Can Cockatiels Be With Parakeets?

Cockatiel or Budgie What should you get

Keeping multiple bird species together can be a rewarding experience, both for the birds and their owners. Two popular choices for companion birds are the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) and the parakeet (also known as budgerigars or budgies – Melopsittacus undulatus).

While distinct differences in appearance, behaviour, and vocalizations exist, cockatiels and parakeets coexist harmoniously with proper care and consideration.

Cockatiels and Parakeets can live together, forming a delightful and colourful aviary community. Both birds belong to the parrot family and can cohabitate if certain conditions are met. However, it’s essential to consider their differences in size, behaviour, and dietary requirements before introducing them to one another.

Ensuring they have enough space, appropriate nutrition, and mental stimulation to thrive together is essential. Additionally, gradual introductions and monitoring their interactions are crucial to ensuring a positive living arrangement. However, it’s important to note that every bird is unique, and some individuals may not prefer to share their living space, so careful observation and respect for their preferences are essential.

Are Cockatiels and Parakeets Social Creatures That Enjoy Company?

Yes, both Cockatiels and Parakeets are social creatures that enjoy the company. In the wild, they live in flocks, and their well-being depends on the camaraderie of their fellow birds. In captivity, providing them with opportunities for social interaction is essential to prevent loneliness and boredom.

Cockatiels are known for their playful and inquisitive nature. They are intelligent birds that can be taught various tricks and enjoy human interaction, making them popular pets worldwide.

What Precautions Should I Take When Introducing Cockatiels and Parakeets?

Before these delightful avian companions can coexist harmoniously, it’s crucial to take certain precautions to ensure a successful introduction

Step 1: Quarantine Period

Before bringing a new bird home, regardless of its species, it’s essential to implement a quarantine period. Quarantine involves isolating the new bird in a separate room or area away from your existing birds for a minimum of 30 days. This precautionary measure serves several purposes:

  • Health Assessment: During the quarantine period, observe the new bird’s behaviour, appetite, and droppings to ensure it is healthy. If any signs of illness or distress are observed, consult an avian veterinarian immediately.
  • Disease Prevention: Quarantine helps prevent the potential spread of infectious diseases to your current birds. Many avian illnesses can be asymptomatic during incubation, and birds can carry and transmit diseases without showing any visible signs.
  • Bonding Time: Spending one-on-one time with the new bird during quarantine allows you to establish a bond with them before introducing them to the other birds.

Step 2: Separate Cages

After the quarantine period, the next step is gradually introducing the birds. Start by placing their cages close to one another, but ensure a safe distance between them. This arrangement allows the birds to see and hear each other without direct physical contact.

During this time, observe how the birds react to each other’s presence. Some chirping, posturing, and curious behaviour are normal as they get accustomed to their new neighbour. If there are any signs of extreme stress or aggression, keeping their cages at a greater distance may be necessary for a bit longer.

Step 3: Supervised Playtime

Once the birds seem comfortable with each other’s presence from their separate cages, you can progress to supervised playtime sessions. Choose a neutral space outside of their cages, such as a play gym or a designated play area, and allow both birds to explore it together under your watchful eye.

Supervised playtime serves several purposes:

  • Social Interaction: It provides an opportunity for the birds to interact with each other in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Bonding: Playtime helps the birds become familiar with each other’s body language and behaviour, which is essential for developing a bond.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Reward the birds with treats and praise when they display friendly and non-aggressive behaviour towards each other. Positive reinforcement helps them associate each other’s presence with positive experiences.

Step 4: Observe Behavior

During supervised playtime, closely monitor the birds’ interactions. It’s normal for them to display a certain level of posturing, vocalizations, and gentle pecks as they establish their social hierarchy. However, any aggressive behaviour, such as biting, lunging, or excessive chasing, should be addressed immediately.

If one bird appears consistently frightened or stressed by the other, it may be a sign that they are not compatible as cage mates. In such cases, it’s crucial to prioritize the well-being of both birds and keep them in separate living spaces.

Step 5: Cage Sharing

If the birds show positive interactions during supervised playtime and seem comfortable around each other, you can attempt cohabitation by placing them in one cage. However, before doing so, there are some essential factors to consider:

  • Cage Size: The cage must be large enough to accommodate both species comfortably, with plenty of room for them to move around and spread their wings.
  • Feeding Arrangements: Provide separate food and water dishes for each bird to avoid potential conflicts during mealtime.
  • Toys and Perches: Include an assortment of toys and perches in the cage to prevent boredom and territorial disputes.
  • Nesting Behavior: Be cautious if either species begins displaying nesting behaviour or aggressive mating tendencies towards the other. This could lead to stress or potential injury.
  • Monitoring: Continue to monitor their interactions closely, even after they are housed together, to ensure they continue to get along and no aggressive behaviours develop.

