Parrotlet Vs Cockatiel – Know The Differences Between These Birds!

If you’re not sure which one to get as your pet, our parrotlet vs cockatiel comparison will hopefully help you out.

Both of these birds are lovable creatures coming from the parrot family. But there is more to these cuties than what meets the eye. In fact, their personalities are completely different from each other – which is surprising considering how somewhat alike they are in terms of appearance!

So, if you would like to get either one as your pet, then keep reading to discover what’s unique and special about these birds. Let’s jump right into it!

Parrotlet Vs Cockatiel

Now, let us talk about the different features and personalities that these birds have. Here we go:

1. Size

If you like a smaller pet bird, then the parrotlet may be your preferred one. It is smaller than a cockatiel, which is why it is more space-friendly than the other.

Parrotlets are about 5 inches long, and they are considered as some of the smallest parrots on the planet. They are also lightweight, weighing up to 34 grams. There are lighter parrotlets such as the Green Rumped, which tips the scale at 24 grams. But the largest is the Mexican parrotlet at 34 grams. 

As for the cockatiel, the average length is 33 centimeters or 13 inches. This makes this bird twice the size of a typical parrotlet. With a longer and bigger body comes a heavier weight, which is at 90 grams. Now, that’s much more than what a parrotlet weighs – even the bigger kind!

2. Feather color

These birds are colorful, which is part of their appeal. But when it comes to their color combination, they also differ.

For instance, you can expect a solid gray color for the cockatiels with patches of red on the cheek and white on the wing. Their patterns may also come in pied or lacy, particularly when in captivity. But among the other colors they have are white, cream, gray, and soft brown.

As for the parrotlet, the most common color is green in different shades. There are also various other colors such as fallow, pastel, white, cinnamon, albino, yellow, blue, and lutino. So, you have more color options for these birds.

3. Head

At a glance, this is the most striking difference between the two birds. Cockatiels have their signature spike in the head, which other bird species do not have.

Parrotlets, however, have a simply bare head shape and design. This is typical of other parrots. This is why when you want your bird to have a spiky style on its head, then that’s the cockatiel for you.

4. Health and Lifespan

Basically, these two birds have pretty much the same lifespan. When taken care of properly, they should live a ripe old age of 25 years. But then again, there are those that only live up to 15 years. This all depends on the diet and environment.

Parrotlets generally live up to 20 years, and just like cockatiels, they may live longer or shorter, based on the circumstances they are in. As an example, birds living alone instead of with a cagemate or partner tend to live longer. This eliminates fights when one bird is more dominant. In fact, fights can shorten the bird’s lifespan, which is why having one bird in the cage is more preferred.

5. Personality

We mentioned earlier that cockatiels and parrotlets are different when it comes to their personalities. Although the parrotlet is smaller, it has a more feisty, active, and playful personality. These are birds that come in a small package but with such big character!

Moreover, parrotlets have a tendency to become aggressive, jealous and territorial. This is why it is best to have just one bird in a cage to prevent any fights with another one. 

But if you prefer a more mellow pet bird, then that’s a cockatiel for you. These are affectionate birds that will not hesitate to get petted or held by their owners. They are also fond of mental challenges and games. When left alone, you can give them some activities or small challenges to work on to keep themselves active and occupied.

6. Speech

Parrotlets are more vocal birds that can easily learn how to repeat some works. But do keep in mind that in terms of speech proficiency, males are more keen to learn new words than females.

Cockatiels may not be quite chatty, yet they can still be trained to speak. But their range of words may not be as extensive as what you can expect from a parrotlet. For instance, basic words including hello and goodbye should be easy to teach to your cockatiel but it is limited.

Read More: Parrotlet Sudden Death – Common Causes You Should Know

More Things To Consider

In terms of price, cockatiels are generally cheaper than parrotlets. You should be able to get one for $75 to as much as $250. But there are also differences in price depending on your choice of mutation. 

But as for parrotlets, they are generally about $100 to $350. With a more high-end mutation, the price increases, too. For instance, Green Rumped and Pacific parrotlets are more expensive than others.

With all these features in mind, you may be wondering which one you should get.

Overall, if you like a more mellow bird, the cockatiel is a better choice. But if you want a more active and talkative bird with a big personality, then that’s what the parrotlet is all about. 

But we do not advise having both in one cage since the parrotlet is a bit more temperamental and not as mellow as the cockatiel. Parrotlets are territorial, which is why they are better off on their own in the cage. 

Having a separate cage for other birds is best, so you can prevent fights and make sure your pet will have a more peaceful life in its own abode.

Wrapping Up

We hope this parrotlet vs cockatiel comparison has been helpful for you. As you can see, both birds are adorable and with so much to offer. So whichever one you decide to own, you can never go wrong since they are sure to be a beloved pet to add joy in your life. 

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