Cockatiel vs Lovebirds (8 Main Differences)

Last Updated on August 18, 2022 by Ali Shahid

Cockatiel vs Lovebirds

It’s no doubt that lovebirds and cockatiel birds are the most loved pets birds around the world. As a result, choosing one over the other is challenging. The main differences are their appearances and personalities. They have a remarkable difference in coloration, and cockatiels get along well with other birds, whereas lovebirds tend to be aggressive.

Their life spans, their ways of speaking, and their popularity are also different. They also differ in their nesting behavior, housing requirements, and gender appearances. 

The following is a brief overview of their differences, allowing you to pick the one that is most suitable for your family. It will make it easier for you to decide between the two.

Cockatiel vs Lovebirds (8 Main Differences )

1. Physical Appearance

Between cockatiels and lovebirds, the first difference you’ll notice is their size. The cockatiel is a bigger bird in terms of size compared to a lovebird.

In general, cockatiels range from 12-13 inches in length, while lovebirds range from 5-7 inches. Adult cockatiels are typically 90 grams in weight, while lovebirds are 48-55 grams.

Lovebirds and cockatiels come in a variety of colors, but they differ greatly in this regard. The wild cockatiels are gray with white wings and red cheek patches, but in captivity, they have a smooth or striped pattern. Moreover, they are available in soft browns, grays, and even creams and whites.

Lovebirds come in various colors, including white, peach, and pink. A lovebird’s head and face tend to be vibrantly colored while its primary body feathers differ.

Green, however, is the most common color for pet lovebirds. Lovebirds have breeds that greatly differ from each other.

A cockerel’s distinctive head spikes set them apart from other birds in their family. In contrast, lovebirds have bare heads, like any other parrot.

2. Gender Appearances

Lovebirds do not exhibit sexual dimorphism, so it is impossible to tell if they are males or females by looking at them.

Male and female cockatiels can easily be distinguished from one another because cockatiel are dimorphic.

3. Temperament

A cockatiel’s temperament is completely different from a lovebird. Playful, active, and curious, lovebirds know how to entertain themselves. As you can see, despite their small size, they have a lot of personalities.

Lovebirds can also be extremely aggressive, territorial, and jealous. These traits can develop if they aren’t properly trained at a young age. A cockatiel, however, is a gentle bird. They enjoy being petted, held, and held close.

Small challenges always appeal to these birds. Even when you’re not around, they tend to keep themselves entertained.

4. Popularity

The cockatiel is an easier bird for beginners to handle than lovebirds because they don’t bite, they are less noisy, and they are easier to tame.

Despite the lovebird’s smaller size, it makes quite a noise for a bird of this size, so it shouldn’t be kept with any other birds. This makes cockatiel more popular than lovebirds.

5. Nesting Behavior

It is common for cockatiels to chew tissue paper into small bits to line their nests in captivity. This is usually done by the male. The male will seek out warm, dark, enclosed locations (typically nest boxes), and prepare the nest with nesting materials for the females to check out.

As far as I’m concerned, nest preparation does not require a lot of effort in the case of Cockatiel. Meanwhile, the lovebird chews the paper into a fine, cottony mass by tucking it into its tail feathers and carrying it back to the nest.

These usually range in thickness from 3-4 inches. In general, they will clear their nests after each clutch of chicks and begin a new using the original materials.

6. Housing Requirement

Cockatiels need room to move around. This bird should have an enclosure that is at least 2ft x 1.5ft x 2ft tall. Their hooked bills allow them to climb on horizontal bars.

Providing your cockatiel with as much space as you can afford is the best thing you can do. A mirror and rope ladders would be appreciated by this type of bird, as would multiple perches and toys.

For a single lovebird, a cage of dimensions 18x18x18 is preferable whereas for a pair of birds the dimensions should be 24x18x24. The larger the cage, the more room the birds will have to move about, so providing a larger cage will benefit them.

A bath will be necessary for these active birds. Among the many toys, you can provide bells, ladders, mirrors, and other items.

7. Speaking ability

In terms of speaking, cockatiels are more capable than lovebirds. Parrots are capable of speaking, and cockatiels are no exception.

They have a smaller vocabulary than other parrots, however. It is still possible for them to learn simple words.

Lovebirds don’t talk much. There’s some conversation between them, but it isn’t as much with people. Their ability to sing compensates for their inability to speak. Compared to other companion parrots, their songs are quite pleasant.

8. Life expectancy

Cocktails have an average life expectancy of 20-25 years while lovebirds have a life expectancy of 10-15 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a lovebird the same as a cockatiel?

No, lovebirds and cockatiels are not the same. Each bird has a different origin, temperament, and characteristic. Lovebirds are aggressive and active, as opposed to cockatiels, which are docile and friendly.

Is it possible to keep cockatiels and lovebirds together?

Generally, lovebirds and cockatiels shouldn’t be kept together. The reason for this is that lovebirds are usually aggressive, whereas cockatiels are more passive.

What’s louder, cockatiels or lovebirds?

It is said that lovebirds shriek more loudly than cocktails, so loud that they wake the dead.


In short, whatever you choose between lovebirds and cocktails will entirely depend on your preferences. If you are looking for a stylish appearance, then you can go for cockatiels.

If you are looking for playful and active birds, then lovebirds should be your top priority. Comparing other factors will also help you decide which bird will be a better pet for your family.


  • 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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