Can Cockatiels and Parakeets Bond with Each Other?

Yes, Cockatiels and Parakeets can form strong bonds with each other. Both species are social creatures and, when introduced properly, can develop close relationships. They may engage in mutual preening, sit side by side, and even share a sleeping perch. These positive interactions are signs of a harmonious bond.

However, it’s essential to monitor their behaviour during the introduction process. Some birds may adjust to their new companions, and occasional skirmishes are normal as they establish their hierarchy. Ensuring enough space, toys, and perches for both species is crucial to prevent territorial disputes.

While Cockatiels and Parakeets can bond with each other, it’s essential to remember that interbreeding between the species is not recommended. If you wish to breed birds, it’s best to pair them with their respective species.

How Do I Know If My Cockatiel and Parakeet Are Getting Along?

Christmas with my Lineolated Parakeets

  • Social Interaction: One of the most apparent signs that your Cockatiel and Parakeet are getting along is their social interaction. Birds that get along well will engage in friendly behaviours, such as preening each other, sitting side by side on perches, and sharing food dishes. They may also explore their surroundings together and exhibit playful behaviours in each other’s presence.
  • Vocalizations: Happy and contented birds tend to vocalize cheerfully in each other’s company. They may chirp, whistle, and sing together, creating a melodious symphony of bird sounds. Vocalizations indicate that your feathered companions enjoy each other’s company.
  • Playfulness: Cockatiels and Parakeets are naturally playful creatures, and when they get along, this playfulness is amplified. You may observe them engaging in chasing games, hopping around together, or even sharing toys. Play is an essential aspect of their relationship, reinforcing their bond.
  • Feeding Together: Birds that get along well will feel comfortable eating together from the same food dish. This behaviour demonstrates a level of trust and comfort between them. However, it’s essential to ensure both species have access to their specific dietary needs to avoid conflicts during mealtime.
  • Body Language: A bird’s body language can reveal much about their feelings and emotions. When Cockatiels and Parakeets get along, they may display relaxed body postures, such as fluffed-up feathers and gentle head bobs. They may also engage in mutual grooming, which shows trust and affection.
  • Comfortable Sleeping: The way birds sleep can also provide insight into their relationship. If your Cockatiel and Parakeet are comfortable with each other, they may choose to sleep close to one another on the same perch or in proximity to each other within the same sleeping area.
  • No Aggressive Behavior: Perhaps the most critical indicator that your birds are getting along is the absence of aggressive behaviour. Aggression can manifest as biting, lunging, excessive chasing, or territorial displays. It’s normal for birds to establish their social hierarchy through minor skirmishes, but continuous aggression should be addressed and monitored closely.

How Long Does It Take for Cockatiels and Parakeets to Bond?

The time it takes for cockatiels and parakeets to bond can vary depending on several factors, including the individual birds’ personalities, their previous socialization experiences, and their environment. On average, it may take a few days to several weeks for them to establish a strong bond.

During the initial introduction, allowing the birds to get accustomed to each other’s presence without forcing interactions is crucial. They may display territorial behaviour or some initial resistance. Gradually, as they become familiar, they communicate through vocalizations, body language, and grooming.

Can I Keep Multiple Cockatiels and Parakeets Together in One Large Aviary?

Yes, you can keep multiple cockatiels and parakeets together in one large aviary, but there are important considerations to ensure their well-being. Cockatiels and parakeets are social birds that can generally coexist, but there are a few potential challenges to address.

  • First, ensure the aviary is spacious enough to accommodate the number of birds you plan to keep. Overcrowding can lead to stress and territorial disputes. Providing ample space, perches, and nesting areas will help minimize conflicts.
  • Second, closely monitor the birds’ interactions, especially during the initial introduction phase. Introduce new birds gradually to reduce the risk of aggression or dominance issues.
  • Third, consider the species and personalities of the birds you intend to keep together. Some individual birds may not get along with others, leading to conflicts. Monitor their behaviour and be prepared to separate individuals if necessary.
  • Fourth, provide a varied diet and enrichment activities to keep the birds mentally stimulated and physically active.


The cohabitation of cockatiels and parakeets can be a delightful experience with careful planning and consideration. Their size, personality, and behavioural differences can create a harmonious and enriching environment when provided with adequate space, proper nutrition, and mental stimulation.

Remember that every bird is unique; some may not prefer to share their living space, so always observe and respect their preferences. You can foster a happy and thriving community of cockatiels and parakeets by prioritizing their well-being and providing a loving environment.

Written by Justin Michaels

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