Budgie vs. Cockatiel The common characteristics and differences

It is just recently that the Cockatiel has become a favorite amongst the crowd. A few years ago we would not even be having this conversation! But don’t take that as favoritism towards the Budgie, you should decide as per your own liking. What we offer you here is a complete discussion on what both of them are like as a pet.

Both of them are parrots and are native to Australia where they live in groups. Another fact is that they are desert adapted birds which plays into them being excellent companions. They can survive in even less than favorable conditions. Their diet has nothing particularly demanding and they have, what many pet owners admire, a friendly nature. All of this goes into them being a perfect partner for you.

The Similarities Between the Two

History of parakeets

Both of them are interactive and curious. It makes it easier to hand train them and teach them tricks. They learn fairly easily and fast if their owners decide to put some time into training them. The male members of both species are the ones that do the entertaining talking tricks. The females do not talk. Being native to an entirely different continent, they were brought here in captivity and bred. This has led to color mutations and the ability to blend in the local climate. So, adjusting to your home will be no difficult task for them.

Food and lodging

If you live in a close quarter apartment, they should make ideal pets; they do make noises during the day but are silent and asleep during the night. So, it should be no trouble to the neighbors. Also, their vocalizing will not be loud enough to disturb the neighbors.


As a general rule, parrots are ideal pets for urban dwellers. They adapt fast, they do not require much maintenance and can survive on the most frugal of diets. They have even flourished on an all seed diet. They are territorial and easily domesticated; it means that they will not fly away from you every time you open your windows. They have their homing instinct and even if they wander off, it will guide them home right back to you.

The Things That Set Them Apart

Personality of the birds

The similarities end with the above line. When it comes to the individual personalities of the two birds, they differ a lot from each other. On one hand, a Budgie will be full of energy and will be more prone to flying around and indulging in playful activities; while on the other, a Cockatiel is relatively low in energy. It vocalizes in the daytime and will spend a lot of time just sitting around and looking at things.

Cockatiels are better companions for the elderly, while the Budgie will make a better companion for the young ones. It will be able to provide the constant playful support that keeps them busy through the day. Budgies will continue to vocalize as long as they play. These birds are known to vocalize a lot more than the Cockatiels. Therefore, if you do have a noise concern on your mind then you would do better to go with the Cockatiel.

Physical attributes, shape and size

Also, Cockatiels are bigger in size than their counterparts and grow up to be marginally bigger in height and tail length. Though the difference stretches only to a few inches, but it sure looks a lot on a bird whose whole body is 10 to 12 inches. So, if you want a bigger bird, you know your options! On the other hand, a Budgie can be a good house pet as it won’t take up too much space and also be easier to maintain should the need to cage it arrives.

The Bird for Your Home

It depends completely on what you are after. If you want a bird that remains with you and sticks by you wherever you go, then you should get a Budgie. They are loving and easily trainable. They will play with you as long as you want them to and fly behind you wherever you go. Also, their cages are smaller and thus, they are easier to maintain. You will not have to spend as much time on them as you would have to for a Cockatiel. However, the only drawback in their case is that they are not as tolerant as the Cockatiel.


Sorting them on companionship

Yes, when it comes to pets all of like for you to pet them and show our affection through touch. But a budgie is not a fan of physical petting. If you do insist on touching them, they might retaliate and peck you or bite you or fly right into your face. These are the tantrums that they show. In this regard, a Cockatiel is a better companion. They like to be petted behind their neck and will actually encourage you to do more so.

Reason behind this difference

This contrast in behavior can be attributed to their different energy levels. Each of them responds in their different way. While the Budgie is extremely playful and will sit on your finger, it does not like to be touched. The Cockatiel on the other hand is low in energy; it is overall a much calmer bird and likes to be touched on the neck and behind its ears.

The only time a Cockatiel is angry and pensive is when it is in its mating season. Then, they might fly at you or peck at you for even the slightest of reasons. Apart from that, they are perfect gentlemen.

In the End

It all boils down to your preference. What you choose and where your preference lies, that is all that matters. Each of them is a loving companion and is cherished in their own way. Choosing a bird also depends on your personality. You don’t want a bird whose personality does not mimic that of your own. If you are playful and jovial at all times, a Cockatiel will not be able to keep up with you. Similarly, if you are looking for a companion, a Budgie might disappoint you.



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