How Much Does a Cockatiel Cost? (2024 Updated)

Cockatiel price how much does a Cockatiel cost

Given the natural charm of the cockatiel, there’s been an upswing in its demand, bringing up a common query amongst bird fanciers: “What is the price of a cockatiel?”

This inquiry covers the average cost of acquiring a cockatiel, along with the initial, annual, and potential additional expenses associated with owning this vibrant bird.

This guide will give you all the answers you need and more! Read to the end to know whether you’re financially capable of owning and maintaining a cockatiel. Let’s start!

How Much Does a Cockatiel Cost?

Two Cockatiels side by side

Generally, the usual cockatiel bird price ranges between $60 and $300. There are different types of cockatiels; hence a relatively wide price range. Keep in mind, however, that rarer cockatiels can fetch even higher prices, ranging from $450 to $500. 

Other factors influencing the price of a cockatiel include the breeder’s reputation, location, demand, and the age and sex of the cockatiel. 

Here’s a table summarizing the usual price range for each cockatiel type: 

Cockatiel TypeBird Price
Gray Cockatiel$60 – $80
Pearl Cockatiel$150 – $200
Lutino Cockatiel$150 – $250
White-faced Cockatiel$200 – $300
Albino Cockatiel $450 – $500
Pied Cockatiel$110 – $170
Cinnamon Cockatiel$130 – $160
Silver Cockatiel$250 – $300
Emerald Cockatiel$100 – $250

The figures shown above indicate the typical costs bird buyers incur when purchasing cockatiels from reputable sources. Keep in mind that you may find prices that are much higher or lower, depending on your location.

If you come across someone selling cockatiels at an unreasonably low price, chances are the bird they sell are products of bird mills. While this may save you some cash from upfront costs, you will likely get a sickly bird.

Price Ranges for Different Types of Cockatiels

While it’s true that all cockatiels are equally charming and great as family pets, their appearance makes each of them unique. That said, how they look generally dictates the prices breeders set for them. 

To thoroughly understand why this is the case, the following sections will describe each type of cockatiel along with their price ranges:

1. Gray Cockatiel ($60 – $80)

Gray Cockatiel price

The gray cockatiel is characterized by its gray plumage, white markings on the wings and tail, and orange patches on the cheeks. 

Full-grown female gray cockatiels will develop yellow specks on the head, and males will have full yellow heads when they mature. Considering that it is a common cockatiel color, its price is relatively low, ranging from $60 to $80.

2. Pearl Cockatiel ($150 – $200)

Pearl Cockatiel price
Image credit: mochacockatiel / Instagram

A pearl cockatiel exhibits white or pale yellow spots on the edges of the feathers from the nape down to the base of its wings. These markings are called “pearls,” hence the cockatiel’s name. 

A gradient yellow hue is also seen on its face, along with orange patches on the cheeks. Quality breeders sell pearl cockatiels for around $150 to $200.

3. Lutino Cockatiel ($150 – $250)

Lutino Cockatiel price

The lutino cockatiel lacks melanin; thus, no gray coloring is produced. Rather, it comes in white or may sometimes sport light yellowish plumage.

It is further described as having a yellow face with orange cheeks. Reputable breeders sell quality lutino cockatiels for $150 to $250.

4. White-faced Cockatiel ($200 – $300)

White faced Cockatiel price

The white-faced cockatiel is a bird with a gray and white body. Adult males sport a fully white head with occasional gray markings on certain areas.

Meanwhile, adult females completely have light-grayish faces. Regardless of the bird’s sex, all white-faced cockatiels lack orange patches on the cheeks. This rare cockatiel variant can set you back between $200 and $300. 

5. Albino Cockatiel ($450 – $500)

Albino Cockatiel price

The albino cockatiel is noted for its all-white appearance and red eyes. However, since albinism doesn’t affect the cockatiel species, albino cockatiels are more appropriately called white-faced Lutinos. 

These birds usually result from crossing a white-faced and lutino cockatiel. A double genetic mutation occurred, hence the lack of pigmentation. Unlike other color mutations, this one is rarer and can fetch prices from $450 to $500. 

6. Pied Cockatiel ($110 – $170)

Pied Cockatiel price

A pied cockatiel is a bird that has a recessive gene mutation causing it to sport a plumage with random white patches. The pigment on these patches is muted and can come in various shapes and sizes. 

Despite this unusual appearance, the pied cockatiel retains the usual orange cheeks and yellow head common to this species. This cockatiel variant is usually sold for $110 to $170. 

