of thumb is at least 20 inches by 20 inches wide, and 26 inches tall as a bare minimum. The spacing on the cage bars should be no more than 3/4 inches (any larger is a safety hazard). Horizontal cage bars offer the best opportunity for climbing and exercise. There should be space to place at least a couple of perches at different levels with enough space to comfortably move between them. Many cockatiel cages come with a removable bottom tray for easy cleaning.

Feeding Cockatiels

Variety is the key to a healthy diet. Seeds can be a nutritious part of the diet, but are high in fat so should only make up a part of the diet (some experts recommend no more than about 30% of the diet). Pelleted diets are often a good choice for birds as they are nutritionally balanced and birds can't pick out their favorite seeds and leave the rest. However, with both seeds and pellets a wide variety of other foods should complement the diet. A variety of fresh vegetables and fruit should be offered, although persistence might be needed before your bird will try new foods (particularly if they are accustomed to an all-seed diet). Proteins such as hard boiled egg, legumes, and cooked meats can be offered in moderation. Sprouted seeds are also an excellent way to add variety to your bird's diet. Avoid avocado.

Cockatiel Information:

  • Life span: cockatiels regularly live 15-20 years with proper care (up to 30 reported).
  • Colors: wild type is grey body with a yellow face and crest and orange cheek patch. The colors on the face are brighter and more vivid in the male, and the female has bars on the underside of the tail feathers. Color variations include albino, lutino, pied, pearl, cinnamon, and silver. The differences between males and females vary in the different color variations and can sometimes be hard to distinguish, especially in young birds.
  • Reputation as a gentle and docile bird; often like to be petted and held.
  • Males are thought to be better at mimicking speech and whistles.
  • Pairs of birds make good company for each other, but usually will not bond as well with their owners or mimic speech or sounds. A single bird is fine, as long as you spend a significant amount of time interacting with the cockatiel on a daily basis.
  • Have a powder on their feathers (used in grooming) that may leave a powdery coating on cages and accessories.
  • Playful and active, and while they vocalize and whistle they are not as loud as some other parrots.

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

9:00 AM-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 AM-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Thursday:

9:00 AM-7:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Saturday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Feedback from our clients

  • "Thanks for everything you did for Ready !
    Obviously he loved you all !"
    Bart V.
  • "I will continue to bring my furkids to Buck Road. They are absolutely wonderful with my dog and have been a great resource for my cat who suffers from allergies and kidney problems. They really care about their patients and their humans, and listen to me when I have concerns. They are never, ever overcrowded. Usually there is maybe one other dog in the waiting room. That is a relief and keeps everyone's stress levels down! The facility is clean and staff is always friendly and willing to walk you through, step by step, the treatment plan ahead. I never leave feeling confused. I love this place - and we keep coming back despite moving pretty far away!"
    Courtny S.
  • "Awesome staff ~ great veterinary care ~ Dutch is lucky to have such wonderful professionals looking after him!"
    Beverly B.
  • "A top notch practice. Highly recommend."
    Jason D.
  • "I've been bringing my pets to Buck Road Animal Hospital almost from the time they started and I have never had anything but positive experiences there. The staff feel like friends to me and they always make you feel like they're happy to see you and your pets. The vets take their time with you and your pets and they go out of their way to give you any information you might need about a pet's condition or treatment. I have A LOT of pets and some of my dogs have aggression issues but you'd never know it to see them there. They understand how to make any animal feel at ease and even my most difficult dog is welcomed there. I'd never go anywhere else. Best veterinary practice anywhere."
    Mary K.
  • "I have been a client of Buck Road Animal Hospital for 30 years..and they are the all the greatest caring friendly kind people..I would not go anywhere else..They go out of there way to accommodate you..They are Number 1..Hats off to Caroline Renee Leanne Donna Lindie and to the best vets Dr Steve and Dr Mary Pat."
    Carole M.
  • "Probably the greatest animal hospital of all-time. The staff is superb, and the Doctors are as kind and knowledgeable as they come. Can't wait for our next visit!"
    Andrew S.