Parakeets vs. Cockatiels: 7 Interesting Differences

Close up of head of yellow lutino cockatiel

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The most common pet birds in American homes have been parakeets for centuries. Only recently did cockatiels overtake parakeets as the most common companion birds, moving them to second place.

What distinguishes cockatiels from parakeets, then? Why do others continue to keep parakeets?

We’ll discuss the distinctions between parakeets and cockatiels in this article.

Read on to discover how to solve this puzzle.

Quick Summary: 7 Differences between Parakeets and Cockatiels

Feature Cockatiel Parakeet
1. Communication Talk Whistle
2. Size Large Small
3. Affection More affectionate Not Affectionate
4. Life span 10-15 years 5-10 years
5. Energy level Low High
6. Diet High-fat Low fat
7. Physical appearance Dull Colorful

What is the Difference between a Budgie and a Cockatiel?

1. Communication Skills: Do Parakeets of Cockatiels talk more?

Do parakeets sing or talk? Well, parakeets only speak.  This is because they mimic words more accurately than cockatiels do. In comparison to cockatiels, parakeets will also develop a more extensive vocabulary.

On the other hand, a male cockatiel will whistle to entice a mate in the wild. They’ll whistle for extended periods because cohabitation is a prolonged process.

Given that both birds make noise, you might wonder if cockatiels are louder than parakeets.

Cockatiels are generally more audible than the majority of parakeets. Compared to other birds, notably bigger ones, they may be noisier, but they are still not very loud.

2. Size: Which Bird is Larger than the Other?

Cocktails are typically 12 “-14” long from the top of their heads to the end of their tail feathers. This size is typical in North America.

Compared to cockatiels, parakeets are smaller. Nevertheless, they range in size from 5″ -11”.

Due to selective breeding, English parakeets are typically bigger than their American counterparts.

3. Affection: Which one is more Affectionate?

Cockatiels are excellent pets if you’re looking for a loving bird. Cockatiels are amiable, playful, and affectionate birds that enjoy interacting with people.

They enjoy speaking to, interacting with, and having their crest and head scratched. However, you must first gain their trust to receive these cuddles.

Parakeets, in contrast, are not as affectionate as cockatiels. They tend not to have a sensitive temperament much more frequently.

Observing parakeets interacting with one another is the most enjoyable way to watch them.

4. Life Span

In the world of birds, larger birds typically have longer lifespans than smaller birds.

In general, cockatiels live between 10 and 15 years. In addition to their size advantage, their diet will also impact how long they live.

Cockatiels kept as pets can lead whole, fulfilling lives. Some cockatiels kept as pets have survived till their 20s. Sunshine, aged 32 years, is the oldest cockatiel ever recorded to live.

Parakeets kept as pets typically live for 5 to 10 years, although they may reach 15. This number is influenced by various elements, such as how well they are cared for in captivity, whether they face predators outdoors, and how we breed them

 5. Energetic Level

Although every bird has a unique personality, cockatiels tend to be calm and low-key. They sit still and groom themselves a lot. Mornings and evenings are the times of day when cockatiels are most vocal.

In general, parakeets are much more active than cockatiels. Parakeets play a lot, move around a lot, and chatter continuously while doing so. Outside of their enclosures, they will stroll around the entire space.

6. Diet

Is there anything like cockatiels foods for parakeets? Both of these birds have similar dietary needs and are parrot family members. This means that parakeets can eat cockatiel food without any problems.

However, because parakeets are tinier than cockatiels, they have lower daily calorie and nutritional requirements. Therefore, decrease the share if your parakeet is consuming cockatiel food.

Parakeets can eat the same combined seeds as cockatiels on a seed diet, except for sunflower seeds. They contain a lot of fat and are difficult for parakeets to swallow. Parakeets who eat too many sunflower seeds may become obese.

7. Physical Appearance

These two birds look different from one another. However, a wide range of colors is available for parakeets, including green, yellow, white, and blue. A lot of people use the colors blue and green.

In addition to having violet cheek patches and six black throat patches, their faces are typically yellow.

There are at least nine color combinations for cockatiels, the most popular grey with orange cheek patches and a yellow head.

Lutino is also a popular color with a beautiful blend of vivid yellow and white and is a well-liked color for cockatiels.

Cocktail and Budgie Quiz

Would you like to put your newly acquired knowledge to the test? Here are some questions to help you out.

  1. Which bird, among cockatiels and budgies, is the loudest?
  2. Which of these two birds is bigger?
  3. What shades of parakeets are most prevalent?
  4. Which bird is more affectionate, a cockatiel or a parakeet?

Final Word

As you can see, despite having many things in common, cocktails and parakeets are still very different.  So if you are contemplating purchasing either of them, the decision comes down to what you expect from both of these fantastic species. 

If you have any questions, refer to this parakeets vs. cockatiels article.

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Lizzy Ashton

Lizzy Ashton

Hi, my name is Lizzy Ashton, and I’m from Louisiana.
I consider myself an expert when it comes to raising parakeets and have been doing it for many years now. I’m 32 years old, live with my boyfriend, and together, we have 7 parakeets at home.
Our home is full of light and greenery, which my birds love. We even let them fly around the house (windows closed, of course)!

About Me

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