Cockatiels and conures are both very popular companion parrot species. So it is quite natural to wonder if these two parrots could get along together or even occupy one cage together.
However, avian experts and seasoned parrot owners caution against assuming the two birds will just work it out and adapt to living together.
There are some important things to think through before you add any new bird to your family, regardless of species.
In this article, learn what you need to know about cockatiels and conures and whether they are capable of getting along together.
Do Cockatiels and Conures Get Along
As this Parrot Forum owner thread illustrates, whether or not cockatiels and conures will get along is ultimately up to the birds themselves.
The owner can play a part by introducing the two birds in a positive way in a neutral environment. But there is never going to be a guarantee that two birds of any species will get along together.
A Cockatiel and Conure Success Story
In this YouTube video, you can meet a cockatiel and conure who live very peacefully together.
As the owner states in the video notes, it was the two birds who chose to allo-preen one another and eventually move into the same cage to live together.
This does not always work out so well! Happily, these two birds decided they liked one another and have adapted well to life in a multi-parrot household.
Cockatiels and Conures Have Different Personalities
As Talk Cockatiels explains, cockatiels and conures typically exhibit different major personality traits.
This is not to say that all cockatiels reliably behave one way and every conure will reliably behave a different way.
Bird behavior can be influenced by a variety of factors, including diet, health, past interactions with humans and other animals, neglect or abuse, and genetics.
However, these are some typical behavior traits that experienced bird owners familiar with each species often highlight.
Conure personality traits
As VCA Animal Hospital points out, there are many different species of conures.
However, of the more than 40 known conure species, only a handful are found regularly in the pet trade. The Green Cheek Conure and the Sun Conure are two of the most popular companion conure species.
Both the Green Cheek Conure, or GCC for short, and the Sun Conure are confident and sometimes aggressive conure species.
They have surprisingly loud voices and powerful beaks for their size, which can make for a great deal of noise and painful bites.
Luckily, both conure species are also very playful and affectionate. They learn tricks easily and love to perform for people.
Conures tend to be very active parrots that need a lot of toys to chew on, play with, and climb around on. These birds are easily bored and need a lot of variety and companionship to stay healthy and happy.
Cockatiel personality traits
VCA Animal Hospital explains that cockatiels are such a popular choice of companion parrot that only the smaller budgerigar outranks them in the pet trade.
Cockatiels are sometimes called the “lovebirds of the parrot world” because of the intensely close bonds they can develop with humans. These bonds may persist even if the cockatiel forms a close bond with another bird in the family as well.
And cockatiels typically bond easily with multiple family members, making these parrots a good choice for families. These birds are typically easy to train. While they aren’t talkers per se, they can often master complicated songs and whistles.
However, cockatiels need a lot of companionship and togetherness time with their people to stay healthy and happy. Not everyone has the time required to provide this for their cockatiel and this is important to keep in mind.
Cockatiels are a gentler parrot species. While the majority of cockatiels are somewhat larger and longer than at least the green cheek conure and sun conure, they are both gentler and less powerful. Their beaks are also smaller.
Cockatiel Vs Conure and Who Would Win
Because of the personality traits you just read in the previous section here, cockatiels and conures can have trouble getting along.
A dominant or aggressive conure could easily injure a cockatiel if there is a conflict between the birds over food, cage space, or territory within the home.
This can become especially problematic when the birds reach sexual maturity. Conures typically mature at between one and two years of age. Cockatiels mature even earlier at between eight months and one year of age.
Once the birds reach sexual maturity, they may begin to exhibit territorial and nesting behavior. This can cause two birds that were previously friendly or at least neutral towards each other to become adversaries.
Experienced parrot owners and breeders generally agree that cockatiels would end up on the losing end of any battle with a conure opponent.
How to Introduce a Cockatiel and a Conure to Each Other
In the YouTube video you watched in an earlier section here, you saw a cockatiel and a green cheek conure who were good friends.
The owner took the time to explain that the birds chose to be friends – it was not forced on them. Each bird had their own cage and their own area of the home as its “territory.”
The two birds were introduced and given the option to continue living separately. They chose to live together.
This is extremely rare.
In many cases, two birds who are friendly towards one another during out of cage time may become territorial or aggressive if one bird tries to enter the other bird’s cage. This is normal behavior in birds of breeding age.
This underscores the vital importance of picking a neutral area for introducing two birds to each other.
The birds should be introduced away from their cages in a less familiar neutral place in the home.
They should not be forced to interact in any way. An existing pet parrot should never be forced to share their cage with a new bird. This is a recipe for conflict.
Quarantine Is An Essential Safety Precaution
If you already have parrots and you decide to bring a new parrot into your home, the new bird should go through an initial period of quarantine.
As PetMD explains, this quarantine period is simply to make sure the new bird does not have any contagious illness or infection.
One to three months is the recommended quarantine time period.
While this quarantine period is primarily for safety reasons, it also serves another purpose. During these 30 to 90 days of enforced separation, the two birds can get used to each other’s presence.
Once the quarantine period has elapsed, you can begin to experiment by moving the new bird’s cage a little bit closer to the original bird’s area. Your first bird may tell you right away if that needs to stop or if it is okay.
Be sure to provide equal quality time to each bird. Give your original parrot – whether it is the cockatiel or the conure – extra praise and treats and positive reinforcement during these interactions.
This is especially important with cockatiels and conures since both parrot species are known to mate for life and social bonds are very important to them.
A cockatiel or conure can very easily become jealous of a newcomer, which will negate any chances the birds may have of becoming friends.