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Budgie Vs Cockatiel: Which One Is More Beginner Friendly?

Budgie Vs Cockatiel

Are you planning to get your first pet bird and trying to choose between a budgie and a cockatiel? If yes, you’ve come to the right place. Before deciding on which of these birds to get, you need to research each of them to see which meets your expectations. Luckily, we’ve done this for you.

Budgie vs cockatiel: Budgies are small, quiet, inexpensive, highly trainable, and like to be touched/held. Cockatiels are affectionate, trainable, pricier, and d have low noise levels. However, cockatiels are generally bigger and have different looks compared to budgies. They also live longer than budgies.

This article discusses more info about budgie vs cocktail for beginners. We’ll discuss how the two compare in terms of physical characteristics, temperament, diet, care requirements, etc., to help you easily decide which one matches your preferences and expectations.

Budgie vs cockatiel comparison table

SizeAround 7 inches12 to 14 inches
Weight1 ounce2 to 4 ounces
Vocalization & NoiseVocalizes and whistles all day longVocalizes and whistles more in the mornings and evenings
Cost$10 to $35$75 to $800
Lifespan5 to 10 years15 to 20 years

Budgie vs cockatiel comparison (side by side):

Budgie vs cockatiel

Here’s how the budgies and cockatiels compare in various key aspects:

Physical characteristics

Budgie Physical characteristics

Wild cockatiels usually have a gray body coloration with orange cheek patch and yellow face and crest. Males usually have brighter and more vivid facial colors than females. Breeding of cockatiels in captivity for pet trade has led to development of various color mutations.

Budgies are naturally yellow/green in color. However, selective breeding for pet trade has brought forth a variety of color options for these pet birds, with the most popular options being blue and white. These parakeets


Temperament and behavior

If you’re looking for a gentle and affectionate pet bird that likes to be petted, then either a budgie or cockatiel will be a good choice.

However, you’ll need to keep in mind that the cockatiel isn’t fond of cuddling more often than a budgie. It prefers just being near you and will be happy to see you.

Cockatiels are friendly to their owners as well as kids of all ages and other pets in the house. However, this bird can easily nip you if it’s untamed.

Cockatiel Behavior

If two cockatiels are housed in the same cage, the male may show territorial behavior towards the female and even attack it. This is unlike the case of budgies which you can pair without worrying about bullying or fights in the cage.

Buddies are pretty docile, gentle, and quite easy to tame.  They’re also more energetic than cockatiels and can engage and interact with you for hours on end.

Note that both parakeets and cockatiels are intelligent as they’re able to learn various tricks over time. For instance, they can learn to wave, whistle to a bell ringing, etc.

See also:  Overweight Budgie: How to Help It Lose Weight?

Speech and vocalization

Both the cockatiels and budgies are good at talking as well as whistling, but they’re loud compared to other birds.

For the cocktails, males are even better at doing the talking and whistling, though the females can also talk.

Budgie Speech and vocalization

The two birds will surprise you by mimicking various sounds in your house including phones, alarm clocks, door creaking, etc.

However, the budgie is more likely to talk more often as well as interact with you.


The two birds have a pretty close kind of diet and may even share the food if you happen to own both of them.

Ideally, you should feed your budgie or cockatiel a variety of foods to ensure it stays healthy and strong, just like any other parrot.

Seeds are one of the foods to give your bird, but they should make up not more than 30% of your bird’s diet as they’re usually high in fat. This can make your birds overweight and unhealthy.

You should give your pet pelleted diets since they’re nutritionally balanced and your bird is unable to pick their favorite seeds in the pellets and leave the rest of the food.

Cockatiel Diet

A variety of fresh fruit and vegetables should also be given to the bird to ensure a healthy and balanced diet.

Always ensure you get rid of any uneaten foods from your budgie cockatiel before it goes bad.

Still at it, you should keep off certain foods from these two birds as they’re highly toxic to them. These include avocados, coffee, fried foods, dairy products, and salty foods.

Care requirements

Cockatiels are playful and active pet birds, so you should be ready to provide them with a spacious cage.

Make sure the cage you get has ¾-inch spacing between its bars to prevent your bird’s head from getting caught up in the openings.


Get a horizontal cage to allow your pet bird to climb so it can exercise which is necessary for its well-being.

