Welcome to our comprehensive guide on conures and cockatiels – two of the most popular pet birds around. These feathered friends are beloved for their friendly nature, playful personalities, and charming vocalizations. If you’re considering adding a conure or cockatiel to your family, or if you already have one and want to learn more about their care and behavior, you’ve come to the right place.

Key Takeaways

  • Conures and cockatiels are popular pet birds known for their friendly nature.
  • This guide provides comprehensive information on their care, behavior, and training.
  • Read on for tips on creating a stimulating environment, promoting good health, and extending their lifespan.

Understanding Conures and Cockatiels

Conures and cockatiels are popular pet birds known for their friendly nature and entertaining personalities. These birds come in a variety of species, each with their own unique characteristics and traits. Here’s a brief overview of the most common species of conures and cockatiels:

Conure Species

Species Physical Characteristics
Sun Conure Yellow, orange, and red plumage; black beak
Green Cheek Conure Green feathers with red and blue accents; brown beak
Jenday Conure Orange-red head and chest; yellow-green wings and tail; black beak

Cockatiel Species

Species Physical Characteristics
Grey Cockatiel Grey body with white and yellow accents; orange cheek patch
Pied Cockatiel White and yellow body; varies in color patterns
Lutino Cockatiel Yellow body with orange cheek patch; red eyes

Each species of conure and cockatiel has its own unique personality and behavior patterns. Understanding these species can help you better care for your pet bird and provide an environment that meets their needs.

Conure and Cockatiel Care

Caring for conures and cockatiels requires attention to their specific needs. Providing a safe, stimulating environment is crucial for their well-being.

Cage Setup Feeding Grooming Exercise
  • A spacious cage with room for toys and perches is essential.
  • Provide separate areas for perching, sleeping, and playing.
  • Place the cage away from drafts and direct sunlight.
  • A balanced diet of pellets, seeds, vegetables, and fruits is recommended.
  • Avoid fatty and sugary foods, and limit treats to occasional rewards.
  • Provide fresh water daily, and clean food and water dishes regularly.
  • Regular baths or showers are important for maintaining healthy feathers and skin.
  • Trim nails and beaks as needed, or have a professional do it.
  • Check for signs of illness or injury, such as discolored feathers, lethargy, or weight loss.
  • Offer toys that encourage exercise and mental stimulation.
  • Allow supervised out-of-cage time daily for socialization and play.
  • Provide perches of varying sizes and textures to exercise feet and leg muscles.

Overall, caring for conures and cockatiels involves providing a comfortable, healthy environment, a varied diet, proper grooming, and regular exercise.

Understanding Conure and Cockatiel Behavior

Conures and cockatiels are known for their playful and social nature. They are intelligent birds and can bond strongly with their owners.

Conures are typically more vocal than cockatiels and can mimic sounds and words they hear regularly. They love to play and need plenty of mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Cockatiels, on the other hand, tend to be quieter but are still sociable and love attention from their owners.


Both conures and cockatiels make a variety of sounds to communicate with their owners. These can include squawking, whistling, and chirping. Conures are particularly known for their loud calls, which can be heard from a distance. Cockatiels tend to be quieter but can still chatter away when they’re feeling chatty.


Conures and cockatiels love to play and need plenty of toys to keep them occupied. They enjoy climbing, swinging, and chewing on things, so providing a variety of toys is important for their well-being. They are also known to enjoy games with their owners, such as hide-and-seek and peek-a-boo.


Both conures and cockatiels are social birds and need plenty of interaction with their owners. They enjoy being petted and talked to and will often seek out attention from their owners. They are also known to enjoy the company of other birds, so having more than one bird can be beneficial for their socialization.

Bonding with Owners

Conures and cockatiels can form strong bonds with their owners and often enjoy cuddling and being held. They are loyal birds and will often follow their owners around the house. It’s important to spend plenty of time with them each day to maintain a strong bond.

Training Conures and Cockatiels

Training your conure or cockatiel can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your bird. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Start with positive reinforcement: Use treats and praise to reward your bird for good behavior.
  • Be consistent: Use the same commands and training methods each time you work with your bird.
  • Be patient: Birds learn at their own pace, so don’t get discouraged if progress is slow.

Basic Commands

Some basic commands you can teach your bird include:

Command Description
Step up Teaches your bird to step onto your hand or a perch.
Target Teaches your bird to touch a target with its beak, usually a small stick or pointer.
Wave Teaches your bird to wave its foot or wing on command.

Tricks to Teach

If your bird has mastered basic commands, you can move on to teaching some fun tricks. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Ring toss: Teach your bird to toss a small ring onto a peg.
  2. Basketball: Teach your bird to dunk a small ball into a miniature hoop.
  3. Color recognition: Teach your bird to recognize and identify different colors.

Remember to always make training sessions short and enjoyable for your bird. With patience and persistence, your conure or cockatiel can learn a variety of tricks and behaviors.

Conure and Cockatiel Diet

Feeding your conure or cockatiel a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their health and wellbeing. A diet that is lacking in essential nutrients can lead to various health problems and a shortened lifespan.

Seed-based diets: While seed-based diets are a popular choice for conures and cockatiels, they are not nutritionally complete. Seeds are high in fat and low in vitamins and minerals. Therefore, seeds should not be the only component of your bird’s diet. If you choose to feed your bird a seed-based diet, ensure that it is a high-quality mix that contains a variety of seeds.

Pelleted diets: Pellets are a balanced and complete diet that provide all the necessary nutrients for your bird. Pellets come in different sizes and flavors, so it’s essential to choose a brand that your bird likes. If your bird is not used to eating pellets, introduce them slowly by mixing them with their current diet.

Fruits and vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of your bird’s diet. They provide essential vitamins and minerals, and their high water content helps keep your bird hydrated. Offer a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables such as kale, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, and berries.

Safe foods: Foods to avoid:
  • Berries
  • Mango
  • Apples
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Rhubarb

Treats: Occasional treats such as nuts, seeds, and dried fruits can be given to your bird in small quantities. However, it’s important to remember that treats should not make up a significant portion of your bird’s diet.

Water: Fresh, clean water should be available at all times. Change your bird’s water daily to ensure it remains fresh.


Providing your conure or cockatiel with a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for their health and wellbeing. Ensure that their diet includes a variety of seeds, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid feeding your bird foods that are toxic to them, and always provide fresh water. By following these dietary guidelines, you can help ensure a long and healthy life for your feathered friend.

Conure and Cockatiel Lifespan

Conures and cockatiels can live quite long if cared for properly. On average, conures can live from 20 to 30 years, while cockatiels can live from 15 to 20 years. However, with good care, it is not uncommon for these birds to live even longer.

Factors that can influence their lifespan include genetics, diet, and overall care. Providing a healthy diet with high-quality nutrition, regular exercise, and a clean environment can help ensure a long and healthy life for your pet bird.

Conure and Cockatiel Health

Just like any other pet, conures and cockatiels need proper care and attention to maintain good health. However, even with the best care, these birds may still suffer from health issues. Here are some common health problems that conures and cockatiels face:

Health Issue Symptoms Prevention/Treatment
Respiratory Infections Coughing, sneezing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing Keep their environment clean, avoid drafts, and provide a balanced diet. Seek veterinary assistance if symptoms persist.
Feather Plucking Bald patches, broken or chewed feathers Address any underlying causes, such as stress or boredom. Provide toys, perches, and a stimulating environment to prevent feather plucking.
Parasites Itching, feather loss, or visible mites or lice Regularly clean their cage and provide a clean and dry environment. Consult with a veterinarian for appropriate treatment.

To maintain optimal health, it is important to take your conure or cockatiel for regular check-ups with an avian veterinarian. Additionally, provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet, maintain a clean and hygienic environment, and observe their behavior for any signs of illness or distress. By taking these steps, you can help ensure a happy and healthy life for your feathered friend.

Conure and Cockatiel Habitat

Creating an ideal habitat for your conure or cockatiel is crucial to their physical and mental well-being. Providing a spacious cage with appropriate toys, perches, and accessories is essential.

Conures and cockatiels are highly active birds and require ample space for exercise and play. A minimum cage size for a single bird should be no smaller than 20 x 20 x 24 inches for a cockatiel and 24 x 24 x 24 inches for a conure.

