Cockatiel vs Lovebird (8 Differences that Will Amaze You)

Cockatiels are known for their distinctive crests and friendly personalities, while lovebirds are smaller and often form strong pair bonds, displaying more intense social behaviors.

They don’t have numerous similarities compared to other popular breed parrot species.

Cockatiels and lovebirds are beautiful pets, yet they are very different in terms of looks, temperament, popularity, and other aspects. All these things make it challenging to choose between these two.

The choice between a cockatiel and a lovebird depends on individual preferences for size, appearance, and desired interaction with a pet bird.

In this article, I’m set to go through all the facts about these two excellent birds. I’ll also highlight the similarities and all the key differences between these two. So, continue scrolling this article and get the best one in your cage.

Quick Differences between Cockatiel and Lovebird

Size10-12 inches6-7 inches
Weight2-4 ounces1-2 ounces
Life Expectancy10-15 years10-20 years
Color VariationsGray, White, Lutino, Pied, Pearled, and CinnamonVarious color mutations
Noise LevelModerateLoud
TemperamentAffectionate, sociableActive and playful
Talking AbilityCan learn to mimic words and phrasesNot known for talking
Space RequirementsLarge cage or aviarySmall cage or aviary
DietSeed-based dietPellet-based diet
The information in the comparison table I provided is based on generally accepted facts and characteristics of Cockatiels and Lovebirds, but it’s important to keep in mind that it is not an exhaustive list and may have variations depending on the individual bird.

a beautiful cockatiel
Photo by Sultan on Unsplash

Similarities of Cockatiel and Lovebird

  1. Sociability: Both birds are social and enjoy interaction with their owners. They can form strong bonds with humans and other birds.
  2. Diet: Both birds require a well-balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, and pellets.
  3. Vocalization: Both cockatiels and lovebirds are capable of making a range of vocalizations, including chirping, singing, and mimicking sounds.
  4. Physical Appearance: While both birds have distinctive physical characteristics, they share some similarities such as a prominent beak, sharp talons, and colorful plumage.

Cockatiel: An Overview of this bird

Among aviculturists, cockatiels are one of the most beautiful birds. These birds are considered the second-most popular pet bird after Budgies. Their tenacity, curiosity, flexibility, and mild nature, it seems, are the key causes. Because of their characteristics and attitude, pet lovers have considered keeping cockatiels as pets.

Both males, as well as females, feature crests; however, they are slightly colored differently. Females feature gray or even light gray faces, while males feature yellow or even white faces.

In the wild, cockatiels are most busy in the morning and also late in the day. It spends most of the day scavenging for food on the ground.

The cockatiel is thought to be a clever bird that is trainable. This bird is best characterized as gentle.

Cockatiels require a lot of upkeep in terms of the owner’s time, effort, and personal engagement. The cockatiel is less likely to bite, less difficult to train, and less loud, making it more beginner-friendly.

Lovebird: An Overview of this bird

Lovebirds are little green or even yellow birds with hues of orange, blue, and pink that are less substantial than cockatiels.

Lovebirds are somewhat larger than Budgies, but they have much stronger beaks. They are inquisitive and lively birds that are occasionally fairly aggressive. They can talk nonstop, often in very shrill tones.

Lovebirds are very sociable creatures who yearn for human interaction. This bird is appealing, so it’s no surprise that more people are keeping them as pets in their homes.

These birds make wonderful family pets as well as are among the most entertaining to possess of all the birds.

Compared to cockatiels, lovebirds are more independent, mischievous, and adventurous. A lovebird will form a strong attachment with another lovebird but may turn hostile against other birds. In terms of their physical characteristics, nature, personalities, intellect, and lifespans, they differ from cockatiels.

Cockatiel vs Lovebird: 8 Key Differences

The cockatiel and the Lovebird differ greatly in many other ways, so although one might be the ideal pet for you, the other might not be.

So, there is always a debate on which one is a better pet the cockatiel or the Lovebird. Let’s have a discussion here on the differences between cockatiel vs Lovebird.

1. Visual Variations

The cockatiel and the Lovebird are very different from one another visually. Mature cockatiels typically stand between 12 and 13 inches tall, and adult lovebirds typically stand between 5-7 inches tall. A lovebird only lives for 10–15 years, compared to the nearly 20–25 years of a cockatiel.

