Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Can budgerigars and cockatiels live together?

As a general rule, people advise not to mix any parrot species at all, due to various reasons.

The majority of people who've had both cockatiels and budgies in the same aviary, say the following things (based on personal experience) :
  • Cockatiels have a different diet and need more space than budgies
  • Budgies would play with the cockatiel, while cockatiels prefer to be left alone (this may result in a fight)
  • A weak or breeding bird of one species will be teased by the birds of the other species
  • Any conflict between a cockatiel and a budgie is in the budgie's disadvantage, since cockatiels are bigger and generally more aggressive (one example is the horror story of a cockatiel who bit off a budgie's foot during a fight)
So it's probably not a good idea. Of course, each bird has its own personality and some are more peaceful and tolerant than others. If you want to take the risk to keep budgerigars and cockatiels together, you should introduce them slowly to each other on neutral ground. This way, none of the birds will see each other as an intruder and start a fight. Keep them in apart cages and take them out together so that they can play and become friends. When everything goes well, you could risk putting them together, as long as you make sure there is plenty of space in the cage. When they fight, you will have to keep them apart because they might not stop and hurt each other. But it's not all bad news. Some people had a budgie and a cockatiel. The cockatiel loved to preen the budgie and talked to it a lot. He even taught the budgie to sing a little. So it really depends on the personality of the bird, and how careful you are as an owner.

Other posts in this series:
Can budgerigars and lovebirds live together?
Can budgerigars and canaries live together?


  1. Sweet!

    So how do you keep the species from eating each other's food?

  2. I don't think budgies bother much with the cockatiel food (some pieces, like sunflower seeds, are too large) but cockatiels can eat the budgie's food. You just have to make sure that they don't start fighting over the food, or that the cockatiel eats all the budgie food!