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Cockatiel vs Cockatoo – How To Tell Them Apart & Key Differences in Appearance, Size & Behavior

Cockatiels are among the many hottest pet birds on the planet and are comparatively simple to breed. These lovable little birds are sometimes mistaken for cockatoos by most individuals.

See more: Difference between cockatoo and cockatiel

When you fall into this class of individuals, then this text ought to provide you with a second thought…

…and possibly even a helpful trivia reality or two to impress your pals.

There’s a distinction between cockatoos and cockatiels with the simply noticed one being their measurement. Cockatiels are smaller and generally known as miniature cockatoos.

Extra on this in a bit…

I’ll even get into extra particulars on the dimensions, look, life span and different facets the place there’s a distinction to make issues crystal clear.

Cockatoo and Cockatiel Bio Informationlarge white cockatoo

Such as you may need guessed, cockatoos and cockatiels are all underneath the identical classification. Identical to with English and American budgerigars (parakeets).

Particularly, they’re all birds within the Cacatuidae household, with cockatiels being the one birds within the Nymphicus genera. And ‘tiels are additionally the smallest within the household which consists of 21 birds.


As said earlier, the primary distinction you’ll spot between an grownup cockatoo and a cockatiel is their measurement. It’s no shock since they’re the smallest amongst cockatoos, with sizes starting from 12-13 inches.

Cockatiels are like infants while you examine their measurement to that of full-grown cockatoos which is between 12-24 inches. At this measurement, a cockatiel is just a couple of quarter or half the dimensions of cockatoos.

However within the case a youthful cockatoo hasn’t reached its full measurement, you may know which is which by assessing their look…


yellow cockatiel

First off, the feather colours of cockatoos are most occasions stable or plain, with just a few patches of different colours. Most occasions, the predominant colours are both white or black whereas you may additionally discover a grey or pink shade on uncommon events.

On the flip facet, cockatiels are brightly colored and have totally different shades.

Nevertheless, wild cockatiels are normally grey with patches of white on their wings and inexperienced or yellow on their tails.

However cockatiels stored in captivity have a shade mutation that’s on a complete new degree in comparison with that of cockatoos or wild cockatiels. A few of them are white face pied, cinnamon pearl, pearl pied, and white face grey.

One other distinction in look between a cockatoo and a cockatiel is their physique:

Cockatiels have a a lot smaller beak than cockatoos which is sort of logical since they’re smaller.

However cockatiels have an extended tail-type which makes up about half of their physique, whereas the cockatoos have a shorter tail.


Cockatoos stay longer than cockatiels within the wild or captivity. Some species, just like the sulphur-crested cockatoo, can stay longer than 100 years.

Nevertheless, wild cockatiels solely stay for as much as 25 years, and people in captivity stay for a median of 14 years.

However they’ll attain 20+ years if they’re properly taken care of by their homeowners, as defined right here.

large white cockatoo sitting on floor


By way of persona, cockatoos are much more social than cockatiels and are extra affectionate to their homeowners.

Not like cockatiels, a cockatoo will want far more outing its cage with its proprietor and would possibly grow to be depressed if left alone for too lengthy. However cockatiels, although good with individuals, can deal with being left alone.

Additionally, cockatoos are very noisy in comparison with cockatiels. I’ll speak about that intimately within the subsequent part.

On the whole, cockatiels are a lot calmer birds than cockatoos.

Vocal Potential

As mentioned earlier, cockatoos are louder birds and in addition mimic their proprietor’s phrases higher than cockatiels.

‘Tiels have a softer voice and make extra fowl sounds reasonably than discuss. Even after they discuss, their phrases are more durable to know than that of cockatoos.

However, cockatiels usually tend to imitate family sounds than cockatoos.


Of all of the 21 species of cockatoos, cockatiels are simply the preferred pet fowl.

Because of their small measurement and calm persona, they’re simpler to care which makes an important alternative for each the young and old fowl proprietor.

However, bigger cockatoos are much less widespread with the sulphur-crested cockatoo and umbrella cockatoo being the preferred amongst them.

two cockatiels perched together


Unquestionably, cockatoos are far more costly than cockatiels.

‘Toos are additionally costlier to look after and shelter for than cockatiels as a result of they’re bigger birds.

A cockatoo can price from $1,000 to $25,000 relying on the species. Maybe one more reason why they’re much less in style as pet birds since they’ll break the bank. Plus, their cages should be bigger too.

However, cockatiels price a extra economical value of $80 to $250 in comparison with cockatoos. Their cages are smaller and extra inexpensive as properly.

Can A Cockatoo And A Cockatiel Be Stored Collectively?

Protecting a cockatoo and a cockatiel collectively isn’t the very best of concepts for my part.

Sure, they’ll keep collectively so long as the cockatoo isn’t aggressive to the smaller fowl.

However cockatoos might be territorial, which signifies that eventually, they may hurt the cockatiel and even kill the opposite fowl.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully you realized one thing new immediately about these great parrots, whether or not their telltale look variations or drastically totally different costs.

What’s your expertise with ‘tiels & ‘toos? Tell us which one you have got had as a pet within the feedback beneath!

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