2. Taxonomy

The only species of cockatiel that belongs to the cockatoo family is called Nymphicus hollandicus. The term “lovebird,” on the other hand, is used to describe any of the nine species in the Psittacidae family’s genus Agapornis.

Agapornis roseicollis, also known as rosy-faced Lovebird), Fischeri, also known as Fischer’s Lovebird, and personatus, also known as yellow-collared Lovebird, are the most well-known species in this genus.

3. Intelligence

Cockatiels have higher intellect and specialization than lovebirds if we’re talking about intelligence. Following the conversation, they reply with their body language to their owner’s speech.

They pick things up quickly, and they make contact with their buddies as instructed. With practice, a cockatiel can also walk along a rope. One benefit is that after learning, cockatiels may communicate with people.

4. Personality

The small cockatiel is best characterized as gentle. Cockatiels are good for birds. They are peaceful birds that get along well with other cockatiels in an aviary and will also mix with other bird species without any issues.

When the bird is domesticated, it will appreciate being touched and may even butt people when they want to be tickled or scratched.

Lovebirds are frequently described as temperamental and possessive. They are even said to be hormonal, making them more difficult to handle than cockatiels.

The Lovebird will bond intimately with other lovebirds but can get violent with other birds, especially docile birds like the cockatiel, which is another aspect worth taking into account. Because of this, lovebirds are frequently housed in individual cages.

loving lovebirds
Source: Unsplash

5. Training

The cockatiel is thought to be an intelligent bird that is trainable. Several giant parrot breeds are thought to be just as trainable as this one.

The ability to spin around, shake hands, and walk a tightrope can all be taught to cockatiels. They will happily spend hours conversing with a bird in the mirror and playing with a rope toy.

While an older cockatiel can still be trained, working with an older lovebird that has not been hand-trained is far more challenging. As a result, you should either purchase a younger bird or make sure that an older lovebird is hand-tamed when you obtain it.

The procedure of taming a lovebird is similar to that of a cockatiel, but you must take additional care because the bird can be more nervous on the first few occasions you open the cage door.

6. Allergies

People frequently claim that birds cause allergies in them. It is crucial to always note that cockatiels are far dustier than lovebirds in any parrot comparison guidelines.

More so than a lovebird, cockatiels can produce a lot of fine white dust from their feathers, which may irritate the owner’s allergies.

In addition to these variations, you should select your pet based on how you are feeling. They both make wonderful pets and are soft and loving. So, cockatiels are typically suggested as your first feathered pet if you’re seeking one.

If you decide to have a lovebird, it could be a good idea to look for a breeder who gives each of their birds special care so that you might hopefully get a parrot that is well-socialized.

7. Ability to speak

Cockatiels are more vocal than lovebirds when it refer to speech. Cockatiels are vocal, like the majority of parrots. They can still learn important words like “Hello,” and “Pretty Bird,” as well as other straightforward terms.

Lovebirds don’t converse much. They converse with one another, but it isn’t often with other individuals.

8. Popularity

Popularity is the last thing that sets these two birds apart from each other. And in this term, the cockatiel is the winner. Yes! The cockatiel is much more popular than the Lovebirds.

Many individuals look harder and purchase cockatiels instead of lovebirds. However, which of these you wish to buy is entirely your personal choice.

Cockatiel vs Lovebird: Which one is best

There is no way to know whether the bird is superior between a cockatiel and a lovebird. The decision as to which is superior ultimately comes down to personal choice. While some pet owners prefer lovebirds over cockatiels, others do the opposite.

In many ways, these two types of birds are similar, and there are also some differences between them. These little parrots are tamable and are regarded as friendly little birds in their unique ways.

The cockatiel is less likely to bite, less challenging to train, and less loud, making it more beginner-friendly.

The Lovebird can create an astonishing noise considering its diminutive size, but it shouldn’t be kept in a cage alongside other bird species. You may evaluate your options by considering these variations and determining which is best for you.


Can Cockatiel Speak?

Yes, they can speak like other parrots.

Are lovebirds good for beginners?

Beginners can choose lovebirds for their first pets but they need quite more care than other birds. But it’s not that hard to take care of them. Just follow the basics to take care like other birds.

Wrap Up

Now you may have understood the differences between Cockatiel and Lovebird. Since this is a question of choice, it is impossible to say one pet is superior to the other.

For some people, a lovebird may be preferable to a cockatiel, while the converse may be true for others. Considering the above differences, choose the one that best suits you.

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