Cockatiel vs Conure – What Is the Difference? [6 Main Differences]

Cockatiels and Conures are both friendly birds and excellent pets. While they both belong to the same parrot family, certain things differentiate them from each other. Most of the difference lies in appearance, but there are different sides of things you should consider.

If you plan to get a pet bird but find it challenging to choose which one, this article may help you. 

Here, you will find some useful points which will help you choose between these two birds.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

How to tell the difference between a cockatiel and a conure?

Of course, the essential thing to tell the difference between a cockatiel and a conure is the appearance. At a glance, you can already tell which is which. 

Still, for someone who wants to know more about these two and those planning to get one, they need more info.

In this article, we’ll look at six significant differences between a cockatiel and a conure.

Before we begin, you might want to check out also our other related articles about comparing cockatiels with other bird species:

And now, let’s tackle each one of these differences!


Appearance is the first thing that everyone will notice between these two birds. Of course, if you’re someone who hasn’t seen both birds, it cannot be apparent to tell which is which.

However, as you go on, you’ll find that they have individual differences that set them apart from each other.


When it comes to size, there isn’t much of a difference between cockatiels and conures.

In general, an adult cockatiel has an average size of 30-33 centimeters. That’s roughly around 11 inches.

On the other hand, conures also have the same average size of 30 centimeters, which is also 11 inches in general.

The thing that sets them apart is their weight. An average adult cockatiel weighs around 90 grams. A conure is a little bit heavier, with an average of 100-120 grams.

With just a few grams of difference, you can hardly tell which is which. Thus, if you’re someone concerned with size, you can’t go wrong with both birds.


Both cockatiels and conures come in a variety of colors. However, both of them differ from each other in this aspect.

A cockatiel without mutation comes with a grey body with white wings. The thing that sets them apart is their circular orange color in the cheeks.

Conures come in a variety of colors as well. Further, most conures differ in type, and they get differentiated by it.


Another easy thing to notice is that cockatiels have that outward spike at the back of their heads, while a conure doesn’t.

This spike is somewhat a trait of a cockatiel. Out of all breeds in the parrot family, cockatiels are the only ones with such points.

For this reason, you can tell which is a cockatiel if you place both birds together.

Now, aside from appearance, there are other things you should consider when it comes to both pets.


Considering the lifespan is essential so that you can estimate how long your pet will last. If you want a long term companion, both pets will be an excellent choice for you.

A cockatiel’s lifespan in captivity comes at an average of 16 to 25 years. Sometimes, it can be shorter, with about 10-15 years only. 

The lifespan of cockatiels reported comes within 32 years. The longest span is 36, although that comes very rare.

On the contrary, conures also have an almost similar lifespan. All varieties of conures have an average lifespan of 20-30 years.

When it comes to a long lifespan, it boils down to proper care. If you’re willing to care for your pet, it will have a long life.


Temperament or behavior also comes as a point to consider when you plan on getting these birds.

In general, cockatiels are gentle and affectionate. Further, these birds love petting and playing sessions with their owners.

The thing about these pets is that they are interactive all the time. Thus, most owners find them amusing.

Further, if you aren’t around, they can keep themselves occupied by playing on their own.

At the same time, conures show affection and friendliness to their owners as well. These birds are playful and quite amusing. Further, they enjoy doing athletic tricks, which you’ll surely enjoy.

The thing about conures is that these good traits remain as long as you treat them well. They can turn aggressive in an instant they feel threatened or provoked.

Ability to speak

Since both cockatiels and conures come from the parrot family, they can boost their ability to speak.

Cockatiels don’t have an extensive vocabulary as other parrot birds do. Still, they can speak and learn essential words you can teach, such as ‘hello,’ ‘I’m a good bird’ and others.

On the contrary, many people consider conures as some talkers. However, like cockatiels, they are not as good as other parrot birds.

For this reason, if you want parrot birds who can talk that much, you can go for the African greys or amazon parrots. 

You can still have a lot of fun with either of these two birds, even without that talk sessions.


When it comes to popularity, the cockatiel will have the upper hand.

Many citizens in the United States search more and get cockatiels more than they would get a conure.

Still, it doesn’t make conures any less than a cockatiel. In the end, being a trend doesn’t mean better.

Of course, it’s a small deal when we talk about popularity, as choosing a pet is not supposedly because of popular demand. 

However, we can look at it as something worth considering. We can think that there might be a reason why many people are getting cockatiels than conures.


