Cockatoo vs Cockatiel: Choosing the Perfect Feathered Friend.

Cockatiels make better pets than cockatoos due to their smaller size and lower maintenance requirements. Cockatoos are majestic birds with impressive feather crests and personalities, whereas cockatiels are small and lively birds with charming personalities.

However, when it comes to choosing which bird would make a better pet, it is important to look beyond appearances and consider the practical aspects of pet ownership. Cockatiels require less space, food, and attention than cockatoos, which can be high-maintenance and require a larger living space.

Additionally, cockatiels are easier to train and interact with compared to cockatoos, which can be more temperamental and challenging to handle. In this article, we will compare cockatoos and cockatiels to determine which bird species makes a better pet.

Cockatoo vs Cockatiel: Choosing the Perfect Feathered Friend.


Appearance And Personality Traits

Cockatoos and cockatiels are popular birds to keep as pets. Both of these species have distinctive physical features and behavioral traits that make them unique from each other. In this blog post, we will evaluate the appearance and personality traits of both species and compare their personalities.

We will also discuss which species is better suited for different types of owners and personalities.

Physical Features Of Cockatoo And Cockatiel

Cockatoos and cockatiels are both members of the parrot family. While they share some similar physical characteristics, they also have some marked differences between them.


  • Large in size
  • Most have bright white feathers
  • Short, stubby tail
  • Large, pronounced beak


  • Smaller in size
  • Grey color with orange patches on the cheeks
  • Long tail
  • Smaller beak

Behavioral Traits Of Both Species

Both cockatoo and cockatiel have their unique behavioral traits. They are both social birds and love to interact with their owners. They can also be trained to do various tricks, which adds to their charm.


  • Can be very affectionate and demanding
  • Can become loud and noisy
  • They love to chew and play with toys
  • Can be prone to screaming and feather plucking when feeling stressed


  • Known for their whistling abilities
  • More independent nature
  • They tend to be quieter than cockatoos
  • Can form strong bonds with their owners

Comparison Of Their Personalities

When it comes to comparing the personalities of both species, it’s essential to understand that both have their unique traits. While cockatoo can be very affectionate and demanding, they can also become loud and noisy, which might not be suitable for everyone.

Cockatiels, on the other hand, are more independent and tend to be quieter, making them ideal for those who want a bird with less noise.


  • Demanding and affectionate
  • Can be loud and noisy
  • More challenging to train


  • Independent and self-sufficient
  • Quieter than cockatoos
  • Easier to train

Best Fit For Different Types Of Owners/Personalities

Both cockatoo and cockatiel have their unique personalities, which make them more suitable for different types of owners. Distinguishing the traits of both species is crucial when choosing a bird as a pet.


  • Best suited for owners who have enough time to spend with them
  • Those who can handle their demanding nature
  • Those who want a bird that’s more playful and affectionate


  • More suitable for beginners who want a low-maintenance pet
  • Those who want a quieter bird
  • Ideal for someone who doesn’t have enough time to spend with their pet

Both cockatoo and cockatiel have their unique physical and personality traits, which make them perfect for different types of personalities. Choosing a bird as a pet wouldn’t just depend on their appearance, but on various other factors such as time and commitment that the owner can devote to their pet.

Maintenance And Care

Cockatoo Vs Cockatiel: Which Makes A Better Pet?

Keeping a bird as a pet requires a significant amount of care and attention. Both the cockatoo and cockatiel are beautiful birds, but they have different needs that need to be met to ensure their good health and well-being.

Housing Requirements For Cockatoo And Cockatiel

  • Cockatoos need larger cages compared to cockatiels. The minimum recommended size for a cockatoo’s cage should be 36 x 48 x 60 inches, while for cockatiels, it is 20 x 20 x 24 inches.
  • Providing multiple perches of different sizes and shapes within the cage is essential for both the birds, allowing them to exercise and explore.
  • Both birds love to climb and play, so it’s essential to ensure that their cage has enough toys to keep them entertained.

Dietary Needs And Feeding Habits Of Each Species

  • Cockatoo’s diet should consist of pellets, fruits, vegetables, and some seeds. They need a lot of nutrition and require a balanced diet to ensure their good health.
  • Cockatiels require a similar diet of seed mix and pelleted food. Additionally, they should be fed fresh vegetables and fruits regularly.
  • Fresh and clean water should always be available for both species.

