Do Cockatiels Need a Friend? (In Short, Yes)

Last Updated on March 21, 2024 by Ali Shahid

Yes cockatiels need a friend just like some other parrot species like lovebirds and parakeets. This friend can be another cockatiel, a parakeet, a lovebird, or you. Cockatiels live in flocks in the wild. They are social animals. Captivity cannot eliminate their natural instincts. In case of loneliness, they can suffer serious issues like aggression, depression, feather plucking, and loss of appetite.

Therefore, it is advisable to arrange a friend for your cockatiel or you as an owner to provide enough time for your pet. In this article, I will explore why cockatiels need friends and what happens if they live alone.

Do Cockatiels Need a Friend?

Why Do Cockatiels Need a Friend?

Cockatiels are highly sociable creatures that naturally form flocks in their native habitat. As a result, they thrive on social engagement and mental stimulation, integral to their overall well-being. Even when provided with sufficient nourishment and hydration, a lone cockatiel can fall into despondency without regular interaction.

To ensure the vitality of your feathered friend and deter undesirable behaviors such as feather plucking or self-inflicted harm, it’s essential to schedule regular playtime and avoid prolonged periods of solitude. While it is possible to house cockatiels with other avian species, the ideal companion for a cockatiel is another of its kind.

Nonetheless, it is crucial to exercise caution when considering cohabitation, particularly when attempting to tame, train, and build a bond with these charming birds.

Multiple cockatiels in the same enclosure can lead to territorial conflicts and aggression, making gradual and careful introductions a prudent practice.

Can a Cockatiel Live Without a Friend?

No, a cockatiel cannot live without a friend. In their natural habitat, these birds form strong bonds with a mate, offering mutual care and companionship. Consequently, they are not designed for solitary living. While a cockatiel can endure short periods of alone time or even go without human interaction occasionally, they require social engagement and mental stimulation to maintain their well-being.

A solitary cockatiel deprived of these essential aspects may experience feelings of desolation, even if provided with an adequate supply of nourishment and hydration. Therefore, it is advisable to consider acquiring a companion for your pet cockatiel.

Nonetheless, if you find yourself with a lone cockatiel, you can still provide them with the necessary care and attention to ensure their solitary well-being. You and your family can serve as their surrogate flock. It is crucial to schedule regular play sessions and avoid prolonged periods of isolation to promote their contentment and overall health.

What Birds Can Be Friends with Cockatiels?

Cockatiels make excellent companions and can coexist harmoniously with a range of other bird species, including:

  1. Another Cockatiel: You can comfortably keep two cockatiels together as they get along well.
  2. Budgerigars (Budgies): Budgies are ideal feathered friends for cockatiels due to their similar size and temperaments.
  3. Bourke Parrots: These birds, similar in size and gentle nature, are known to be compatible with cockatiels.
  4. Rosella Parakeet: Cockatiels also share compatibility with Rosella parakeets.
  5. Doves: While doves can share a living space with cockatiels, it’s essential to ensure that they don’t display excessive aggression.
  6. Conures: Some types of conures can cohabitate with cockatiels, but it’s crucial to watch for any aggression from the conure.
  7. Lovebirds: Lovebirds can be housed alongside cockatiels, provided that the lovebird’s behavior isn’t overly aggressive.
  8. Finches: Certain finch species can live peacefully with cockatiels, but vigilance is necessary to prevent aggression.
  9. Turquoise Parrots: Turquoise parrots can coexist with cockatiels, as long as they don’t display excessive aggression.
  10. Red-Crowned Parakeets: These parakeets can share a living space with cockatiels, with a watchful eye on any aggressive behavior.
  11. Scarlet-Chested Parrots: Scarlet-chested parrots can be housed with cockatiels, as long as aggression is kept in check.
  12. Princess Parrots: Princess parrots can live alongside cockatiels, but it’s essential to prevent any undue aggression.
  13. King Parrots: King parrots can be housed with cockatiels, as long as their interactions remain non-aggressive.

While these bird species generally coexist peacefully with cockatiels, it is crucial to observe their interactions and ensure they are getting along.

Additionally, providing each bird with ample space, food, and water is vital to prevent conflicts. Monitoring their interactions and meeting their basic needs will foster a harmonious avian community.

Do you need 2 cockatiels?

Cockatiels are naturally social birds and often thrive when paired with a companion. Nevertheless, they can also lead fulfilling lives when housed singly. If your daily schedule keeps you away from home frequently, having a pair of cockatiels is advisable as they can provide companionship for each other.

However, if you have just one cockatiel, you can still be its primary companion, especially if it is comfortable with human interaction and enjoys being handled.

It is entirely feasible to house two cockatiels in the same cage, provided that the cage is spacious enough and equipped with an adequate number of perches to accommodate both birds comfortably.

Can you put 2 cockatiels together?

Indeed, you can house two cockatiels together in a shared cage, but there are important considerations to keep in mind. It is typically advisable to pair cockatiels of the same sex to prevent breeding behavior.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge that not all birds will automatically get along, so vigilant observation of their interactions is essential. If any signs of aggression or tension arise, it may be necessary to separate them into individual cages.

Additionally, the size of the cage plays a significant role in their comfort and well-being. Ensure that the cage is spacious enough to accommodate both birds comfortably, allowing them room to fly, stretch their wings, and exercise.

Providing an ample number of perches is equally important to offer them various perching options and prevent overcrowding.

Cockatiels live in harmony with each other when they are monitored for compatibility, given adequate cage space, and provided with plenty of perches.


Cockatiels have an inherent need for companionship, reflecting their natural behaviors in the wild and their genetic predisposition. Interestingly, they thrive on attention to stave off boredom and loneliness, which can be provided either by a caring human or another feathered friend.

Consequently, if you can dedicate a significant amount of time to your cockatiel, there may not be a pressing need to introduce another bird into the equation.

However, if your schedule keeps you away from home frequently, the idea of adding a second bird to your household is often recommended. When considering this, it is vital to approach the introduction of new birds cautiously.

Larger bird species tend to exhibit more aggressive tendencies, leaving your cockatiel vulnerable. It is crucial to promptly separate any birds showing signs of aggression.

One effective solution to this potential issue is to maintain separate cages for your birds while placing them adjacent to each other. This arrangement ensures that all your birds can enjoy the companionship they require while minimizing the risk of aggression.

It is worth noting that the decision to introduce a second cockatiel can have implications for your relationship with them, so it is wise to carefully weigh this before making a choice. Ultimately, the well-being of your cockatiel(s) is of paramount importance, and their social needs should be a top consideration in your decision-making process.


  • 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.

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *