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How Loud Are Cockatiels? Behaviors That Affect Their Noise Level

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

cockatiel chirping

Cockatiels are one of the most common pets, but people who have never kept them are always surprised to hear how intensive their care requirements are. If you’re considering adopting a bird, you must familiarize yourself with all aspects of its care before you bring one home.

One thing most new bird owners don’t think about is their volume levels. As much as you’d like to think your new bird would sing all day quietly and provide lovely background noise, that isn’t always the case. Birds can be loud and disruptive, and cockatiels are no exception.

Read on to learn about cockatiels and their volume level to see if they’re a good pick for your lifestyle.

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Are Cockatiels Loud?

Well, this depends on your definition of loud. Cockatiels aren’t as loud as an Amazon parrot or conure. But are they loud compared to other pets like ferrets or cats? Yes, definitely.

Cockatiels are parrots, and all parrots make some level of noise. They’re highly social and, in the wild, would live in large flocks of sometimes dozens or hundreds of other birds. How do you think flocks stay in contact with each other when spread across the forest trees? By yelling and screeching, of course! While a pet cockatiel isn’t part of a flock in the woods, it’s still built into their DNA to be loud when trying to get your attention.

Cockatiel parrot sits with colored rags with an open beak
Image Credit: Jolanta Beinarovica, Shutterstock

What Sounds Do Cockatiels Make?

Cockatiels make a wide variety of sounds.

The loudest (and, quite frankly, most bothersome) sound you’ll hear a cockatiel make is a contact call. Birds in the wild use contact calls to keep tabs on the other members of their flock. Since your cockatiel will look at you as a flock mate, it will make these sounds to let you know it’s looking for you.

Another loud and intense sound cockatiels make is the alarm call. They’ll make this noise if something startles them, such as a bird flying by the window or a dog being walked outside. Even something as simple as you vacuuming outside of their room can scare them into making this call.

When Do Cockatiels Get Noisy?

A cockatiel’s noise level will vary throughout the day depending on its mood or what’s happening in its cage.

You may notice it’s louder when it is:

  • Bored
  • Lonely
  • Afraid
  • Tired
  • Hungry
  • Looking for a mate
  • Looking at itself in the mirror

Are Females Quieter Than Males?

There is a significant difference between the noise levels of male and female cockatiels.

Male cockatiels are much more vocal. They will sing, whistle, and talk more than their female counterparts. Males use songs to attract mates and are likelier to be seen tweeting and chirping away in their cages. Females tend to stick to their contact calls only, though there is always an exception to this rule.

If you’re worried about the volume level of your pet, we recommend getting a female, as they’re generally much less vocal than males. Remember, however, females are less likely to sing, mimic, and talk, so if it is important to you that your cockatiel has these traits, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each gender.

Image Credit: left, ONGUSHI, Shutterstock; right, Vasily Belko, Shutterstock

Are Cockatiels Suitable Apartment Pets?

A cockatiel can make a great pet for apartment life if your landlord allows birds. They’re definitely not as loud as other companion birds. Still, each individual has their own personality, so you might want to consider what would happen if you wind up with an overly vocal bird. Will your neighbors complain? How is the soundproofing in your building?

Please note that all caged birds can get excessively noisy if left in their cages too long. They need to spend time out of the cage daily to fly around and spend time with you.

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Final Thoughts

While cockatiels aren’t the loudest bird species you can keep as pets, they’re definitely not silent. Unfortunately, their calls and screeches can be quite bothersome to some folks, so if you’re sensitive to noises or live with roommates, you might want to consider whether it’s the right pet for you.

Featured Image Credit: Jolanta Beinarovica, Shutterstock

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