What birds can be kept with cockatiels?


Do you own a cockatiel? Have you ever thought of buying or adopting another bird or an animal to your home? Also thought what birds can be kept with cockatiels? We answer your question about the best companion birds for cockatiels in this article. Whether you choose a conure or a parakeet or even an animal, we are going to offer you suggestions based on REAL experiences.

The choice of companion birds for cockatiels is entirely based on factors like size, age, and temperament. Parrots (small-sized) can be kept with cockatiels while birds like finches, canaries, and lovebirds need to be avoided.

While it is a known thing that cockatiels are social birds, they do not get well with all birds of the same size or temperament. They do have preferences. Sometimes, birds of the same size can also become picky and act like a bully to build up the hierarchy.

what birds can be kept with cockatiels

If you are keen to explore the possibility of introducing another bird to your cockatiel, you have to follow the points mentioned below.

  • Arrange multiple crates.
  • Pet them at the same time to find out if they are comfortable with each other.
  • Give a time of a week or two before making the decision.

Generally, small-sized parrots tend to be excellent pals to cockatiels while larger parrots, finches, canaries, and lovebirds become fiery and attack the other as they are not comfortable with sharing the territory with another bird.

Cockatiels are social birds needing a company of a human or another bird to engage and also seek attention. If you plan to keep another bird with a cockatiel, you should give enough room for movement and privacy of birds.

A common concern expressed by cockatiel owners lies in the pregnancy of the female when kept together with another bird. If you discourage mating, the best bet is to keep them in two different cages.

Another concern is territorial aggression. This is common when cockatiels lookout for the company of another bird but then change their comfort levels when the bird is inconvenient or not of the same temperament. Keep an eye for the defensive behavior of your cockatiel and separate them for some time in two different crates.

Although parakeets and cockatiels are of similar sizes, they develop aggression and do not get well with each other due to the domination of parakeets.

While leaving parakeets and cockatiels together, it is important to ensure the following –

  • They should not be left in the same cage.
  • Cockatiel and parakeets need to have different crates and abundant space.
  • Ventilation and regular air purification can mitigate the aggression to a certain extent.

If you have a cockatiel and a parakeet in the same house, you are still not in danger since you can know certain precautions to keep them chilled out and comfortable.

Parakeets are foraging species and are also dusty.Cockatiels are foraging species but tend to produce extreme dust compared to parakeets.
Parakeets are dominant and occupy more space compared to cockatiels.Cockatiels are highly sensitive.
Parakeets demand a complete diet.Cockatiels need food that is slightly higher in terms of fat content.
Parakeets need close observation and tend to frighten other species around.Cockatiels experience night frights occasionally which can affect their mental health conditions.

Even though you take care of different species in the same space, you may have to be extremely cautious about their differences in characteristics and physique to avoid any sort of aggression.

We also have an article on ‘can parakeets live alone‘ where I have shared my experience. Do take a look.

A budgie and a cockatiel need some warmup time to acquaint each other before they are let together. Budgies and cockatiels enjoy living together due to similar sizes and environmental needs but the risk of injury exists.

Each bird has a personality. As budgie and cockatiel have similar dominant behaviors, confining them to a smaller crate might not suit them.

Budgie and a cockatiel

There are a few more reasons for a budgie and a cockatiel to remain at a distance.

  • Cockatiels demand food rich in fat which cannot be fed to budgie.
  • Budgies can demonstrate behavioral challenges during breeding times which can affect cockatiels.
  • Even if you confine them to a crate that is 24 inches wide, they become bored to live with the same partner for long. They need enough space and toys to play with.
  • Having said that cockatiels are comparatively more sensitive, they can end up in a fight with budgies.

While there is a possibility for both birds to live together, it is still not advisable to leave them in the same crate. Giving them ample space and addressing their dietary needs can go a long way in improving your relationship with the birds.

If at all you feel that a budgie is not coming to you after you have let your cockatiels with her/him, you should try the tips given in the article below – how to train a budgie to come to you?

While it is possible, cockatiels and lovebirds can live in the same cage when they are too young but as they grow, lovebirds become fiesty and bully cockatiels that can put cockatiels at risk.

Cockatiels are called quiet and social species. When they are introduced to new birds of other species, it is important to ensure that they are of the same personality and size as well.

Lovebirds tend to get fiesty as they grow and attack other species of smaller sizes with their strong beaks. This can cause stress to your cockatiel. It is always advisable to have them in different crates. If they are let open, supervise their movements so that both birds enjoy their freedom rightly.

Finches and cockatiels aren’t great companions but certain types of finches like Zebra finches tend to gel well with cockatiels provided there is supervision. A quick hack is to have birds belonging to the same gender remain in the same cage.

Finches and cockatiels

Often, similarity in gender helps in reducing aggression and behavioral differences. If you have a Gouldian finch, you can still house with a cockatiel but remain careful during the breeding time if they belong to different genders.

In the last three years, I have housed birds of different species within the same compound although I have had no crates. While I observed aggression in them during initial times, they have been extremely compatible with each other as days passed by. Here’s what I did.

  • I did background research on the personality and behaviors of these bird species before I introduced them to the other.
  • There was ample space for them to roam around which helped them to live at their comfort and not be bothered by other birds.
  • When it comes to feeding food, I have always made sure that they get into their respective containments like the one in the picture below.
Source – Custom Cages

The advantage with this setup is that birds of similar species are addressed with their nutritional needs and are also allowed to gel with other species thereby improving their socialization levels.

Leaving conures and cockatiels together is a bad option as they don’t live together and can often lead to catastrophic outcomes mainly because conures expect constant attention and excess care when compared to cockatiels.

Whether you have a green cheek conure or a sun conure, cockatiels tend to remain less aggressive and sociable than conures. Hence, it does not really matter what breed of a cockatiel or a conure you are attempting to introduce to each other.

Note – The thumb rule to raising multiple bird species is to give them individual territories and never mingle them.

Pet animals that are raised along with cockatiels since early ages tend to gel well even after years as they get adapted to each other. Cats and dogs get along with cockatiels well as long as the owner promotes adjustment and calmness.

Back to my experience! I have had parakeets and dog together and I should admit that they have made the best pair during the initial stages.

Here’s what you should take care of. Don’t be Sowmya!

When animals like dogs and cats grow, their sizes can frighten birds at times and cockatiels are no exception. My parakeets were once shocked when they happened to see their pal, a dog, running towards them during playtime. This insisted me to become more attentive and limit times of play.

When it comes to cockatiels or budgies or conures, it is never advisable to engage them together as their personalities largely differ and bigger species tend to attack smaller ones when their requirements are not met irrespective of food and space fulfillment.

Have a pet animal and a bird in your house? Remember to do a close-up view of them when they play and give them the freedom that they deserve.


Sowmya Sankaran

Sowmya Sankaran is crazy about animals and birds! An avid rescuer and rehabilitator of animals and birds, she uses PETSMOND to share her experiences in raising different creatures and paying attention to intricate aspects of their health. Know more about me - https://petsmond.com/about/

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