Can Cockatiels and Parakeets Live Together? (Expert Guide)

Last Updated on March 21, 2024 by Ali Shahid

According to wildlife biologists, cockatiels and parakeets can live together. Cockatiels and parakeets are used to living together in nature, so having them as friends in a cage is okay. They usually don’t fight for who’s in charge. Even though cockatiels are bigger, parakeets are more bossy. Cockatiels are usually okay with this and make good pals.

But before you mix different bird types in one cage, make sure they can get along. Some birds don’t make good friends, and putting the wrong ones together might lead to fights.

Still, you can be confident that cockatiels and parakeets can share a home. Let’s see more about how well these two popular pet birds match up.

Can Cockatiels and Parakeets Live Together

Can Cockatiels and Parakeets coexist?

Parakeets and cockatiels usually have good compatibility due to their contrasting sizes that complement their personalities. Cockatiels are known for their playful and sociable nature, without showing much aggression or territorial behavior.

Conversely, parakeets are a tad less calm. They’re also affectionate and social, but they might require a bit more attention than cockatiels. Fortunately, the likelihood of aggression is minimized because of the smaller stature of parakeets.

Can Parakeets and Cockatiels Live Together?

Certainly, parakeets and cockatiels can comfortably coexist in various situations. It’s important to bear in mind that each bird possesses its unique set of personality characteristics. Although uncommon, there’s a slight chance that your birds could display slightly more aggressiveness or territorial behavior than usual.

The primary factor for a harmonious arrangement is to acknowledge the individual requirements of each bird. As long as they are provided with separate feeding containers and an adequately spacious cage, your parakeet and cockatiel are likely to have a positive relationship.

Cage Size20 x 20 x 50 inches12x18x18 
PersonalityLoving, Playful, Attention SeekingQuiet, nondestructive, and easy to care
Lifespan10-15 Years7-10 Years
Dietvariety of seeds (grass seeds), fruits, berries, and vegetation. fruit, nectar from flowers, insects, and their larvae
Size13 Inches7-8 Inches

Why Cockatiels and Parakeets can Be Kept Together?

Cockatiels and budgies are both indigenous to Australia, which might be one reason why they can comfortably coexist in an aviary. In their natural habitat, they spend a lot of time searching for seeds and plants, sometimes in mixed groups. 

They both prefer being part of a flock and are skilled fliers who will take full advantage of the space provided. Cockatiels and parakeets can show territorial behavior when protecting a partner, nesting place (or what they think is a nesting spot), or a favored toy/perch. 

Although they usually tend to back down rather than get into a major fight, disagreements can escalate occasionally, underscoring the importance of having enough space to withdraw. Both types of parrots generate particles, although cockatiels produce a greater amount of dust and particles compared to the two.

How To Bring Cockatiel and Parakeet Together for the First Time?

Cockatiels and budgies can indeed coexist, but it is important to introduce them gradually rather than to place them together abruptly.

Allow some time for the birds to become familiar with one another. This also applies when adding another cockatiel to your existing ones, instead of introducing a budgie.

  • Keep each bird in its cage for around four weeks as you ensure its health.
  • Position the cages in the same room but not directly beside each other, preserving personal space for each bird.
  • After a week or two, attempt to bring the cages closer.
  • Observe the birds’ reactions to each other. If they appear at ease, you can consider letting them out simultaneously to interact.
  • If their interaction is positive, you can think about cohabiting with them in a spacious cage that allows them their area.
  • Supply a millet-seed blend suitable for budgies and parakeets. These pellets cater to small birds’ needs. Since cockatiels and parakeets both belong to the parrot family, this mix will provide some nutrition to your cockatiel. For comprehensive vitamins and minerals, invest in a mix tailored explicitly for cockatiels.
  • Once you deem it suitable for physical contact, arrange a neutral space outside the cages for their initial encounter.
  • After several more meetings outside their cages, attempt to cohabit with them within a neutral cage for a brief period. This prevents either bird from displaying territorial behavior.

Housing Cockatiels and Parakeets Together

1. Cage Requirements

  • Cage Size

This factor holds particular significance. A notably larger cage is essential when combining a cockatiel and a budgie in one enclosure. Both species need different food and personal areas, so normal cages won’t work.

