The Ultimate Cockatiel Price Guide (2023)




The Ultimate Cockatiel Price Guide (2023) by

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The cockatiel, also known as quarrion or weiro, has become one of the most loved parrot species on the planet. Affectionate, loyal, and playful, they’re perfect parrots that make exceptional pets; they can easily suit anyone, even first-time parrot owners. 

But this doesn’t mean that you should adopt one on a whim; instead, it means that you should prepare for every possible occurrence. We have prepared the Ultimate cockatiel price guide to help you get started.

Key Takeaways

  • The price of the different cockatiel mutations varies between $80 and $900, with the rarer ones being quite costly.
  • You can get a cockatiel for free, but you have to find out why the owner is giving it out for free. After all, you don’t want to end up with a sick pet or one with bad behavior.
  • On top of the health expenses, you can also get pet insurance to help with the medical costs.
  • Cockatiels are social creatures that don’t do well alone, so you should keep them busy with toys or a partner. But you must be careful when introducing your cockatiel to a new parrot.

Depending on where you got your cockatiel, you can pay between zero to $400. The Breeders sell these birds for between $80 and $900, while you can get them at the shelter for less than $100. But that’s just the beginning since you will have to take care of the maintenance fee for an entire year which can even surpass $1,000. 

Cockatiels are known to live for between 16 and 25 years in captivity; therefore, before adopting this beautiful creature, you need to find out more about its annual expenses. Purchasing it is just the first step of cockatiel ownership. This guide will show you the cockatiel price from different sources. We’ll elaborate more on your other expenses while owning this beautiful creature.

Bringing A New Cockatiel Home: The One-Time Costs

Like all pets, the initial cost is always the highest you’ll ever spend on your pet. You will purchase the pet and everything it needs to feel comfortable in your home. But in most cases, the highest price you’ll ever have to pay is the price of the enclosure and the bird itself, and in some cases, you may have to get two cockatiels.

So the first question in every new parrot parent’s mind is, where can I get my new cockatiel, and what’s the price? And can I get it for free? Well, we’ll answer this and more in this section.

Where Can I Get A Cockatiel?

Where Can I Get A Cockatiel like one of those shown? Find out at
Young Cockatiels are quite inquisitive. Do you see how they are all looking at the camera?


Generally, you can get a cockatiel from the shelters or even a friend for free, but if you’re after a particular color mutation, you must contact some local breeders. But make the breeders you search for ethical and reputable. And most importantly, they have a wide range of cocktails for you to choose from.

Remember, when dealing with a breeder, you’re getting a docile and friendly pet. Plus, it has a high likelihood of behaving and becoming more agreeable than the one from the shelter. After all, most reputable breeders will ensure that their cockatiels can immediately get used to human beings, making it easy for you two to bond.

Unfortunately, the exact cockatiel price will depend on the mutation you get, with some being quite costly. Remember, the rarer the modification, the more expensive it will be. But their price ranges between $80 and $900. The exact cockatiel price range of the different mutations includes:

  • Normal gray cockatiel – $150 and $250
  • Normal lutino cockatiel – $150 and $250
  • Fawn cockatiel – $200 and $300
  • Pastel face cockatiel – $250 and $300
  • Pied cockatiel – $200 and $300
  • Gray pied cockatiel – $300 and $350
  • White face cockatiel – $350 and $400
  • Lutino pied cockatiel – $200 and $400
  • Albino cockatiel – $200 and $300
  • Albino butterfly marking cockatiel – $500 and $900

As aforementioned, rare mutations tend to be quite costly. But the above price will range with the breeders. Remember, each breeder has unique mutations, and the prices will differ.


If you are working with a tight budget, you may consider adopting cockatiels from the local shelters. Many rescue organizations save these birds and rehome them to the right owners. Some of these rescues include:

  • Cockatiel rescue: Cockatiel rescue is a branch of the Avian rescue corporation dedicated to preserving cockatiel birds. They save these creatures and nurse them back to health before putting them up for adoption.
  • Birds and beaks rescue: this organization is based in Michigan and can rescue birds within a radius of about 350 miles.
  • Avian Welfare Coalition: this organization has been rescuing and rehoming birds for over two decades. In fact, like all rescue organizations, they will do research on you before letting you adopt any of their birds.

There are many shelters in your region where you can visit and confirm if they have a cockatiel you can adopt. But before being allowed to adopt one, they’ll have to thoroughly research you and determine if you’re a good fit for the cockatiel rescue bird. They will even do a home visit and train you to take care of this bird before approving your application.

But since you will be adopting a mature bird, the entire process can be pretty slow, starting with the introduction phase. But once approved, you must pay an adoption fee between $30 and $100. If you’re lucky, you may adopt a rare mutation, but most rescues won’t let you breed with the adopted bird.

Cockatiel For Free

Last but not least, some folk have been lucky enough to get these birds for free from friends or even strangers. You can find some adverts on bulletin boards or online announcing that pet owners are giving cockatiels for free. But before adopting a free cockatiel, you should ask lots of questions and find out why they’re for free.

Get the contact of its current vet and talk to them; after all, the last thing you need is to adopt your lovely bird only to find out that it has severe behavioral issues or is a sick bird with a few weeks to live. Therefore, the current owner must give you a valid reason for rehoming the bird before considering adopting it.

Other One-Time Expenses: Initial Supplies And Setup

Other One-Time Expenses: Initial Supplies And Setup for Cockatiels like this one are explained at
A beautiful talking multicolored parrot in a cage. A bird in captivity

Your huge expense when purchasing a cockatiel is the initial purchase price, supplies, and setup. Besides the cost of adoption, you will have to buy several things you can use for as long as you own your pet. Some of these purchases include:


An enclosure is a must-have; you must purchase one before your bird arrives. Fortunately, several options are available, so you should consider the enclosure quality before considering the price. Remember, you want to use the bird enclosure for over two decades; therefore, its size and quality matter greatly.

The minimum size requirement for a cockatiel cage is 24 inches (height) by 20 inches (deep by 20 inches (wide). Fortunately, a considerable percentage of the modern enclosures work perfectly, but you have to ensure it’s wide enough to accommodate more than two pets. After all, you might just end up adopting two cockatiels so that they can keep each other company.

The price of these cages ranges between $50 and $1,000. And with proper research, you can find one that matches your price and requirements on Amazon. The bird enclosure should be big enough to accommodate the perches, toys, and bowls.

Food And Water Bowls

Other one-time purchases that can serve you for years are the bowls. These bowls can help keep your cage dry while preventing the wastage of food. So you must consider the quality and ensure it’s heavy enough for the bird not to topple it. Plus, it should support its weight when it perches on it.

When picking the best option, you should avoid a plastic bowl; instead, you should go for stainless steel bowls. These bowls are durable and very easy to wash and can last a lifetime if taken care of properly. 

On the other hand, plastic bowls can add toxins to the water and food; plus, they break easily. You can find high-quality bowls for between $10 and $20 from Amazon (6).

On top of that, don’t forget to get it a bird bath for $10 that it can use to keep itself clean.

Ankle Band And Microchip

Even though you can do everything humanly possible to keep them within the confines of your home, these birds tend to get lost, especially if you leave the windows open. If you have a large aviary, your pet may get mixed with the other bird making it hard for you to spot it.

Therefore, you need a way to identify a particular bird from a large flock or track it when it gets lost. So you can get an ankle band for about $10 and have it micro-chipped. The microchip price ranges with a brand, but the most you can pay for one is $100.

Toys And Perches

Toys And Perches for Cockatiels - Explained at
The best toys and perches won’t harm your bird, and will offer them engaging ways to play.

These two help them relax and kick boredom away. And since you won’t be in the house all day, you need something to keep these intelligent creatures busy. Therefore, you will need to get some toys for your parrot. 

If you have owned parrots before, you should know that they love chewing and can exert an average force of about 350 PSI. The quality of the toys you get matters a lot.

A great example is the Penn-Plax bird playpen, which can help your bird work out while having fun at the same time. This toy can survive its strong bites and is relatively safe for our cockatiels. The price of these toys ranges from $15 to $50. And since they love perching, you must get wooden perches for between $10 and $30.

Other One-Time Purchases

You will also require a styptic powder for treating it when it gets injured. This powder can come in handy when stopping bleeding before rushing your pet to the vet, so ensure you get one before your pet gets home. Remember, being a new pet, if you put it in the same enclosure as the others, they will start biting each other, leaving you with some wounds to treat. A reliable styptic powder ranges between $10 and $15.

A parrot is a lifetime companion you must travel with at some point. Most bird owners even go with them for holidays, so you must get a bird carrier. The best bird carrier should be breathable, have a standing perch, and be transparent. The price of these carriers will range between $20 and $80.

How Much Is The Cockatiel Price Per Year?

After taking care of the substantial one-time expenses, you must expect to spend a certain amount every month. And knowing this detail will help you determine how much you can keep aside for your bird every month for emergency purposes; for instance, you may have to take care of a medical emergency or repair the enclosure. So having some cash aside for your parrot can be a great idea.

Here are some of the significant expenses other cockatiel owners budget for every month:

Health Care

Just because your pet is healthy, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t set aside some cash for emergencies. Besides the annual vet checkup, you might have to take your pet to the vet if it gets sick or injured. And instead of dealing with a general vet, you should look for an avian vet. They are few, but they are more qualified to care for your parrot. Therefore, you should set aside between $30 and $100 annually. You can use the cash for the annual checkup routine or when it gets sick. 

If it’s injured, you should try and stop the bleeding using the styptic powder before taking it to the vet. But with proper cockatiel proofing, you won’t have to deal with too many vet visits.

Food ($100 – $350 Per month)

Generally, a dry seed diet is unsuitable for your bird; mix it with fresh and partially sprouted seeds. Its diet should include veggies, fresh fruit, and pellets. The pellets are perfect for our pets since they meet our pet’s nutritional needs. But ensure you find out the breeder’s brand before adopting it.