Temperature And Humidity Control

  • Cockatoos need a temperature of at least 68-70°f and humidity should be between 40-50%. Cockatiels thrive in similar temperatures, but they can do well in temperatures up to 80°f.
  • Placing a humidifier in their room can help maintain humidity; regular misting can be done to help with this.

Grooming And Hygiene

  • Cockatoos are high-maintenance birds and need grooming regularly. It includes bathing them at least twice a week, trimming their wings, and nails.
  • Cockatiels groom themselves quite well, but occasional trimming of wings and nails is essential for their safety.
  • To prevent any infection, they need to be kept clean regularly, and their cages must be cleaned every day.

Healthcare And Medical Needs

  • Regular visits to an avian veterinarian is crucial for the health of both species. They should have a yearly check-up.
  • Common health issues for birds include respiratory infections, feather plucking, and beak overgrowth.
  • Both species need to be vaccinated regularly to keep them healthy.

Both the cockatoo and cockatiel make excellent pets. However, they do require different levels of care and maintenance. Ensure that their living environment is clean and appropriate, their diet is well balanced, and they have regular check-ups with their avian veterinarian.

By providing them with the care and attention they need, they will live a happy and healthy life.

Lifestyle And Socialization

Cockatoos and cockatiels are the two most popular bird species when it comes to keeping them as pets. Both are affectionate, intelligent, and social birds and make great pets for adults and kids. However, when choosing between these two, understanding their socialization and lifestyle needs is essential to ensure that they thrive in their new environment.

Socialization And Bonding With Humans

Both species require a lot of attention and socialization with their humans. They are highly social and intelligent creatures who need regular interaction and affection from their owners. Without proper socialization and attention, the birds can develop behavioral issues like aggression, screaming, and feather plucking.

It is advised to spend daily quality time with your bird and train them positively to create a strong bond.

Socialization And Bonding With Other Pets

Cockatiels and cockatoos can coexist with other birds and pets in the household, but they need proper introduction and socialization. Cockatoos are more demanding and dominant compared to cockatiels, so careful supervision is necessary if introducing them to other birds or pets.

On the other hand, cockatiels are quieter and easy-going and can form close bonds with other birds and even other pets.

Training Requirements

Both species can be taught basic obedience training, tricks, and even to speak. Consistent positive reinforcement strategies like treats, praise, and repeating commands can help in the training process. However, cockatoos are more challenging to train compared to cockatiels due to their strong-willed personalities, so they require patience and consistency.

Furthermore, early positive reinforcement training can help reduce the likelihood of developing undesirable behaviours in both species.

Mental Stimulation And Enrichment

Both cockatoos and cockatiels require mental enrichment as they are highly intelligent birds and easy to get bored. Enrichment through providing toys, puzzles, and even rearranging cage accessories can help stimulate their minds and reduce boredom. Moreover, daily interaction with their owners can help mentally stimulate them.

Comparison Of The Noise Levels For Each Species

Cockatoos are significantly louder birds compared to cockatiels and can produce high-pitched screams that can be piercing to some people’s ears. However, cockatiels are quieter and produce a more pleasant chirping sound. They make an excellent choice for people who reside in apartments or do not want a lot of noise.

Best Fit For Different Types Of Households And Family Structures

Both cockatiels and cockatoos make great pets for adults and children, but they have different care requirements, personalities, and characteristics. Cockatiels are perfect for people who want a small, easy-to-manage bird who is quieter and suits those with smaller living spaces.

On the other hand, cockatoos are a great fit for those who want a high-maintenance bird that demands a lot of attention and is vocal.

Are you looking to adopt a bird as a pet? Consider the lifestyle and socialization needs of both cockatiels and cockatoos and choose the one that suits your family and household structure. Remember, whichever species you choose, they will need daily attention, care, and affection.

Final Verdict

Cockatoo Vs Cockatiel: Which Makes A Better Pet?

Are you considering having a bird as a pet but confused about which one to go for? If you want a bird that is exceptionally loving, intelligent, and social, then you may want to choose between a cockatoo or cockatiel.

Here, we will provide a final verdict on which bird makes the better pet.

Summary Of The Comparison Between Cockatoo And Cockatiel

Cockatoos and cockatiels are both birds that make fantastic pets, but there are significant differences between the two species.