7. Cinnamon Cockatiel ($130 – $160)

Cinnamon Cockatiel price

The cinnamon cockatiel features a cinnamon-brown body, almost giving off a muted-toned hue. It will have the same orange patches on the cheeks and a vibrant yellow head for the males. 

Meanwhile, female counterparts showcase duller cheeks and less vibrant masks. Cinnamon cockatiels can run you between $130 and $160.

8. Silver Cockatiel ($250 – $300)

Silver Cockatiel price
Image credit: tofu.tiel / Instagram

The silver cockatiel is another variation featuring a head-turning silver-toned appearance. This color has been affected by multiple pigment gene mutations, which altered its supposedly standard gray plumage. 

Surprisingly, the white markings on the wings and tail are maintained. Silver cockatiels can cost you around $250 to $300.

9. Emerald Cockatiel ($100 – $250)

Emerald Cockatiel price
Image credit: parrotlyparty / Instagram

Also known as the olive cockatiel, the emerald variety exhibits a greenish look. This is caused by the combined look of gray with a yellow overlay shown on most areas of its body. 

Like most cockatiels, the olive cockatiel also has a yellow-tinted head and orange-hued cheeks. Those wanting this variety must shell out around $100 to $250.

To convince you further about bringing home this bubbly bird species, take time to watch the video below:

Happy Cockatiel Singing #shorts | BirdNerdSophie

Factors Influencing Cockatiel Prices

Breeders have several factors on which they base their cockatiel prices. Knowing about these factors lets you understand why the cockatiel sold to you comes with a certain price. 

Below are some factors affecting cockatiel prices:

  • Age: Young cockatiels cost a lot since they have many years ahead of them. They also tend to be more trainable than adults who have already developed certain behaviors.
  • Demand: The cockatiel price may be steep or cheap depending on the demand for a certain variety. Bird fanciers either go for the ordinary variations, while others prefer those harder to source.
  • Breeder’s Location: The cockatiel breeder also takes in the cost of living in their city. Breeding can get them to spend a lot, especially on health tests, so expect to pay a reasonable price for the bird. 
  • Breeder’s Reputation: A cockatiel breeder with a great reputation charges more than pet stores. Although their birds are costly, you’re assured that the cockatiel you’re getting is healthy and socialized.
  • Training: Generally, cockatiels that already perform tricks and know how to talk fetch higher prices than untrained ones.

Keep in mind that while most breeders base their cockatiel prices on these factors, the bird price will still vary from one breeder to another. 

Before starting the deal, ask the breeder how much they charge for the cockatiel. You can compare these prices with other breeders, enabling you to find the best offer out of all the options.

First-Time Expenses of Owning a Cockatiel

Cockatiel being fed

Now that we know how much cockatiels are, the next thing to determine is the first-time expenses. You must have all the items ready, so your new pet can easily adjust to its new home. 

Below are some initial expenses associated with owning a cockatiel:

  • Cage: The cage serves as your cockatiel’s space to rest or take refuge if the environment becomes overwhelming. Ideally, the cage should be around 20 inches in depth, 20 inches in width, and 24 inches in height. Prepare to shell out around $150 to $1,500 for a quality cage.
  • Cage Stand: Having a cage stand mimics a bird’s natural environment. It encourages your cockatiel to move around in its cage with a view from above. Pet stores charge $35 to $75 for a quality cage stand. 
  • Cage Cover: Covering your cockatiel’s cage grants your pet a well-rested night. It needs total darkness for its nighttime slumber; hence, a cage cover is necessary. Depending on the type of cover you purchase, you might spend around $20 to $45.
  • Food and Water Bowls: Your cockatiel’s food and water bowls should be large enough to contain its daily food and water intake. Going for stainless steel items would be a practical idea for an easier time maintaining these bowls. You can purchase these for only $10 to $50. 
  • Perches and Ladders: Your cockatiel instinctively perches, so it’s essential that you install a perch inside its cage. This is where your bird can sleep or preen any time of the day. A ladder is an essential tool, too, for climbing and playing. Perches and ladders can set you back about $80 to $300. 
  • Toys: Cockatiels need mental stimulation to prevent the onset of destructive behaviors. That said, they need durable toys for their entertainment. These items shouldn’t be easily chewed apart or pose choking hazards. Pet stores sell these for $30 to $150.
  • Grooming Supplies: Maintaining a cockatiel is easier if you have complete grooming supplies. Your bird needs regular nail and wing trims, so get the tools ready anytime your pet needs a rub down. You’ll shell out around $30 to $70 for a comprehensive grooming kit. 
  • Cage Cleaning Supplies: Keeping your cockatiel’s cage clean is essential. This keeps your bird from becoming susceptible to infections and other diseases fecal matter, dust, and other dirt can cause. Cage cleaning supplies can only cost you $10 to $40. 
  • Food and Treats: Cockatiels are naturally energetic and playful birds. You must provide quality bird food in suggested amounts to maintain their energy levels. Treats are important, too, since these are used for training. Expect to spend $20 to $70 for these items.
  • Mineral Supplements: Adding vet-recommended mineral supplements to your cockatiel’s diet allows it to have strong bone formation, avoid blood clotting, and have better feather growth. You’ll be spending between $10 and $30 for these supplements. 
  • Cage Liners and Bedding: Cage liners and bedding, which cost between $10 and $30, keep your cockatiel’s cage easy to clean and maintain. Invest well in these items so dirt, dust, and other unwanted substances don’t accumulate inside the cage. 
  • Nesting Material: Those who allow cockatiels to nest and lay eggs should provide nesting material safe for birds and chicks. You can purchase untreated wood shavings, coarse sawdust, or straw for only $5 to $25. 
  • Hideaway: A hideaway, usually costs $7 to $25, is an area where your cockatiel can retreat whenever it needs a sense of privacy or wants to feel safe and secure. Ensure this item is long-lasting, size-appropriate, and made from pet-safe materials. 
  • Travel Cage: A travel cage is a temporary environment used when transporting a cockatiel. This space keeps your bird feeling happy and safe. For a quality travel cage, prepare to spend around $30 to $120 
  • First Aid Supplies: Ensure you also have first aid supplies at home when you own a cockatiel. A medical kit lets you treat any minor injury your bird suffers, such as a blood feather or a broken nail. First aid supplies cost $10 to $35. 
  • Microchip or Leg Band: Depending on your preference, bird identification can be made by implanting a microchip or putting in a leg band. These items, costing between $50 and $120, will help identify your cockatiel if it gets lost or stolen. 

Here’s a summary of the above-mentioned first-time expenses of owning a cockatiel:

Expense ItemPrice Range (USD)
Cage$150 – $1,500
Cage Stand$35 – $75
Cage Cover$20 – $45
Food and Water Bowls$10 – $50
Perches and Ladders$80 – $300
Toys$30 – $150
Grooming Supplies$30 – $70
Cage Cleaning Supplies$10 – $40
Food and Treats$20 – $70
Mineral Supplements$10 – $30
Cage Liners and Bedding$10 – $30
Nesting Material$5 – $25
Hideaway$7 – $25
Travel Cage$30 – $120
First Aid Supplies$10 – $35
Microchip or Leg Band$50 – $120
Total Initial Cost$507 – $2,685

The table above shows an estimated spending of around $507 to $2,685 for your cockatiel’s basic needs. The exact figure of your expenses will depend on the brand and quality of the items you purchase. 

To cut costs, consider buying your cockatiel from a breeder who offers freebies, like toys and bird treats. 

Annual Cost of Owning a Cockatiel

Cockatiels have very long lifespans. In captivity, they can live around 16 to 25 years. In fact, many sources report that some cockatiels can even reach the age of 32 to 36. 

If you also want your cockatiel to live as long as possible, you must provide it with the best quality lifestyle. That means committing to the financial responsibility of owning a pet bird. 

Below is a table showing the annual costs of cockatiel ownership:

Expense ItemYearly Estimate (USD)
Food and Treats$100 – $300
Mineral Supplements$40 – $120
Cage and Accessories$50 – $200
Bedding and Litter$30 – $60
Toys$50 – $150
Grooming Supplies$20 – $70
Cage Cleaning Supplies$15 – $50
Pet Insurance$80 – $250
Veterinary Care$50 – $200
Miscellaneous Expenses$50 – $100
Yearly Total$485 – $1,500
Average Monthly Cost$41 – $125

Looking after a cockatiel can run you $485 to $1,500 yearly or $41 to $125 monthly. Most of the budget goes to your bird’s food and treats, followed by pet insurance. 

Pet insurance covers 70 to 90 percent of your bird’s emergency medical expenses, making this investment worth it in the long run. 

For the most part, owning a cockatiel will inevitably make you spend more regularly. It’s important to plan out your finances thoroughly to avoid having insufficient funds for your cockatiel’s needs. 

