Are cockatiels good pets for beginners?

Cockatiels make great pets for beginners as well as experienced bird lovers.  They're considered a small pet bird so cleaning up after them doesn't take as long as it does with a big bird.

Cockatiels are intelligent and expressive. But like all birds, cockatiels thrive with a lot of activity and companionship. Cockatiels can live to be after 20 to 25 years old with proper care. Before you get a cockatiel learn as much as you can about their care needs and how to keep them healthy and safe.

Are cockatiels easy to care for?

Caring for your cockatiel is a little easier than caring for a larger bird.  all their accessories, including their cage are smaller than medium and large birds so cleaning up after them is faster. 

It's easy to take their bird cage outside and just hose it down for a good cleaning. Probably the most time-consuming part about cockatiel care is spending time with it and socializing with it.  Plan on spending a couple of hours a day with your feathered  friend.

This doesn't need to necessarily be one-on-one time.  but, rather just being around the family and socializing. Early on you want to teach your cockatiel some basic manners, such as stepping up and staying on its play stand. 

You'll also want to encourage your cockatiel to forage and play with toys.  Having a bird that can entertain itself will cut down on behavior problems like screaming and plucking in the future. 

 One of the best habits for you to get into is to offer your bird a lot of attention 4 behaviors that you want to see more of and remove attention for unwanted behaviors like excessive screaming.

Do cockatiels need a companion?

Cockatiels our flock related birds. In the wild they live in large flocks and they're never alone. A lot of people purchase a companion cockatiel oh, but that's not necessary because your bird will come to see you as its companion.

Some people report that  if you get a companion your birds will bond with each other more than they bond with you. But if you spend time with your bird, interacting with it and caring for it it will come to bond with you anyway.

What should I know before buying a cockatiel?

How to enhance parrot wellness  is the most important thing to know before buying a cockatiel. Parro wellness involves the physical and emotional care that birds require.   The Shubolt Parrot Wellness Program at the University of California, Davis have identified six important areas of parrot wellness:

  1. Provide for preventive veterinary care with annual wellness exams.

  2. Feeding your bird and appropriate diet of premium bird pellets and a rich range of plant-based foods.

  3.  Providing your pet with adequate enrichment.

  4.  Engaging in behavioral training.

  5. Pain management.

  6. Pediatric and geriatric care.

Why does my cockatiel scream when I leave the room?

One of the biggest complaints that we hear about when it comes to bird care, whether you're dealing with a cockatiel or a macaw, is how noisy birds are. It is very easy to accidentally teach your cockatiel to scream every time that you leave the room.

Your cockatiel screams when you leave the room because it wants you to pay attention to it.  As I mentioned above, it's very important to teach your bird to entertain itself with toys and foraging activity. Reinforce those desired behaviors with lots of attention and treats.

Rather than running up to your cockatiel to find out why it's screaming, just ignore the behavior. In other words don't pay attention to your bird while it's screaming. Instead, the minute your bird stops screaming, pay attention to it. this will net screaming in the bud when you leave the room right. 

How To Care For A Cockatiel

For a smooth transition, take some time to learn how to care for a cockatiel before you bring your new pet home. Preparing for your pet before bringing it home will help it feel safe and secure and ready to bond faster.



Before you bring your new pet home, set the cockatiel cage up so that your baby can settle in as quickly as possible.  It is always stressful and scary for a Cockatiel to move to a new home and a new cage so give your new pet every opportunity to feel safe by ensuring that the first several days are as stress free as possible.  

Keep young children and other household pets away and talk to your new pet in a quiet, calm voice.  Mimic your bird's vocalizations. Once your bird starts to feel comfortable in its new dwelling, it will start bonding with you and want you to be its favorite companion.

Cockatiel Cages: Bar Space and Size Considerations

Always choose a cage with 1/2” bar space to insure your cockatiel cage can’t get its head stuck between the bars.  From there, choose the largest sized cockatiel cage that you have room for and that you can afford.  An absolute minimum size cage would be 20” x 20” to prevent damage to sensitive wing feathers.  Set the cage in a draft-free location.  If your bird is timid, put the cage in a corner where there is minimal traffic.


You’ll want to make sure to let out of the cage each day on an appropriately sized bird stand for both socializing and exercise.  Socializing over a meal is a favorite way to bond with your new pet.  Never let your bird wander around the house unsupervised, especially if you have other pets.  

One toy most cockatiels always like is a bell. Something about the sound the bell makes, and the opportunity to grab the clapper, is endlessly appealing. Many birds also like to wear a bell as a hat. What this has to do with life in the wild is unclear.

While all pet birds require specialized care, cockatiels and other small birds are fragile and vulnerable to life inside of a human home, especially when you’ve got other pets.  

Make sure that you have other pets safely contained whenever your cockatiel is out of the cage.

Now that you know about caring for a cockatiel, you'll enjoy years of bonding with the little feathered friend.

Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. With over 30 years experience, in a range of settings, she’s created thousands of successful behavior plans to help turn around challenging behavior. Diane got parrot fever in the ‘90’s and founded in 1998. Nowadays, focuses solely on Science-backed Parrot Wellness with bird collars for feather plucking birds, nutritional supplements to support avian wellness, and a range of educational materials to support bird behavior. Diane’s authored a number of books on supporting challenging behavior in birds.

Hey there! Because of conscientious parrot caretakers like you we are able to continue to offer valuable, science-backed parrot wellness support that will help your feathered friend to thrive so that you can enjoy it for years to come.

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