Parakeet vs Cockatiel: [Which Is Best For You?]

So, you’ve decided that you want a bird as a pet. Well, you’ll find that your options are plentiful. There are countless species of birds so you’ll be able to pick and choose the one you want. A lot of people prefer parakeets but others want cockatiels.

While they’re similar, there are some differences between the two. Which bird is going to be best for you? Below, you’ll learn more about both birds so you can find out which one is best for you.

Parakeet Lifespan

Parakeet vs Cockatiel

First and foremost, you should learn about the lifespans of both birds. After all, you’ll want to make sure that you’ll be around long enough to care for the bird. The parakeet can live a long time.

It has been reported that the oldest parakeet was more than 20 years old. However, most parakeets will live between 5 and 15 years ago. Just remember that numerous factors will help determine the overall lifespan of the parakeet.

Cockatiel Lifespan

When it comes to lifespans, both birds are similar. However, Cockatiels tend to live a bit longer in captivity. While parakeets often die much earlier, it is common for cockatiels to live 15 to 25 years.

Either way, both birds will be around for many years to provide you with love, companionship, and entertainment.

Diet For Parakeets

Whether you pick a parakeet or cockatiel, you’ll want to make sure that you provide the bird with a healthy diet. Otherwise, it may perish much sooner. Feeding a parakeet won’t be too difficult since they can take a lot of different foods.

For instance, you can give them seeds, parakeet pellets, fruits, vegetables, and other items. A high-quality pellet should be the base of your parakeet’s diet.

Diet For Cockatiels

Parakeet vs Cockatiel

As for cockatiels, these birds can eat a lot of foods too. Just remember that you’ll want to do your best to give them a high-quality pellet. In addition to this, you can give your cockatiel fruits, vegetables, and greens.

You can give them seeds as treats but not too much. Don’t overdo it with seeds. Instead, you’ll want to make pellets the base of their diet.

Price Of Parakeets

You’ll likely want to figure out the price before purchasing a parakeet. After all, these birds can be expensive. How much will you spend? The price will depend on the animal’s size and appearance.

When purchasing a large parakeet, you should prepare to pay as much as $80 to $150.  You’ll pay a similar price for a parakeet.

[Related Article: Conure VS Cockatiel: [What You Need To Know]

Price Of Cockatiels

How much will you pay for one of these birds? Will you pay more for a cockatiel or a parakeet? Ultimately, the price is going to depend on several factors including the specific bird you get. The prices can vary depending on the bird’s size, weight, color, and health.

When you’re dealing with cockatiels, the prices range from $10 to $250. If you want a lifelong companion who will provide you with years of enjoyment, you should spend a little more.

Parakeet Care

You’ll find that both birds are easy to care for. However, there are some differences in terms of their care requirements. For instance, you should know that parakeets require space. Most bird cages are too small for parakeets so they’re confining.

When parakeets are in the wild, they can eat various foods including young and mature grass seeds. While you can feed your parakeet seed, you should stick only with seed.

Instead, you should offer various foods including apple, kale, cucumber, and carrots. If you want to cook for your parakeet, you can give him lentils or brown rice. You’ll also need to give the parakeet plenty of fresh water.

They’ll drink from the dish and bathe in the water too. Finally, make sure that you go above and beyond to keep your parakeet’s bird clean.

Cockatiel Care

Cockatiels are good for beginners. They’re the smallest member of the cockatoo family and can grow up to 12 inches in length. Cockatiels are sociable and intelligent. One thing that sets this bird apart from the others is that they’re great in pairs.

You can keep one or two. However, you’ll need more space since cockatiels require enough space to move. It is pertinent to choose a cage that is twice as big as your cockatiel.

You’ll want to place the cage near a family, living, or bedroom. Since these animals are sensitive to strong smells, you should not place the cage near a window or kitchen.

When placing the cockatiel’s food bowl, you should never place it under the perch. This would increase the risk that droppings are going to land in the food bowl. Finally, you should use recycled-paper bedding to cover the enclosure’s floor. Be sure to replace it daily.

Characteristics – Cockatiel VS Parakeet

Even though the cockatiel and parakeet are members of the parrot family, they have very different characteristics. The biggest difference is the size, with the cockatiel being the largest of the two.

The adult cockatiel is approximately 24 inches in length while the parakeet is about 17 inches in length. The six-inch variance may not seem like a big deal, but it is very noticeable when the two bird species are side by side.

Another difference is color mutations. Regardless of the cockatiel mutation, the face and checks generally remain yellow and red. Only the body and wings change color, ranging from ivory to grayish/bluish, blue, black, and light gray.

The parakeet, on the other hand, is available in a broad range of colors, including blue, black, yellow, green, gray, white, purple, orange, and red. The hues vary between light, medium, and dark.

The cockatiel also has a very unique crest on top of the crown. The crest is often described as the “nymphical quivering expression whisp” because it changes directions according to the cockatiel’s emotional state.

For example, the crest changes from the flattened position to the vertical position when the bird’s emotions change from excited to defensive.


When it comes to a cage, the size must be based on the average size of the adult bird. In most cases, the cockatiel’s cage will slightly larger than the parakeet’s cage.

It is recommended to have at least two parakeets in a single cage. There are generally no issues when adding another parakeet as long as the cage is of adequate size. The cockatiel, on the other hand, is territorial and may not appreciate a new cage mate.

For more info on Parakeets and Cockatiels, you can check out these forum.

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