  • Cockatoos are more challenging to keep as pets than cockatiels because they require more attention, care, and space.
  • Cockatiels are smaller, less noisy, and less engaging than cockatoos.
  • Cockatiels are less expensive to acquire than cockatoos.
  • Cockatoos live longer than cockatiels, with a lifespan of 40-60 years versus 15-20 years.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Pet

When choosing a bird that fits your lifestyle, several factors will come into play.

  • Time: Both birds require your time, but cockatoos need more of your time due to their social and emotional nature. You must have enough time to spend with your bird.
  • Space: Cockatoos are larger than cockatiels and need more space to move around and play, which means you’ll need a more significant cage or aviary.
  • Affordability: Cockatoos cost much more than cockatiels, and their upkeep is more expensive due to their diet, more significant expenses for cage and toys, and grooming.
  • Noise level: Cockatoos are louder than cockatiels and tend to make a more considerable noise level, which could be an issue in smaller homes.
  • Lifespan: Cockatoos tend to live twice as long as cockatiels, so if you are looking for a long-term pet, cockatoo is a better option.

Personal Recommendations And Insights

In choosing between a cockatoo and cockatiel, personal preferences play a significant role. If you are living in a small apartment, you may prefer a cockatiel to avoid noise issues. However, if you have more space and a larger budget, a cockatoo may be right for you.

We recommend cockatiels for first-time bird owners who have a lower budget, limited space, and want a smaller bird with less noise. As for cockatoos, they are beloved pets that may be more challenging to care for, but are great if you have enough space, time, and resources.

Whether you choose a cockatoo or cockatiel, you are sure to have a fantastic feathered friend for life.

Frequently Asked Questions On Cockatoo Vs Cockatiel: Which Makes A Better Pet?

What’S The Difference Between A Cockatoo And A Cockatiel?

Cockatoo and cockatiel both belong to the parrot family, but size and personality differ. Cockatoos are larger, more social, and require more attention. Cockatiels are smaller, quieter, and easier to care for. It all depends on your circumstances and what kind of pet you’re looking for.

Are Cockatiels Better Pets For Small Houses?

Cockatiels are an excellent choice for apartment or small house living since they’re small and quieter than other birds. They’re wonderfully affectionate and tend to be quieter than larger birds. However, it’s still essential to have a suitable cage, toys, and everything necessaries for their wellbeing.

Are Cockatoos As Noisy, As People Say?

Cockatoos are one of the noisiest birds, with their loud screeches and screams, and they need lots of attention to avoid boredom. However, it is possible to train them to vocalize less with positive reinforcement such as toys or treats.

Do Cockatiels Require Less Attention?

Cockatiels don’t need much care compared to other birds. They require daily interaction and flying time to keep them healthy and happy. Frequent cleaning of their cage, regular clipping of their feathers, and annual check-ups by a vet are needed for their well-being.

Do Cockatoos Enjoy Human Interaction?

Cockatoos are social birds who need a lot of interaction and attention to keep them healthy and happy. They thrive on human attention, and regular sessions of play and training can strengthen their bond with human companions. However, when left alone, cockatoos can exhibit challenging behavior like screaming or feather plucking.

Can Cockatiels Talk Like Cockatoos?

Cockatiels can mimic sounds, words, and whistles, but they’re not as talented as other parrots, such as cockatoos. Male cockatiels are more vocal than females and can learn to say a few clear words. Vocalizing is an essential part of cockatiel behavior, and they use various sounds to communicate and entertain themselves.


After all the discussion, it’s safe to say that both cockatoos and cockatiels make great pets, each with its own set of unique characteristics. While cockatoos are known for their playful and affectionate personalities, cockatiels are more independent, making them suitable for those who prefer a low-maintenance companion.

As with any pet, it’s essential to do your research before bringing one home. Consider factors such as your living space, lifestyle, and budget when choosing between a cockatoo and a cockatiel. Additionally, make sure you are prepared for the long-term commitment of owning a bird, including their specific diet, housing needs, and time for socializing and training.

Ultimately, whichever species you choose, be prepared for a lifetime of love, companionship, and beautiful memories with your feathered friend.

Md Atiqul Hakim

AtiQ's blog, "Wild Bird Lady," is a treasure trove of insights, tips, and captivating stories. Join him on a fascinating journey of exploration, discovery, and celebration of our avian neighbors through engaging articles and breathtaking photographs.

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