Other Potential Expenses

Three Cockatiels indoors

It isn’t just the initial and annual expenses you must consider if you’re getting a cockatiel as a pet. You must also allocate a budget for unexpected bills to stay ahead of your finances.

Below are the other potential expenses when owning a cockatiel bird:

  • Bird Pet Sitter: Cockatiels are social birds, suggesting they always need company. If you’re going to be away, it’s recommended that you hire a pet sitter so your bird won’t experience stress due to your absence. Usually, pet sitters charge $25 to $30. 
  • Emergency Medical Costs: Cockatiels are healthy birds but remain susceptible to problems like hemophilia and liver disease. If your bird needs emergency treatments, you must set aside $500 to $2,000 for vet bills. 
  • Grooming Services: Resorting to pet salons is a convenient choice for busy owners. If you can’t groom your cockatiel, a professional groomer can do it for you. Every grooming session can set you back about $35 to $50.
  • Boarding: Boarding facilities are controlled environments where trained individuals care for your bird for a certain duration. Generally, this service can cost you $20 to $50 daily. 

While pet sitters, grooming services, and boarding are optional expenses, emergency medical costs are not optional. Nonetheless, it remains practical to allot a special budget in case you need any of these services. 

Where to Buy Cockatiels

The cockatiel is undoubtedly one of the most popular pet birds in the United States. If you’re keen on owning one, make sure to purchase a cockatiel from a reputable source. 

Below are some of the credible places where you can buy cockatiels:

  • Big Sky Birds – Big Sky Birds is a Montana-based cockatiel breeder. They offer hand-fed cockatiels raised in a nurturing environment where they receive proper health care. Socialization and other activities are provided early on, too, to make them great companions. 
  • Deborah the Bird Lady – Deborah the Bird Lady raises cockatiels well taken care of in spacious cages where they receive socialization and exercise. Further, these birds are hand-fed and weaned on their own timetable on a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables. 

The sources above have plenty of available cockatiels for sale. However, if you haven’t found the right match, consider asking for referrals from trusted breeders, vets, and cockatiel owners. 

Money Saving Tips for Cockatiel Owners

Cockatiel on a cage

Owning a beautiful bird like a cockatiel will add up to your usual expenses. However, bird ownership doesn’t have to mean emptying your pockets. 

Here are a few money-saving tactics you can follow if you’re a cockatiel owner:

  • Buy bird food in bulk. You can save a few dollars by buying large quantities of your cockatiels’ bird food at once. You’ll also cut costs on shipping fees since you won’t be ordering too often. 
  • Invest in pet insurance. Pet insurance is always useful whenever your cockatiel gets sick. This covers a significant portion of the vet bills, which helps keep you from possible financial struggles. 
  • Groom your bird at home. Frequenting your local pet salon can be costly. To save money, try to groom your cockatiel on your own.
  • Purchase high-quality toys. Quality toys can last a long time. That said, buying a quite expensive, durable toy is better than purchasing a poorly-made one that needs constant replacement. 

Follow these tips so you save the most out of your money. The amount you save is not much, but it will add up over time. You can use your saved-up money for your cockatiel’s other priority needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Cockatiel perched on a hand

How Much Is a Cockatiel at PetSmart?

PetSmart doesn’t always have a cockatiel available for sale, so the price for this bird is not listed. However, expect the average price to be between $80 and $250, depending on the kind of bird and its rarity.

Do Cockatiels Make Good Pets?

Cockatiels are lively companions that know how to be gentle and affectionate. When socialized early, they can get along with humans well. They’re also easy to train if you make use of positive reinforcements. 

What Is the Cheapest Cockatiel?

The cheapest cockatiel is no other than the gray variation. It’s the most common of all other types, so acquiring this bird is easy. 

Next in the pecking order would be the pied and cinnamon cockatiels, whose color mutations are usual occurrences in the cockatiel species. 

Should I Get One or Two Cockatiels?

You should get two cockatiels since these birds are naturally social, even in the wild. These birds enjoy having company and wouldn’t do well when alone. 

Final Thoughts

The beauty of cockatiels can mesmerize any bird fancier. However, before getting one, it’s essential that you first learn the ins and outs of cockatiel expenses.

Bear in mind that your financial commitment isn’t solely limited to the initial purchase of the bird; you will also incur first-time and recurring annual expenses. Other potential costs will require a dedicated budget as well.

Hopefully, this comprehensive guide has given you all the info you need to answer the question, “How much are cockatiels?” Let us know your thoughts about the cockatiel costs and expenses by commenting below!

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