Can Cockatiels Live With Budgies? Or, Never Shall the Twain Meet?

Planning to keep your birds in the same cage? It’s best to first check if they are compatible. For example: can cockatiels live with budgies? The answer is no, and I will explain below why.

Cockatiels and budgies are both from the parrot species of bird. Both are popular as companion birds.

And while many people have both these birds as pets together, making them live in the same cage together is not a great idea!

There is a stark personality difference between cockatiels and budgies. The two birds can become distressed if they are forced to live together.

You can have them play together in a neutral space while you supervise, but both the birds need their personal space to live in.

Can Cockatiels Live With Budgies

Can Budgies And Cockatiels Live Together?

Budgies and cockatiels can live together in the same house. While it’s not ideal, if you do wish to keep them in the same cage, you can do so.

But before that, there are differences between both the birds that you should know so that you can care for them better.

Size

First and foremost is their size. Budgies can grow up to 7 inches from head to tail, while cockatiels are 12-13 inches long, making them considerably larger than budgies.

For this reason alone, if you decide to put them in the same cage, you will need a large cage where both birds fit and have enough space to themselves individually.

Budgies also are more hyper than cockatiels, so if there’s an altercation, the cockatiel being larger in size can injure the budgie.

Territorial Nature

Budgies can quickly get territorial and start viewing some spaces in the shared area as their own.

In larger aviaries where birds have their own nesting boxes, budgies can become protective of their nesting grounds.

This can also happen in a closed environment like a shared cage.

Budgies can become violent once they become protective, leading to escalated aggression between both species.

An open aviary has more space and allows for more hiding spots and less injury.

A closed cage, on the other hand, equals more proximity, less personal space, and far greater risks of injury.

Can Cockatiels Live With Budgies
Despite their diminutive size, budgies can get very territorial and aggressive

Activeness

There is a great difference between the personalities of cockatiels and budgies. This includes their energy levels and activeness.

Budgies are hyperactive and curious birds. They also vocalize and whistle throughout the day.

They need to be constantly entertained. Otherwise, they might get lonely and don’t handle loneliness well.

On the other hand, cockatiels are more laid-back and mellow birds. They can spend time by themselves and don’t need constant entertainment.

They usually vocalize during the mornings and evenings.

The budgie’s hyper energy might put the calm cockatiels in distress, and they might accidentally injure the budgie.

Talkativeness

Both the budgie and cockatiel belong to the parrot species and, therefore, can talk. They will imitate sounds and words that you repeat or teach them.

Budgies happen to have a wider vocabulary and will talk more.

Cockatiels, on the other hand, tend to talk less. Among the cockatiels, the males are likelier to talk and imitate words than the females.

Night Terrors In Cockatiels

Cockatiels often get scared during nighttime.

If the cockatiel and budgie share a cage and the cockatiel gets one of its night frights, it might injure its budgie friend with the constant flapping around and thrashing.

The budgie might also end up injured trying to fight the cockatiel.

Can Cockatiels Live With Budgies
Cockatiels are prone to night terrors, which might cause fights

Types of Food

Both budgies and cockatiels need a healthy combination of seeds, fruits, and fresh vegetables for their nutritional needs.

But there’s a slight difference in the seeds that they consume. Cockatiels require a higher calorie diet; therefore, their seed mix usually contains more sunflower seeds.

But sunflower seeds can be harmful to a budgie’s health and can trigger obesity and heart conditions in them.

Budgies survive on a heavy pellet diet, which can lead to kidney problems in cockatiels.

So it’s important to ensure you’re keeping their food completely from each other.

Keep their feeding and water bowls separate, and if possible, feed them outside the cage to avoid any mix-up.

Cage Size Needed

Cockatiels are much larger in size than budgies and need space to move around. If the cage is not big enough, even the cockatiel’s everyday actions and flight can injure the budgie if they collide.

Too much proximity and insufficient extra space can trigger the budgie’s dominant and territorial behavior causing aggression between the birds.

While the budgie will have the advantage of its small size to move around quickly, the cockatiel might feel trapped and accidentally injure or even kill the budgie.

Hence if you plan on putting them together, you would need a huge cage where both birds can have space for their individual personalities.

This will give them their own safe space as well as a common play area.

Can Cockatiels Live With Budgies
Get a fairly large cage if you are planning to put the birds together

Bird Dust

Cockatiels leave a bit of dust around from their feathers. They need to be constantly cleaned and bathed. On the other hand, a budgie is a very clean bird and might get bothered by the constant dust from its cockatiel friend.

Additionally, some birds might even be allergic to the cockatiel’s bird dust. Hence it might not be a great idea to have the cockatiel share the cage with another bird.

Their bird dust is also why you should not let a cockatiel sleep with you. Their dust can cause breathing issues and lung problems.

Jealousy in Budgies

Cockatiels are very affectionate birds. While they don’t need constant mental stimulation like the budgie, they need lots of affection and attention.

They also like physical affection, like petting and scratching, something a budgie isn’t particularly fond of.

This might trigger feelings of jealousy in a budgie, and it might retaliate by being territorial or aggressive towards you or the cockatiel.

Hence before you decide to house a cockatiel and budgie together in the same cage, you should consider all the above points and personality differences in both birds.

Can Cockatiels And Budgies Breed With Each Other?

Cockatiels and budgies cannot mate with each other.

