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Where Can I Buy a Cockatiel? 2024 Guide & Tips

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Hepper believes in adopting before shopping, but we know that there are important reasons to buy from a breeder or store. We recommend making sure you do this responsibly. Learn more.

Cockatiels are considered excellent household pets for various reasons. First and foremost, they are easier to care for than dogs or cats, which makes them suitable for first-time pet owners. Also, these birdies tend to be gentle, smart, and sociable, so they’re fun to interact and bond with. But where can you purchase a Cockatiel? There are a few different places to consider.

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The 4 Places to Buy a Cockatiel

1. Animal Shelters

  • Average Cost: $0–$55

While you might think of animal shelters as places where cats and dogs go to find loving homes, the truth is that many shelters work to help all kinds of different animals, including birds. Some rescue centers even dedicate their services specifically to animals like birds, snakes, and livestock. If you are lucky, there is a bird sanctuary operating in your area that has a cockatiel or two that you can adopt.

The humane society sometimes gets birds that need new homes, though this is not common. What’s great about adopting a cockatiel from an animal shelter is that you will improve the bird’s quality of life while saving yourself money on acquisition costs. Most animal shelters charge just a small rehoming fee to help cover the cost of care that they provided while the animal was in their facility.

2. Breeders

  • Average cost: $150–$300

A reliable way to get a pet cockatiel is to find a breeder to work with. Many bird breeders include cockatiels as part, if not all, of their breeding programs. Not all breeders are the same, though, so ensuring that your new pet cockatiel is healthy means finding a reliable and quality breeder.

You should be allowed to inspect the breeder facility in person, and you should be able to tap into referrals that the breeder provides to get feedback from past customers. Make sure that the breeder you choose to work with can provide proof of healthcare for the bird and that the bird has been inoculated against polyomavirus.

two cockatiels perching
Photo Credit: chrisbrignell, Shutterstock

3. Pet Stores

  • Average Cost: $50–$250

There are a few different pet stores out there that have cockatiels for sale; it’s just a matter of heading in and picking one out. What’s great about getting your cockatiel from a pet store is that you can purchase all the supplies that you’ll need to care for your new bird in the same place. If you are unsure of what type of habitat, toys, or food to pick out, a customer service representative can provide you with viable recommendations. Pet stores that carry cockatiels and that may operate in your area include:

  • Petco: Some stores carry cockatiels for sale, but the exact locations must be verified at any given time because stock changes quickly. Just because your local Petco has a cockatiel for sale today doesn’t mean they’ll still have the bird at the end of the week. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to call ahead and verify whether a cockatiel is available.
  • Pet Supermarket: Located in states throughout the country, this chain offers various cockatiel colors, ages, and sizes, but availability differs from location to location. Associates will allow you to interact with the available birds before deciding which one you want to take home with you.
  • Local Shops: If your community is like most, there is at least one small pet shop around. While these smaller shops do not usually have as many bird options, it is worth stopping in to see what’s in stock. In this way, you can support a local business.

4. Online Marketplaces

  • Average Cost: $50–$300

There are several online marketplaces that you can visit to see if any cockatiels are being sold by private owners in your area. Popular options are Craigslist and Facebook, but don’t limit yourself to these marketplaces. Another option to consider is PetClassifieds.com, which focuses on nothing but animal classifieds throughout the United States. A website that brings people together to sell and buy birds like cockatiels specifically is BirdsNow.com.

a woman using a laptop with a beagle dog on her lap
Photo Credit: Kampus Production, Pexels

Tips for Buying Your New Cockatiel

There are a few different things that you can do to ensure a positive experience for both you and your new pet cockatiel when you bring them home for the first time. First, decide what cockatiel you want to buy or adopt. This way, you will know exactly how big they are so you can get the right size caged habitat. Here are other tips to consider:

  • Look for a cockatiel that displays healthy, soft plumage, as that’s a sign of good health.
  • Pay attention to personality and temperament. A bird that is playful, talkative, and interactive in the store is likely to be the same way in your home.
  • Find out how old the cockatiel that you want to buy is, if possible, as this will help you determine how to best meet their needs as soon as they arrive at their new home.

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There are many different places to visit when you’re in the market for a new pet cockatiel. It’s a good idea to check out multiple sources before deciding exactly where to get your cockatiel, but we highly recommend starting at your local animal rescue centers. No matter where you end up getting your cockatiel, though, be sure to take the time to prepare for their arrival to ensure their safety and comfort right from the beginning.

Featured Image Credit: Flivya Agency, Shutterstock

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Authored by

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens. She is an artist at heart and loves...Read more

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