If you are planning to bring home a cockatiel, the first question whose answer you should know is how long do cockatiels live. Let me take care of that for you.
Cockatiels are generally considered one of the best choices for companion bird pets.
However, if you are an expectant cockatiel owner – you might be wondering how long these birds live so that you can decide whether you want to take up the commitment.
In captivity, cockatiel’s life expectancy depends on many factors like their environment, diet etc. Let us see how they impact how many years will your bird be with you.
Cockatiels: How Long Do They Live?
The life expectancy of a cockatiel depends on many factors. It can be as low as ten years (in the wild) or even as high as 36 years (in a single, unique case).
Their lifespan depends on factors such as their diet, housing, and genetic health.
Providing your cockatiel with a healthy diet and a clean, spacious environment can help it live a longer and healthier life.
How Long Do Cockatiels Live in The Wild?
In the wild, cockatiels have a relatively shorter life span. The average range is from 10 to 15 years.
Wild cockatiels face many more challenges to their health and well-being than their domestic counterparts.
They are prone to be predated, infected with viruses or bacteria, and losing their habitat due to human activity. Over the years, their population in the wild has steadily declined.
Lack of immediate medical care contributes to many deaths. Wild birds of all species have shorter lifespans than their domestic counterparts.
How Long Do Cockatiels Live as Pets?
Animals live much longer in captivity than in the wild simply because of the absence of predators and a much better diet.
15-20 years is the general expectancy of domesticated cockatiels that have a healthy lifestyle and protection from flock diseases.
Of course, various factors play into this, and many owners have lost their perfectly healthy birds at younger ages.
Sudden diseases or conditions like egg binding can cut your pet bird’s life unexpectedly short.
A balanced diet and good mental health also go a long way toward enhancing their lifespan.
How Long Did The Oldest Cockatiel Survive?
The oldest cockatiel ever lived upto 36 years of age. Many have lived as long as 30 years. And a range of around 20 to 25 is attainable for most owners with good care.
It’s preferable to keep these social birds in flocks where they can enjoy company and activity.
This keeps them healthy and happy, and if you add a good diet to the mix, there is no reason why your bird cannot be a long companion for you.
What Can Help Your Cockatiel To Live Longer?
There are several things that you can do to help your cockatiel live a longer and healthier life:
A good diet for cockatiels consists of a mix of seeds, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. In addition, you can add vitamin supplements to their water dishes.
Mineral blocks and cuttlefish bone power help in bridging additional deficiencies.
They also need fresh water that is changed every day.
Keep an eye on your cockatiel to identify any signs of stress or illness. Cockatiels can get stressed easily and become depressed or lethargic.
They might even start plucking their own feathers.
Most common cockatiel diseases will have visible symptoms that you can catch early on.
It’s also best to weigh a growing bird every day to ensure that they are not starving or regurgitating food.
In cages, cockatiels are less active than they would be in the wild. To encourage them to forage and move around, space out their food and water dishes.
Ensure you give them enough out-of-cage time during which they can freely fly and explore places.
It goes without saying that before you let your bird out, you should ensure that the place is properly enclosed and there is no moving body that your cockatiel can run into.
Captive cockatiels can suffer from depression if they do not get proper care for their mental health. It’s best to introduce various toys within a cage and teach your cockatiel how to play with them. This will keep them busy and mentally stimulated.
Cockatiels shed a lot of powder. They are prone to respiratory diseases that can be bacterial or fungal in origin.
Make sure you clean their cage every day. You should replace their food and water every day (even if they have not eaten) to avoid bacterial growth.
Spray pet-friendly anti-bacterial spray on the bars.
Regular vet visits are necessary, even for bids that look perfectly fine. I recommend a vet visit a year to check for obesity, signs of stress, beak and claw health, and more.
How Does The Cockatiel Lifespan Compare To Other Pet Parrot Species?
Cockatiels have a longer lifespan when compared to other mid-sized parrots. But it’s definitely less than those of larger parrot species like the African Grey or Galah.
Let’s take a look at the difference in spans of some common pet parrots:
|Species||Average Lifespan (in years)|
|Budgerigars||5 – 15|
|Parakeets||5 – 8|
|Conures||15 – 25|
|Love Birds||10 – 12|
|Cockatiels||15 – 25|
As you can see, owning a cockatiel is a fairly long-term commitment, in fact, a lot longer than most other pets, including dogs.
Therefore those looking to bring a cockatiel to their home should keep in mind that they have to care for their bird for the next 15-25 years.
How To Know Your Cockatiels Age?
Gauging a cockatiel’s age can be difficult if they are in the middle stages of life. However, cues for identifying younglings up to 1 year of age are many.
Their beak size, claws, feather variations, length of tail feathers, and even crest can give you clues about their age.
Older cockatiels are typically less active, a bit ruffled, and have elongated cheek patches.
After one year of age, it is a bit difficult to ascertain a cockatiel’s correct age. But most breeders will tag their birds with bands containing the date of their birth.
The best way to get a close estimate is to visit an avian veterinarian who can do an assessment.
They can also distinguish between male and female cockatiels (as long as your bird has sexually matured).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it cruel to keep cockatiels as pets?
It is not cruel – as long as you take care of their needs and are caring and loving towards them.
You should provide your bird with a clean place to stay, a healthy diet, lots of time, patience, and enough space to move around.
Adult cockatiels can have long and fulfilling lives as pets. They are gentle creatures who can bond with humans and find companionship among us.
Do cockatiels need a friend?
Yes, cockatiels are social animals and need a friend. It’s best if this friend is another cockatiel.
However, there are instances where owners keep a single cockatiel.
In such cases, the primary bonding the bird creates is with the keeper itself. But this can lead to problems when the bird matures sexually.
Do cockatiels get depressed?
A single cockatiel can easily get depressed if it does not get enough attention from its owner. In the wild, cockatiels live in large flocks.
They are monogamous and spend a lifetime with their mate. Even for a couple of cockatiels, lack of activity and mental stimulation can cause depression.
Where do cockatiels sleep in the wild?
In the wild, cockatiels sleep on trees. At night, they return to areas with tree populations and nest on the branches or in hollows of the tree.
These crevices could either be present naturally or carved earlier by other birds, such as woodpeckers. Flocks will sleep together on a single tree to share warmth during the winter.
Twenty years is a long time for a bird to live. In fact, it surpasses the lifespan of most small-size dogs.
Having a pet cockatiel is a long-term commitment, and you should research their needs before committing to this.
You can also choose to foster birds from rescue centers to give them a new lease on life.
Thank you for reading.