How Long Do Cockatiels Live? (Everything About Cockatiel Lifespan)

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Ali Shahid

As an engaging and captivating parrot, the cockatiel is often regarded as one of life’s best companions. Their comical personality, sweet and docile nature, and low noise level make them great apartment pets. But how long do cockatiels live? What is the lifespan of a Cockatiel?

The average lifespan of a cockatiel is 10-15 years. However, cockatiels can live for 20-25 years as pets. In the wild, it is in the range of 10-15 years. The longer lifespan in captivity is because of proper nutrition, safety, and health checkups. In the wild, they have to face habitat loss, food shortages, illegal trading, and most importantly predator threats. This is why they have a shorter lifespan in the wild.

In this article, you will learn how long cockatiels live in the wild and captivity, the lifecycle of a cockatiel, and the factors that influence their lifespans. So, before you purchase a cockatiel, be sure to read this article to learn more about its lifespan and how you can extend its lifespan.

How Long Do Cockatiels Live

Cockatiel Lifespan in the Wild

In the wild, cockatiels don’t live as long as the ones kept as pets. They usually live around 10 to 15 years. Wild cockatiels face more problems that affect their health and safety compared to pet cockatiels.

They have to deal with dangers like being hunted by other animals, getting sick from viruses or bacteria, and losing their homes because people are destroying the environment. This has caused the number of wild cockatiels to go down over time.

One big reason for their shorter lives is that they don’t have easy access to medical help when they get sick. In general, wild birds, no matter what kind, don’t live as long as birds that live with people.

Cockatiel Lifespan in Captivity

As you may have anticipated, pet cockatiels typically have a longer lifespan than their wild counterparts. But let’s talk about how long these pet birds can live. Here’s the thing: You are a big part of their long life.

Taking care of them really matters because these birds depend on you entirely. Before you bring a cockatiel home, it is super important to learn all you can about them. And remember, your learning continues even after the bird becomes part of your family.

If you take good care of your cockatiel, it could stay with you for a big part of your life. They can often live up to 15 years, as long as they are healthy from the start. Some pet cockatiels even make it to 20, 25 years, and beyond.

So, if you are thinking about getting a cockatiel as a pet, think about whether you can commit to taking care of them for many years. Your pet’s happiness and well-being really depend on it.

Factors Affecting Cockatiel Lifespan
NutritionProper nourishment significantly impacts the lifespan of cockatiels. A balanced diet that includes a variety of seeds, pellets, fruits, and vegetables is essential for their overall health and longevity.
EnvironmentThe living conditions of a cockatiel can affect its lifespan. Providing a clean and secure living space, devoid of toxins and hazards, is crucial. Also, maintaining optimal temperature (70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity levels (40-60%) is important for their well-being.
SocializationCockatiels are social creatures and flourish with social interaction. In the wild, cockatiels often live in a flock of 1 pair to hundreds of birds. Therefore, I recommend regular engagement, playtime, and mental stimulation for their general happiness and longevity.
Veterinary CareRoutine veterinary check-ups and preventive care are vital for detecting and addressing health issues early on. This is something wild cockatiels lack. Pet cockatiels have these facilities and that’s why often outlive wild cockatiels. Hence proper vaccinations, parasite control, and regular examinations help ensure the well-being and longevity of cockatiels.
ExerciseExercise is a great way to keep your cockatiel busy and active. No matter what the exercise your cockatiel would love to be a part of it. Any activity that encourages cockatiels to perform physical tasks is highly recommended. In this way, your bird will never be bored. Regular flight time outside the cage, along with toys and perches for climbing and playing are some of the exercises that help maintain their physical activity and mental agility.
GeneticsThe genetic composition of a cockatiel can also impact its lifespan. Some cockatiels might have a predisposition to specific health conditions or possess greater resilience than others. For example, Lutino Cockatiel Syndrome is a genetic disease that involves uncontrolled bleeding which can result in a shorter lifespan.

