Cockatiel on perch
GK Hart & Vikki Hart/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Common Names

Cockatiel, 'Tiel.

Scientific Name

Nymphicus hollandicus.




Cockatiels are usually about 12 inches in length, from the beak to the end of the tailfeathers.

Average Lifespan

Cockatiels in captivity usually have a lifespan of between 10 and 20 years.


Mosy handfed Cockatiels have a very sweet, even temperament, and will exhibit a rather curious and inquisitive nature. They can bond closely with their owners and can be extremely affectionate. Cockatiels are quite intelligent and very social, and enjoy interacting with their human "flock". When properly stimulated, they are relatively easy to care for and make wonderful companions.


Cockatiels come in a wide variety of colors including Grey, Lutino (yellow), Cinnamon, Pearl, Albino (white), Whiteface, and Fallow. There are new color mutations surfacing every day, creating more variety for pet owners interested in keeping the birds.


Captive Cockatiels do best on a diet of high-quality pellets and seed, as well a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. A few nuts or the occasional piece of cereal make nice tasty treats.


Cockatiels can be quite active little birds and should be allowed time outside their cage each day to play, explore, and stretch their wings.

Cockatiels as Pets

Small, intelligent, and easy to care for, Cockatiels have graced the homes of bird lovers for many years. Their engaging personalities and high trainability have put them near the top of the list of the most popular pet bird species.

When cared for properly, Cockatiels can be affectionate and fascinating pets. They are a wonderful species for inexperienced bird owners because of their natural friendly dispositions and curious playfulness.

Cockatiels are members of the parrot family and have the ability to mimic. While it is possible for Cockatiels to learn a few words, most prefer to whistle or sound out noises that they hear in their environment, such as ringing telephones or doorbells. Sometimes their imitations can be quite convincing!

Like all parrots, they relish the times they get to spend with their owners—they are very social and must be interacted with to remain tame. They should be handled, talked to, and played with every day to ensure their health and happiness.