Place perches of varying diameters at different levels in the cage and ensure you space them correctly.

The cage should be cleaned regularly since cockatiels are generally messy creatures. Equip the cage with food and water dish and some toys to keep him busy.

Budgies are active and playful and need a spacious, horizontal cage to allow them to fly and climb. The cage should also be furnished with perches of varying sizes spaced correctly to enable your pet easily move between them.


The cage bar spacing for budgies should be around ½-inch wide to prevent your budgie from getting caught up in between.

Your budgies will also appreciate a diversity of toys to play with and keep them from getting bored.

Life expectancy

You’ll also need to understand the life expectancy of both birds since a pet bird can end up being a lifetime commitment.

That said, cockatiels usually live for 10 to 15 years while budgies have a short lifespan and live for around 5 to 10 years with proper care.

See also:  Can Budgies Eat Cabbage? Should They Eat Raw or Cooked Cabbage?

Mind you, the oldest cockatiel recorded was known as Sunshine and lived for up to 32 years! That means a lifelong commitment!

Cockatiel Life expectancy

The lifespan of your pet bird can be affected by a variety of factors such as the diet you feed them, the size of their cage, and whether they have a companion or not.

All this boils down to whether you take good care of your parakeet or cockatiel or not.

Check the following video for more info about choosing between a budgie and a cockatiel


Budgie vs cockatiel: which one should you choose?

Both cockatiels and budgies make great pet birds for homes and choosing one over the other can be challenging.

However, you can make things easier for yourself by picking one that matches your preferences.


If you live in a home with kids who have plenty of time to interact with a pet, then a budgie will be a good choice for you.

However, if you work for long hours and usually spend less time at home, then you should go for a cockatiel.

Elderly people who want some company without necessarily engaging their pet bird will also be well off with a cockatiel.

Can cockatiels and budgies eat the same food?

Cocktiels and budgies can eat the same food. This is because the two birds belong to the same family of parrots, so they share a similar diet.

Budgie vs cockatiel

A healthy diet for these birds should be a combination of seeds, fresh vegetables, and fruits. Seeds are a favorite for birds but should be fed in moderation due to their high fat content.

You can also feed your pet birds meat and boiled eggs to supplement their proteins but in moderation.


1. Are budgies louder than cockatiels?

Cockatiels are louder than budgies. But the good thing is that the cockatiels only vocalize during specific times of the day, in the morning and evenings. Budgies, on the other hand, will sing throughout the day.

2. Are cockatiels more affectionate than budgies?

Both cockatiels and budgies are affectionate pet birds. Cockatiels like being scratched and petted while budgies like interacting with you more often. However, cockatiels don’t like too much petting and want to be left alone some of the time. Budgies want to be with you more, fly behind you, and be around you at all times.

3. Can I keep a budgie and cockatiel together?

You can keep a budgie and a cockatiel together since they share many personality traits and require similar cage setups. Nevertheless, we advise you against putting them together unless they’re bonded as it can cause stress for both birds.

Final Verdict

Budgies and cockatiels make great pets for beginners due to their friendly and affectionate nature and low maintenance. Since they belong to the same family of parrot birds, they harbor a lot of similarities including care requirements, diet, trainability, and levels of intelligence.

However, they also have subtle differences that set them apart. Budgies like long hours of interaction while cockatiels like being left alone at times. Cockatiels usually sing in the morning and evening hours while budgies sing throughout the day.


Peter Kaestner

Hi there, my name is Peter Kaestner and I am the owner of As a avid bird watcher and enthusiast with a passion for ornithology, I want to share my knowledge and experience with other bird lovers through this blog. As someone who regularly participates in bird-related forums and groups online, I am dedicated to helping others learn more about these amazing creatures. However, it's important to note that while I am happy to share my expertise and advice, it is always crucial to consult with an avian veterinarian before making any decisions that could potentially impact your bird's health or well-being. Your bird's health and happiness should always be your top priority, and consulting with a professional is the best way to ensure that you are making informed decisions on their behalf. I hope that through my blog, I can help make a positive difference in the lives of birds and the people who care for them. Whether you are an experienced bird owner or just starting out, I encourage you to use this resource as a way to learn more about these fascinating animals and how to provide them with the best possible care.View Author posts