Smart Cockatiel – Or Is It?

Do you want to buy a cockatiel, but you want a smart cockatiel? The smart name for a cockatiel is Nymphicus hollandicus.

Cockatiels in general make great pets, and here are some things you may or may not know about them.

If you want a Smart Cockatiel, you don’t need to look far

smart cockatielTake a look at YouTube and you will see millions of videos of smart cockatiels.  Cockatiels are extremely smart and can be taught to do tricks, dance, whistle and sing. In fact, smart cockatiels love to perform for rewards. All you need to do is offer your cockatiel a treat right after it performs a behavior that you like. If you do this repeatedly over time, your smart cockatiel will eventually perform for you in anticipation of a treat.

When choosing your smart cockatiel, look for the one that is alert, notices you, responds to your voice, and looks interested in you. This type of bird will be easier to tame and teach tricks to.

Do cockatiels live for a long time?

Most people think that only parrots can live a long time, but with proper care and nutrition, some cockatiels can live to be twenty years or older. The oldest one I researched online has almost reached thirty. Because they live so long, this makes them ideal pets, and you can really bond with your little feathered friend, as he becomes part of the family. Here is some more information on how to increase the lifespan of your cockatiel.

Do cockatiels make good first pets?

Because a cockatiel is a small species of the parrot family, they are ideal pets, as they are just large enough to be held by a child (under adult supervision), but not so large that they become dangerous to children. Cockatiels are also very easy to care for, in fact, more so than even a dog or a cat, so they are ideal pets for children so they can learn the responsibilities of looking after a pet.

Cockatiels are also very social birds, and love spending time with their human friends. They get to recognize their caretakers and are responsive to their voices.

A smart cockatiel can be any color

smart cockatielCockatiels come in a great variety of different colors. They all have a distinctive crest on their heads and pretty orange cheeks, but they can be any combination of white through to grey. Some are even spotted, depending on the mutation.

Cockatiels’ eyes may also differ, as some have red eyes, while others have darker eyes.  Some have grey skin on their feet, and others have pink feet.

The male cockatiel is not only the prettier bird but also the smartest cockatiel of the two if you want a cockatiel that talks.

Can cockatiels get sick?

Just like dogs and cats, cockatiels can get sick. Some of the sicknesses that cockatiels can get are atherosclerosis (like our cholesterol), kidney failure, arthritis, and flu.

Many of these sicknesses can be prevented and cured when caught early.

To prevent illness, cockatiels need good nutritive food and ideally should be screened annually for disease.



  1. Hi, I was looking around on the internet to find pets for my 2 daughters. Then I stumbled upon your article. Very clear and simple article on cockatiels. I was planning to get either some fish or maybe turtles for my daughters. Come and think about it, maybe I can get one cockatiel for them. 🙂 Thanks for the information. I will let you know again if I can get one here in my area. If I can, maybe get a parrot instead. 🙂 I will dig around your website to see how to take care of cockatiel.

  2. My youngest son has a fascination for pretty birds and because of this my husband and I are considering giving him his first pet. The cocktatiel looks like it’s the perfect choice! I’m worried about sickness though, are there specialty doctors that I can take the bird to or can all vets handle birds? As a first time pet owner I’m not quite sure about these things. Thank you in advance for the clarification.

    1. You can use any avarian vet but the great thing about the cockatiel is they hardly ever get sick if you look after them well.

  3. My 9 year old son keeps talking about a pet of his own. I’ve been rather reluctant. We have an older dog who can be destructive. I like to travel when I can and bringing a dog who’ll destroy the hotel room on a trip is out of the question. So, I’m curious. Do cockatiels travel well? Are they destructive? Like will the peck at furniture and put holes in them? Also, how are they with alone time. Or dog is old and not as abled body as he used to be. However, he would tear holes in furniture with his burrowing. I want my son to have a pet. However, I don’t want to be restricted by a pet either. What are your thoughts.

    1. They are fine on their own but will need toys to keep them busy. If they are going to be on their own for long periods I would suggest getting two. They do like to chew from time to time sho keep an eye on your new couch. A tame bird does travel well though.

  4. Hi there

    Really cool information about these birds. Did not know that these guys can live up to 20years +

    Is it advisable to keep a male as well as female together or do they get territorial?

    Just a matter out interest, how much do these birds cost?


    1. I have kept males and females together and even two males. I wouldn’t put two males with one female though. In South Africa they cost around R300

  5. Are all cockatiels smart, or how can you tell if one bird is particularly smarter than another?
    Do you think that young children would enjoy a cockatiel as a pet? You have said that they are the right size to be handled but do they like to be handled by kids?
    I am amazed that these birds can live for so long!
    Cheers, Kris

    1. My daughter loves ours, and we have recently added some budgies to the mix. When you go to purchase a cockatiel, try to go for the most alert looking bird in the cage and one that shows an interest when you try to attract its attention. Those are normally the smart cockatiels.

      And yes Kris, they can live a long time if you take care of them properly. One of ours was 27 years old when he died.

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