Even though both of them belong to the same order of Psittaciformes, cockatiels belong to the family Cacatuidae, while budgies belong to the family Psittaculidae.

They also belong to two separate genera – budgies belong to Melopsittacus, and cockatiels belong to Nymphicus.

Hence, these birds are genetically incompatible for mating. They don’t even attract each other for mating.

If, by any chance, though, they do end up mating, the hybrid will either die young or be born with defects such as sterility because of the genetic gap between the two birds.

Can Cockatiels Live With Budgies
Budgies and cockatiels can’t breed

How To Get Them To Be Friendly?

Cockatiels and budgies should not be kept in the same cage, but they can certainly hang out with each other and be friendly.

Both the cockatiel and budgie are social birds and seek companionship and socializing. But when it comes to two birds, you must be mindful when introducing them because they can quickly get territorial.

Keep them in close quarters

The first step is to keep their respective cages nearby so they can familiarise themselves. It’s best to leave them to befriend each other and make the first physical contact.

You can keep their cages next to each other so they can get used to the company and presence of a fellow bird.

This way, they will learn to be friendly with each other but will have their own space to retreat into.

There will be no question of getting territorial or anxious when both birds have their respective cages.

Playdates under a close watch

You can let your budgie and cockatiel out of their cages at the same time. However, ensure that their playdates are in neutral territory and not in either cage.

Please do not leave them on their own. Their playdates should be continually supervised so that they don’t get into a brawl if they get hassled or stressed.

While budgies can be bullies, the cockatiel might end up hurting the budgie because of its larger size. So keep an eye on them at all times.

Can Cockatiels Live With Budgies
You can let them have supervised playdates

Keep checking the cages

Even when your budgie and cockatiel are in their respective cages, keep an eye on their behavior.

Budgies are more active than cockatiels, and their constantly chirpy personality can quickly put the cockatiel in distress.

Likewise, the cockatiel’s laid-back nature might make the budgie feel lonely. Keep an eye out so you can take steps if you see any signs of stress in either of their behaviors.

Can Budgies And Cockatiels Get Along In One Cage? How To Do It?

Keeping a cockatiel and a budgie in the same cage is not recommended because of their different personalities.

However, if you wish to keep them in one cage, you must proceed step by step.

Introducing each other

The first thing to do is to make a proper introduction. Begin by placing their respective cages next to each other so that they get used to each other’s presence. You should never put one in the other’s cage directly.

Playdates

Once they seem acquainted enough after a few days, let them out of their cages simultaneously for playdates in a neutral space. Ensure to monitor these times of interaction to prevent any altercation.

Neutral cage

After they seem comfortable playing together in a neutral space, try keeping them together in another neutral cage to see if they’re okay with that.

Single bigger cage, shared between them

Once the cockatiel and budgie have adjusted to each other’s presence and proximity and have bonded, you can move towards shifting them to a newer, bigger cage.

This new cage needs plenty of space for both birds to have their separate areas. This includes respective perch space, hiding spots, and play areas, so there are no territory issues.

Can Cockatiels Live With Budgies
Make sure both birds are comfortable before moving them in a common cage

Make provisions for different food

The dietary needs of the cockatiel are different from that of the budgie.

So make sure you have separate food dishes and water bowls for them on either side of the cages so there is no mixing.

Ensure that you’re providing both with enough of their respective chew toys and treats so there’s no jealousy between them.

Keep a constant check

Lastly, keep a constant vigil on their interactions. If aggression escalates, the birds can end up hurting each other.

You would need to pay special attention during the breeding season. If they seem irritable, it’s best to put them in separate cages till the mating season is over.

Frequently Asked Questions

What birds can be kept with cockatiels?

Cockatiels are laid-back birds that are social but more relaxed. Hence they should be paired with other birds of similar temperament.
Another cockatiel would be the best option. But besides that, you can keep red-crowned parakeets, Bourke parakeets, and turquoise parrots with cockatiels.
You can also pair budgies with cockatiels, but keeping them in separate cages would be ideal.

Which birds can live with budgies?

Budgies are small birds, so it’s essential that you not pair them with other birds which are considerably larger than their size.
You can pair these perky little birds with small parrots, parakeets, and lorikeets. They also gel well with their fellow Australian neighbor, the cockatiel, as long as you keep them in separate cages.

Should I get a budgie for my cockatiel?

Budgies and cockatiels can be companions in captivity. But they have starkly different personalities. Budgies are hyper and active, while cockatiels are laid back and calm.
This difference in their personality can cause distress to either of them. So if you get a budgie for your cockatiel, ensure you give them individual cages and supervise their interactions at all times.

Can a cockatiel and a parakeet live in the same cage?

Yes, a cockatiel and parakeet can live in the same cage, but it is not advisable.
If there is no other option, however, ensure that the cage is big enough for both birds to have their own space when required.
Respect their individuality and monitor their behavior to spot any signs of distress.

Wrap Up

Cockatiels can live with budgies in the same cage, provided the cage is big enough and has more than enough space for both birds.

They are also friendly and social birds, so they will adapt to living with each other.

That said, it is not recommended that you keep them in the same cage because of the stark contrast in their personalities.

The forced proximity might trigger aggression if things get out of hand.

Thank you for reading!

Photo of author

Team Beauty of Birds

Beautyofbirds.com's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

You can meet our team here.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.