Cockatiel Questions -The Most Common Ones

cockatiel questionsHere are some of the most commonly asked cockatiel questions. With cockatiels, because they are so small and not the most important of pets in most people’s eyes, we know surprisingly little about them.

Cockatiel Questions

What do cockatiels eat?

Cockatiels are herbivorous, and their main diet in the wild consists of seeds, nectar from plant blossoms and seeds and nuts that are native to Australia.

In captivity, we tend to feed them a mixture of sunflower and budgie seed, fruit and veggies and sometimes pellets or homemade cockatiel food. We should also give them cuttlefish which helps them to digest their food.

They have a strong, curved beak for cracking nuts and hard seeds.

Can cockatiels talk?

Yes, cockatiels can talk.

You need patience, and it does take a while, but if you recite a phrase often enough (and beware anybody that uses foul language) they will eventually learn to talk.

It should be noted that cockatiels do not actually talk. They mimic sounds, including human speech.

How To Cockatiels age?

One human year equals four cockatiel years.

Do cockatiels live alone?

No! They are very social in the wild.

They need at least one other bird with them unless you are willing to spend the majority of your day with your bird. Birds need companionship or they can get depressed and lonely.

What do cockatiels enjoy?

Cockatiels love to be scratched behind their heads, and mine is proof. He actually cocks his head every time I take him out so that I can scratch him.

Do cockatiels get fleas?

Cockatiels don’t get fleas, but they can get other kinds of parasites like mites and ticks.

Young Cockatiels Nymphicus hollandicus
Young Cockatiels Nymphicus hollandicus

Fine Art Photography: Young Cockatiels Nymphicus hollandicus Author: Arco Images / Wegner, Petra Date: 2005-05-19 Maximum available size: 20.2 Mpix…
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The best way to prevent parasites is to prevent contact with wild birds.

If you suspect that your bird might have parasites, you should contact your avian veterinarian for treatment. Never try to treat an infestation yourself.

What Mustn’t You Feed a Cockatiel?

Click here to find out. But the list includes chocolate and avocado.

How do cockatiels mate?

Cockatiels mate like any other bird. The male mounts the female from behind. Prior to this act, they go through a complicated mating ritual.

How can you breed with cockatiels?

You will need to buy a breeding box for the cage from your pet store, or online similar to this one on the right. You can click here to find out more about breeding boxes.

Do cockatiels kiss?

Cockatiels generally don’t kiss each other. They preen each other instead. You can train them to give you a kiss, though.

Are cockatiels good pets?

Cockatiels can be amazing pets, as long as you have the time and give them lots of attention.
They are sweet, friendly animals, and are suitable pets for any age group.

Do Female cockatiels talk?

Unfortunately, no. They don’t whistle either. Male cockatiels talk and if your female starts to talk, then the she is definitely a he.

Where do cockatiels come from?

Australia. In fact, that is the only country where you see them flying around wild in flocks.

Can you harness a cockatiel?

This is on of the controversial cockatiel questions. Yes, you can purchase a chest harness and a lead for a cockatiel if you want to (for example) take it outside for a fly but if you do you need to be careful of dangerous birds such as crows attacking them.

Otherwise, it is completely fine as long as you attach the harness the correct way so the cockatiel is unable to escape.

You can purchase harness’s and leads at either pet shops or online. The one to the left is around $25 at Amazon.

Can cockatiels harm you?

Cockatiels, as a general rule, are good-natured little birds that would fly away from a threat sooner than bite at it.

They are members of the parrot family, and very social animals, so owning one and neglecting to tend to its social needs may result in an ill-tempered, spiteful or fearful bird, but they are so small, they cannot do any real damage if they attack you. They are very affectionate and safe pets when treated well, but can give quite a sore nip if provoked.

Hope this post has answered some of the cockatiel questions that have been on your mind.


  1. Wow. Great article. I thought about these birds when I visit pet stores. I just never thought of them as a pet for me. I may need to reconsider a cockatiel as a pet.

  2. I love cockatiels! They are really funny too. I had one that we would leave his cage door open so he could stretch his legs (he couldn’t fly), and he found out if he climbed up the curtains then walked across the curtain rod and down to where I was sitting, he would come up behind me and just nip a little on my elbow, it would startle me and I would jump up. He thought it was great fun. One time he was on the floor and my baby chihuahua was checking him out and it scared him and he screamed at me to pick him up–this time he didn’t try to bite me–haha

  3. That is funny. They all take on their own personalities and they are all so different. I have never had two the same.

  4. I often wondered what it would be like to have bird, such as a cockatiel as a pet.

    I’m more of a dog or cat person, but sometimes I get curious about owning other types of pets.

    Question: if you own a cockatiel, and you were going away for, say, a week, are there places that offer boarding for them? When have to travel and cant take our dog, we usually take him everywhere, we can put him up at a kennel. Are similar places for birds?

    1. I haven’t seen any places around here that do boarding for birds, but because they are small and easy to care for, I normally get friends or family to take them on for a week.

  5. Very interesting questions and answers. I did not know that cockatiels were native to Austraila. I have never owned a cockatiel before but may consider getting one as a pet.

    Are they the same as budgies?

    I have learned a lot from your site, thank you for this most informative post.

    1. I have budgies too – very cute. Totally different to cockatiels though. One big difference is that the budgies make a noise constantly while the cockatiels only screech early morning and in the evenings. But a least the budgies don’t screech.

      Thanks for stopping by Robin.

  6. I like cockatiels and I have seen many youtube videos with them singing and talking. Your post makes me thinking to adopt one. But I already have a pet rabbit. The problem is that I do not know if they can live together. Can cockatiels live with other pets? I think that rabbits can adapt after a while.

  7. A great article as I love cockatiels but I do have a question?
    Pyper is our lil girl & she is 12 mths old now. Pyper is a very timid girl, wonderful with us, have pats, kisses etc but she doesn’t play with toys much as they seem to startle her. She feels more at ease playing with my earrings, the remote, things she shouldn’t have lol.
    The biggest issue is she doesn’t like water. Not the spray bottle, shower or under the tap. When I do take her in the shower on her own perch, I just sprinkle her with the water; she is ok with this but she doesn’t fluff her feathers or move even. She seems to sulk with head bowed; waits till she is dry before preening again?
    I have had many birds over the years but Pyper is the most timid. We have had her since she was 10 weeks old.

    1. This just proves that just as we are all different, so are our birds. Over the years I have had all sorts from scared and timid to bold and lovable. As long as she seems happy, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

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