Cockatiel Review

Cockatiel vs Budgie: What is the Best Pet Bird for Me?

Companion birds are among the most common pets in America. They are social, cheerful, comparatively low maintenance and absolutely adorable. Experienced bird owners usually have their favorites, but for a newbie, it is rather hard to decide which species to choose. Cockatiels and parakeets (also known as budgies) are considered the best pet birds for beginners. These birds share some common features, but they are not as similar as one might think. After all, they belong to different families, although both originate from a single order – parrots. So if you need more information about these wonderful birds, this article is for you. We are going to compare cockatiels with budgies to help you decide which bird would be ideal for you. So, cockatiel vs budgie: which is right for you beginners?

bird cockatiel vs budgie

Cockatiel vs Budgie: General information

To begin with, it would be nice to know a little bit more about each of the species. What is a budgie? It’s a short name for a budgerigar – a species of parrot that comes from Australia. Budgies are often called parakeets, especially in the United States. These birds are comparatively small in size, usually 6 to 8 inches in length, including tails. Their feathers boggle the imagination with vivid colors that vary from sky-blue to lime green. Watch here cages for budgies.

See interesting information about best cages for budgies!
happy cockatiel soundsWhat does a cockatiel look like? Cockatiels are generally larger than budgies. An average grown-up cockatiel measures 12-13 inches. As a true member of a cockatoo family, the cockatiel has a prominent crest, which not only makes the bird look cute but also reflects its emotional state. Cockatiels are not as vividly colored as budgies. They are mostly gray with white flashes on both wings and speckles of yellow on faces and tails. The most prominent feature, however, are bright orange circles around the ears. Watch here best cages for cockatiels.

Both cockatiels and budgies are rather active and playful. They love playing with toys and chewing on different things, mostly bright and dangly. Being naturally curious and cheerful, these birds like exploring their homes and expressing their emotions through loud vocalizing, chattering or even screeching. Cockatiels are usually more loud and active than budgies.

Find additional information about best cages for cockatiels!

Eating habits

Both species require similar diets. Seeds and specialized bird food are the essences of their rations. Birds are intolerant to different artificial additives and excess fat in their food, so you should be very careful with store-bought bird food. Cockatiels and budgies love treats, so you can occasionally feed them some whole-grain crackers, bread or pasta.

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Communicative skills

Both species are capable of imitating human speech. Generally, male birds are the ones who talk the most, but some females can show an unexpected talent for chattering in a human-like way. Besides, cockatiels are considered to be better companions for people. They are more friendly and easier to tame. Cockatiels can be rather affectionate and like to be petted by their human friends. Budgies are not like that, they prefer the company of their fellow birds. Although, they can be trained to perch on your finger or shoulder and will eagerly follow you wherever you go if you let them out of the cage.

can budgies talk in english


Cockatiels are approximately twice as large as budgies, so naturally the former require larger cages. Whether it’s a cockatiel or a budgie, his cage should be large enough to allow a bird to spread the wings freely. A cockatiel cage must measure at least 24 inches in height, width and depth, but, of course, the larger the better. One budgie can live in a cage that measures at least 18 inches on each side. The bars should be close enough to each other so that a bird won’t be able to squeeze its head in between. You should also make sure to furnish it with perches, swings, mirrors and rattling toys – birds love that! A great budgie cage is the one where a bird can spread his wings and fly, not just sit around on a perch all day. Toys and entertainment are important, but ample space is what will make your feathery friend truly happy.


can budgies and cockatiels live togetherCan budgies and cockatiels live together? Cockatiels and budgies usually get along rather well. Although, in spite of their smaller size, budgies sometimes can act rather aggressively towards cockatiels, which are generally more mellow. However, everything really depends on the personality of each particular bird. If properly introduced to each other, the birds have rather good chances to live in peace.

Is a сockatiel a good family pet?

If you are looking for a companion for yourself, a cockatiel is a better choice. Once you learn how to hand-tame a cockatiel, this bird will become your best buddy. Cockatiels appreciate human company and if you treat them with love and tenderness, they will be eager to bond with you. So, do cockatiels make good pets for beginners? Definitely yes!

Do budgies make good pets?

cockatiel birds as petsBudgies or parakeets are generally more independent and prefer the company of each other rather than their owners. They are not easy to tame.

But it will be very entertaining too for you watch as they play around and chatted with each other.

How long does a cockatiel live?

Cockatiels live for 16 to 25 years on average.

How long do budgies live in captivity?

Since budgies are smaller than cockatiels, they have a shorter lifespan – around 10-15 years.

What are the best birds for kids?

There is no single way to answer this question. Budgies are smaller, so they are less likely to hurt a child in response to improper or unskillful treatment. Cockatiels can bite rather painfully, so small kids should not be allowed to play with them. On the other hand, cockatiels can become loyal companions to older kids. Besides, they usually live longer than budgies. Unless a cockatiel gets sick of falls victim to a fatal accident, the childhood is unlikely to be traumatized by the passing of a beloved pet bird.


As you can see, cockatiels and parakeets have many things in common but are still different. We believe that both species are great, so the choice really depends on your expectations. If you want a loyal companion to bond with, you should go ahead and google ‘cockatiels for sale near me’. If you prefer smaller birds that are fun to watch and play with, you should start looking up where to buy budgies. Whichever bird you choose, just make sure to give it love and care and it will pay you back by brightening your days with cheerful devotion.

Video: cockatiel and budgies how they communicate together


Hi, my name is Charlie. I come from Patchogue Village, New York. Are you fond of cockatiels? As for me, I’ve got four pet birds. Their names are Yo-Yo and Sweetie, Nigel and Loki. Do you know how to care for them? I’m trying to hunt down the questions now. Join me, and let’s do it together.


  • What’s the difference between a cockatiel and a budgie? Well, there are a few differences, but the main thing that separates these birds is their size.

  • The cockatiel is a medium-sized parrot with a gentle nature. The budgie, on the other hand, is a small bird with a quick, active demeanor. It’s harder to tame a budgie but just as rewarding.