The last thing you can note about these two pets is their price. If you’re someone on a tight budget, getting a pricey pet isn’t ideal.

In general, conures are pricier than cockatiels. Thus, if you want a cheaper pet, the latter will be your go-to.

In general, the cockatiels cost between $75 and $250. That’s way cheaper than the highest price for a conure. The price also varies depending on the mutation you choose. Further, it can even go on where you’ll buy.

The price of conures, like other birds, also depends on the type of bird, and where you’ll buy it. Green-cheeked conures cost about $149 to $350 on average. 

You can get these birds cheaper directly from breeders. However, if you plan to get from a pet store, expect the price to be slightly on the higher side.

difference between cockatiel and conure

Which is better, cockatiel, or conure?

There’s no telling which is better between a conure or a cockatiel. 

The reason is that choosing which is better lies in your personal preference.

Some pet owners prefer cockatiels over conures, while others go the other way around.

Looking at all these differences, you can weigh down your choices and see which one is better for you.

Now, we have an idea of their difference. Let us then go to the possibility of getting these two birds together.

If you own one of these or you plan to get both, this information is for you.

Can conures live with cockatiels and vice versa?

Conures can live with cockatiels, but it’s not a good idea to do so. The reason is that while both pets may not be aggressive, it can still happen that they hurt each other.

Cockatiels are gentle birds, and they are great companions to almost any smaller ones. Thus, they won’t have any problem if they are to live with conures.

The worry here comes with conures. Although they aren’t bigger than cockatiels, they have large beaks, which comes as a threat.

For this reason, if you plan on having both birds in your house, consider getting them a separate cage.

Of course, you can let them play together. However, it would be best to let these birds do so under your supervision.

When you aren’t around, don’t leave them on their own with access to each other.

Can cockatiels and sun conure live together?

Like all other conures, the sun conures share the same traits and behavior. Thus, while they aren’t likely to pick a fight with a cockatiel, it doesn’t mean you can leave them alone.

If you have a sun conure and a cockatiel, it would be best to get each of them a cage where they can stay if you aren’t around.

This way, you can keep both birds safe without worries. At the same time, you can give them a complete room where they can move around. 

Still, it would always be a good thing to keep both pets separated when there’s no one around to intervene if something terrible happens.

Can a cockatiel and a conure be in the same cage?

A cockatiel and a conure can be in the same cage, but it’s not ideal to do so.

Conures and cockatiels may not have that aggressiveness you can find from other birds. Still, it would be best to keep in mind that they are still birds, no matter how gentle they are.

Thus, it would be best to keep both of them separated from each other, with a cage for each.

This way, you can be confident that none of the birds get harmed in any way when you’re out.

Do cockatiels and conures eat the same food?

Cockatiels and conures have some differences when it comes to food preferences. However, they can still share and eat the same kind of food.

The difference is that cockatiels need to eat more seeds and fiber-rich food than conures.

In general, what can be useful to cockatiels can also be suitable for conures. Further, what can be harmful to the other can be as toxic to another.

Still, since they are both medium-sized birds, they can have similar amounts of food per day.

Thus, these birds can eat the food meant for the other without causing any issues. 

At the same time, they can also have the same preference and will eat fruits, veggies, and treats that the other eats.

If you own both birds or planning to get one after the other, you won’t find it difficult preparing food.

Are conures louder than cockatiels?

Yes, conures are louder than cockatiels, but only some of them. The loudest ones of its kind are Aratingas and Sun and Jenday Conures. 

Conures like Pyrrhuras, Green Cheek, and Maroon-bellied ones are the quiet types.

Thus, if noise is a big deal for you, you can go for cockatiels, as they are a bit more on the quiet side than conures.

Still, since both birds come from a family of parrots, expect a lot of noise in your household as soon as you take home either cockatiels or conures.


Indeed, cockatiels and conures differ in many ways. Yet, at some points, they also have things they share. 

As always, remember that there’s no better pet than the other when choosing. A cockatiel may be better for some owners, while a conure may suit others more.

It all depends on which one you prefer and which one you’re willing to take care of in the future. The point here is to decide with the above difference which one will suit you the most. 

If you plan on getting both, you can also consider the risks involved.

In the end, whatever your decision may be, it will always be a matter of how you can take care of your pet in the future.


Cockatiel on Wikipedia

Conure on Wikipedia

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