Fresh veggies and fruits comprise about 25% of the cockatiels’ daily diet. The seeds are pretty delicious to our pets, but they are nutritionally lacking. Therefore, they should make up a small percentage of your pet’s balanced diet. So to be on the safe side, you can purchase the pellets in bulk and grow the veggies and fruit in your backyard.

Pet Insurance ($70 – $100 Per Year)

Like human beings, you will need insurance coverage for your pet. Luckily several insurance companies are covering various exotic creatures, including cockatiels. The leading firm in the country offering pet insurance is Nationwide. Its low monthly costs can help you pay for unexpected vet visits like prescription medication, cultures, and parasite treatment.

Grooming ($15 To $20 Every Month)

Grooming ($15 To $20 Every Month) for Cockatiels like these shown in this file photo. Learn more at
Pair of Cockatiel’s preening.

Like dogs, cockatiels also need to be groomed every month; after all, overgrown nails can get caught by the cage components and toys, resulting in broken toes and nails, which can be very painful. Grooming this bird includes nail and beak trimmings. A healthy bird’s beak has a constant length as it can wear it down. But if it grows too long, it can be a sign of beak cancer or liver disease.

Don’t assume you can trim the beak yourself; it may seem easy, but many blood vessels at the center of the beak and nail can bleed if nicked. You can also clip its wings as part of the monthly grooming session.

Entertainment ($100 To $200 Every Month)

Since you won’t be around for the better part of the day to spend a few hours with your pet, you need to get them a source of entertainment. Generally, toys can provide endless hours of playtime and improve the life of your pet. Therefore, buying your bird a wide range of toys is best, and you can invest in some new toys every month.

Remember, they love foraging, chewing, and exploring; therefore, you must purchase toys to let them do that. It would be best if you got many toys to switch them after a few days to keep everything fresh and exciting. A budget of over $100 will help you replace all the damaged pet toys without affecting your pet’s life.

Environment Maintenance (About $250)

As a pet owner, your main goal is to keep your pet healthy and in a clean environment. Therefore, you should replace the cage liners daily and clean them thoroughly at least once weekly. Most bird owners prefer using super absorbent commercial liners that can reduce odor in cages. A great product like the Vitakraft liners can come in handy when keeping your pet happy.

You can also keep the cage odor free using a newspaper that you must replace regularly. It would help if you also had a reliable and perfume-free cage cleaner that won’t be toxic to your pet. Avoid old cleaners as they will have fumes that can harm your pet.

Additional Costs To Consider

We have already covered most of the costs associated with owning a cockatiel, but there are a few things that you may have to consider every month. For instance, if you plan on leaving town for a few days, you must hire a pet sitter to take care of your pet. 

A pet sitter charges between $15 to $30 per day, and they can do several other chores like watering your plants and even getting your mail. On the other hand, pet boarding facilities charge about $20 per night.

Another task that we tend to forget is behavioral training. If you can’t train your pet, then you’ll have to pay for the courses, which are about $25 per course.

Is It Better To Have 1 Or 2 Cockatiels?

Cockatiels don’t need to stay in pairs. So if your bird is tamed and handled efficiently, you can bring in a companion. And if it’s young and you don’t plan on breeding them, then you won’t need a male. But if you’re rarely around, you should go for two cockatiels.

Fortunately, cockatiels of the same sex can stay together in the same cage, but they must have grown up together and gotten along from the initial meeting.

But if it’s a new bird, buying a large enclosure and then moving them together is best. It should have enough space for the needed perches, toys, and bowls.


Cockatiels are some of the best parrots on the planet that are loved by pet owners worldwide thanks to their affection and loyalty. But as a new cockatiel owner, you must understand how much you’ll spend on your new pet from the day you purchase it and the preparations. You will also need to know everything to keep it comfortable.

This guide will help you budget for your new pet every Year and ensure it thrives and even lives for over two decades. Generally, these birds go for between $80 and $900, but you can get them for the shelter for about $100. 

After purchasing it, you should get a cage, perches, bowls, and toys. After creating space for the pet in your home, you should set aside cash for food, grooming, insurance, and health care. 

  1. YouTube contributors, Top 10 cockatiel bird price in USD, Accessed March 23, 2023
  2. Cockatiel Rescue staff, Cockatiel Rescue: about us, Accessed March 23, 2023
  3. Birds and Beaks staff, Adoptables, Accessed March 23, 2023
  4. Avian Welfare Coalition staff, Accessed March 23, 2023
  5. Amazon contributor, Large Parrot Cage, Accessed March 23, 2023
  6. Amazon contributor, Penn-Plax bird life wooden playpen, Accessed March 23, 2023
  7. Amazon contributor, Bird Backpack, Accessed March 23, 2023
  8. Amazon contributors, Vitakraft cage liners for ccbirds, Accessed March 23, 2023

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