The Average Cockatiel Life Cycle

Are you new to owning a cockatiel or just interested in how these chatty birds grow? Let’s explore their life stages, from being born to getting old.

Baby Birds

When baby cockatiels hatch, they have no feathers and can’t see or hear well. They rely on their parents for everything. Mom cockatiels usually lay about three to eight eggs and take turns keeping them warm with dad.

By the end of their first week, most baby cockatiels start growing feathers and opening their ear flaps. By the end of their first month, they have all their senses and more feathers.

Growing Up

Young cockatiels are super curious and cute. In the first three months, they grow feathers and learn to eat on their own. This is called “fledging,” when they grow the feathers needed to fly. Once they have their feathers and can eat by themselves, they practice flying, which usually takes about six months.

Adult Birds

Cockatiels become adults when they’re fully grown and able to have babies. This happens around 8 to 12 months old. At this point, they can take care of themselves, show off their pretty feathers, and fly well. Even though they’re grown up, cockatiels still like having friends.

It is important to spend time with them and let them meet other birds and people. Any time you spend with them makes them happy! To keep adult cockatiels healthy, make sure they eat different foods and have toys to play with. As they get older, it is smart to visit a special bird doctor to keep them feeling good.

How can I determine a cockatiel’s age?

Determining the age of a cockatiel can be quite a challenge, especially for older birds. Yet, several methods offer hints about their age. Let’s explore some ways to gauge a cockatiel’s age:

1. Beak: The appearance of the beak provides insight. Young cockatiels sport a smooth, tender beak, while older ones may have a rougher, textured one.

2. Feathers: Feather condition and coloration hint at age. Young birds often boast vibrant, softer feathers, whereas older ones might display slightly faded or worn feathers.

3. Eyes: The eyes of youthful cockatiels appear less intense and darker than those of older counterparts, which tend to shine brighter.

4. Behavior: Young cockatiels tend to be inquisitive and lively, while older ones exude a calmer, settled demeanor.

5. Breeding Behavior: Courting behavior in males typically begins around six months, and females generally become broody around a year.

6. Leg Ring: The leg ring often bears a code that unveils the hatch date. If the bird is from a pet store, it’s usually safe to assume it’s less than a year old.

7. Voice: Vocalizations transform with age. Juveniles utter softer, higher-pitched calls, while older ones possess a deeper, mature voice.

8. Legs and Feet: Leg and feet condition holds clues. Young cockatiels have smoother, less scaly legs, while older ones feature more pronounced scales and rougher skin.

9. Health: Overall health gives a hint. Aged birds might exhibit signs of wear, reduced mobility, or aging-related changes.

10. Hatch Date: The simplest way is to ask the breeder for the hatch date. If you adopted the bird from a breeder, they should provide this info.

It is important to understand these methods yield rough estimates, not exact ages. Consulting an avian veterinarian can offer valuable insights into your cockatiel’s age.

Frequently Asked Question

Who is The Longest Living Cockatiel?

In 2016, a cockatiel named Sunshine earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-lived cockatiel, reaching the remarkable age of 32. At present, Sunshine could be around 39 years old, but its current status is unknown, leaving uncertainty about whether it is still alive or not.

Can a cockatiel live for 20 years?

Yes, a cockatiel can live for 20 years in captivity if provided with proper nutrition, health checkups, and mental and physical stimulation.

Can 1 cockatiel live alone?

The answer can be yes or no. If you provide enough time for your cockatiel it can happily live alone. However, if you leave alone your single cockatiel it may suffer health issues and die.


Cockatiels can live a long time, much longer than other common pets. So, if you are thinking about getting one, you need to understand that they can be around for more than 20 years.

Taking care of a bird for that long is a big job, but it is also really rewarding. There is nothing quite like cuddling with a cockatiel or hearing them sing, especially when you have had a tough day.

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