Why Are Cockatiels So Expensive? The Truth Behind the High Price Tag.

Cockatiels, also known as Nymphicus hollandicus, are native to Australia, specifically the outback regions. They were first discovered by Europeans in the late 1700s and were brought to Europe in the 1800s. Cockatiels have been bred in captivity since the 1850s, and they have become increasingly popular as pets.

Cockatiel Physical Characteristics

Cockatiels are small parrots that are about 12-13 inches long and weigh around 3-4 ounces. They have a unique appearance, with a crest on their head that they can raise or lower depending on their mood. They have a gray body with white and yellow feathers on their head and wings. Males have bright orange dots on their cheeks, while females have a yellow-orange color.

Cockatiel Behavior and Personality

Cockatiels are social birds that are known for their sweet and playful personalities. They are curious and love to explore their surroundings. They are also known for their whistling and mimicking abilities, which can make them great companions. Cockatiels are very intelligent birds and can be easily trained to do tricks and interact with their owners.

Factors That Affect Cockatiel Prices

Rarity and Demand

One of the biggest factors that affect the price of cockatiels is their rarity and demand. Some color mutations, such as the white-faced or lutino cockatiels, are rarer than others and can cost more. Additionally, if there is a high demand for a specific color or mutation, the price will increase.

Breeding and Genetics

Breeding and genetics also play a role in the price of cockatiels. Breeders who specialize in breeding certain mutations or high-quality birds will charge more for their birds. Additionally, birds that come from a long line of show-quality birds will also be more expensive.

Quality of Care and Training

The quality of care and training that a cockatiel receives can also affect its price. Birds that have been well taken care of and properly trained will often have a higher price tag than birds that have not.

Bird Show Competitions and Prizes

There are bird show competitions held around the world for various species of birds, including cockatiels. Winning birds can receive large cash prizes and trophies, which can increase their value.

Legal Regulations and CITES Restrictions

Cockatiels are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and some countries may have additional regulations on the import and export of these birds. This can affect the price of cockatiels, especially if they are rare or in high demand.

The Value of Owning a Cockatiel

Benefits of Companion Birds

Owning a cockatiel can have many benefits. They can provide companionship and entertainment, and studies have shown that owning a pet can reduce stress and improve mental health.

Long-term Cost and Investment

While cockatiels may have a high upfront cost, they can be a great long-term investment. They have a long lifespan, with many living up to 20 years or more. Over time, the cost of owning a cockatiel can be relatively low compared to other pets.

Emotional and Social Value

The emotional and social value of owning a cockatiel can be priceless. They can provide comfort, companionship, and a sense of purpose to their owners. Cockatiels are also great for families as they can help teach children responsibility and caring for others.


In summary, there are many factors that affect the price of cockatiels, including rarity, breeding, quality of care, and legal regulations. However, the value of owning a cockatiel goes beyond its price tag. Cockatiels can be great companions and provide emotional and social value to their owners. So, if you are considering getting a cockatiel, it is important to weigh the cost against the benefits and determine if it is the right pet for you.

ThePetFaq Team