If you opt for cohabitation, consider a cage measuring at least 40 x 40 x 40 inches, if not larger. Without ample room, cramped conditions may trigger conflicts between the birds.

  • Cage Design

Distinct physical attributes lead to varied cage requirements for cockatiels and budgies. The former’s broader wingspan necessitates a more spacious cage for comfortable movement and play.

As a general rule, cockatiels should have a bar spacing between half an inch and 5/8 of an inch, while parakeets should have at least half an inch.

If you combine the two, you should choose the spacing that is appropriate for the smaller bird which is half an inch.

  • Nesting

Being careful when birds are breeding is really important. During this time, cockatiels and parakeets become protective of their nests. Parakeets don’t hold back in defending their nesting spots, even from much bigger birds.

Make sure each bird has a safe place to nest. It illustrates just how important it is to provide large cages or outdoor aviaries to make cockatiels and budgies live harmoniously together. Even with their own spaces, if fights continue, you might still need to separate the birds.

2. Temperaments

Despite their comparable physical traits and shared habitat preferences, budgies and cockatiels showcase nearly contrasting personalities. Surprisingly, the diminutive budgies emerge as the more assertive species in this comparison.

They exhibit assertiveness, vigor, and enthusiasm, carrying an audacious self-assuredness reminiscent of their larger avian counterparts.

Conversely, cockatiels lean towards a mellower disposition and are more prone to feeling apprehensive. Their sensitive nature renders them susceptible to stress, feeling overwhelmed, and being overshadowed by the smaller, livelier parakeets.

3. Dietary Needs

Cockatiels and parakeets share akin dietary requisites. Both ought to be provided with a comprehensive diet, comprising small bird-formulated pellets, a healthful millet-based seed blend, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

However, cockatiels thrive with a slightly higher fat content in their diet compared to budgies, which are susceptible to obesity and liver ailments.

Hence, a combined diet should only be implemented if ample space for budgies’ flight is available and they are already consuming a varied diet (comprising vegetables/chop and pellets).

If both cockatiels and budgies aren’t accustomed to consuming fresh produce, coaxing them to try can be accomplished similarly. A fresh chop mix often entices them with minimal effort.

Ensure ingredients are finely chopped for small beaks to manage. Another approach is attaching fresh greens, apple slices, or other fruits and vegetables to the cage’s side, inviting your birds to explore and nibble.

4. Accessories

Given their size and preference commonalities, budgies and cockatiels do appreciate comparable toy types. They relish shredding toys fashioned from paper, seagrass, coconut, softwood, and natural materials. Swings, bells, and ropes also captivate their interest.

Take heed of toys featuring small or delicate components that either bird could detach, potentially leading to swallowing or choking hazards. Securely fastened bell clappers and sturdy, non-fragile plastic/acrylic parts are essential.

Furthermore, be mindful that larger toys intended for cockatiels might initially unsettle budgies and should be introduced progressively.

Important Things to Consider When Housing Cockatiels and Parakeets Together
Separate HomesGive each bird its cage for about four weeks while you ensure its health. Place the cages in the same room, but not right next to each other, so both birds have their area. After a week or two, try moving the cages a bit closer.
Food and DrinkEnsure each bird has its own food and water bowls to prevent potential conflicts.
Watchful EyeWhen introducing the birds, closely supervise them to make sure they get along well.
PersonalitiesUnderstand that each bird has its unique personality. While rare, one bird might be more aggressive or territorial than usual.

Frequently Asked Question

What birds can be kept with cockatiels?

Cockatiels can coexist harmoniously with budgerigars, turquoise parrots, and red-crowned parakeets in the same aviary, provided breeding is avoided. However, it’s worth noting that they communicate in entirely distinct languages.

Are cockatiels nice to parakeets?

Indeed, cockatiels are nice to parakeets. These two bird species are among the most favored pets globally. They showcase exceptional friendliness not only towards fellow birds but also towards humans. Furthermore, their trainability and innate curiosity make them delightful to observe, offering an enjoyable experience for bird enthusiasts.

Can cockatiels and budgies understand each other?

Cockatiels and budgies cannot understand each other’s communication due to their distinct languages.


  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

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