It’s important to include a variety of perches in the cage of different textures, sizes, and shapes. This will help prevent foot problems and boredom. Natural wood perches are an excellent choice, but make sure they are sanitized and free of any toxins.

Accessories To Include Accessories To Avoid
  • Swings
  • Ladders
  • Mirrors
  • Toys (plastic, wooden, and/or rope)
  • Perches with sandpaper
  • Avoid anything with small parts that can be ingested
  • Painted or dyed accessories
  • Anything sharp or made of toxic materials

It’s also important to keep your bird’s cage clean and sanitary. Regularly cleaning and replacing bedding, toys, and accessories will help prevent the growth of bacteria and illness.

Overall, providing a stimulating and enriching environment will help keep your conure or cockatiel healthy and happy.

Conure and Cockatiel Personality

Conures and cockatiels are known for their friendly and social personalities, making them popular pets in many households. While each bird has its unique characteristics, there are some general traits that define the personalities of these birds.

  • Social: Both conures and cockatiels are highly social birds that thrive on the company of their owners. They enjoy interacting with people and often form strong bonds with their human companions.
  • Clever: Conures and cockatiels are intelligent birds that can learn a variety of tricks and commands. They also have a curious nature and enjoy exploring their surroundings.
  • Playful: These birds are energetic and playful, often enjoying toys and games that challenge their minds and bodies.
  • Expressive: Conures and cockatiels are known for their wide range of vocalizations and facial expressions. They use these tools to communicate their moods and needs to their owners.
  • Individual: While they share common personality traits as a species, each bird has its unique character and quirks. Some may be more outgoing, while others may be a bit shy.

Overall, conures and cockatiels make excellent pets due to their friendly and engaging personalities. Their intelligence, playfulness, and ability to bond with their owners make them a joy to be around.


As you can see, conures and cockatiels are both friendly and popular pet birds with unique personalities. Understanding their behavior, care requirements, and habitat is crucial to providing them with a safe and stimulating environment.

Remember to prioritize their health and well-being, and seek veterinary assistance if necessary. With proper care and attention, these birds can live long and fulfilling lives.

Thank you for reading this comprehensive guide to conures and cockatiels. We hope that you have gained valuable insights and information to help you care for these wonderful feathered friends.


Q: What are conures and cockatiels?

A: Conures and cockatiels are species of pet birds known for their friendly nature and popularity as pets.

Q: What is the difference between conure species and cockatiel species?

A: Conures and cockatiels belong to different species within the bird family. Conures have a wide range of species with various physical characteristics and origins, while cockatiels are a specific species known for their distinctive crest and gray feathers.

Q: What are the basic care requirements for conures and cockatiels?

A: Conures and cockatiels require proper housing, cage setup, a balanced diet, regular grooming, and sufficient exercise. It is important to provide them with a stimulating and safe environment.

Q: What behavior traits can I expect from my conure or cockatiel?

A: Conures and cockatiels are known for their vocalizations, playfulness, social nature, and ability to bond with their owners. They are intelligent and curious birds.

Q: How can I train my conure or cockatiel?

A: Training conures and cockatiels requires positive reinforcement, consistency, and patience. Basic commands and tricks can be taught to these birds.

Q: What should I feed my conure or cockatiel?

A: Conures and cockatiels require a balanced diet consisting of seeds, pellets, fruits, vegetables, and occasional treats. Fresh water should always be available.

Q: What is the average lifespan of conures and cockatiels?

A: The average lifespan of conures and cockatiels can vary depending on factors such as diet, genetics, and overall care. With proper care, they can live for several decades.

Q: What are common health issues in conures and cockatiels?

A: Conures and cockatiels can experience various health issues. It is important to be aware of symptoms, practice preventive measures, and seek veterinary assistance when necessary. Regular check-ups and maintaining a clean environment are recommended.

Q: What is the ideal habitat for conures and cockatiels?

A: Conures and cockatiels require a spacious cage with appropriate toys, perches, and accessories. It is important to create a stimulating and enriching environment for these birds.

Q: What are the personalities of conures and cockatiels?

A: Conures and cockatiels are known for their unique personalities. They are social birds that can bond with their owners and have individual characteristics that make them popular as pets.

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