Cockatiels are more similar to cockatoos than you might think

galah aka rose breasted cockatoo on left pied cockatiel on right against a beautiful sky with light clouds background
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Cockatiels like cockatoos hark from the continent of Australia. Ironically cockatiels used to be classified as a crested or small cockatoos.

We recently posted a list of 43 macaw. The hahns or noble macaw is the smallest of the 43 much like a cockatiel being the smallest of the 30 or so speaking of cockatoos.

Now that scientists have gotten more granular about birds, cockatiels have been assigned to its own subfamily Nymphicinae making it the smallest of the cockatoo (Nymphicinae) family.

The ideal weight for a cockatiel is about 100 grams which is just over 3 ounces.  Except for size there’s not a great difference between a cockatoo and a cockatiel.  Cockatiels are technically classified as one of the 21 or so sub species of cockatoos.


Bigger birds will have bigger brains louder voices and greater appetites So I’d say the single biggest difference between the two is that each species of the larger cockatoos present themselves in several colors – pink, white, black or speckled.


Cockatiels Offer many more mutations like Cinnamon split to Pied – Cinnamon Pearl – Pied – Pastel Face – Cinnamon Pied – DYC Cinnamon Pearl Male – Yellow Cheek Cinnamon Pearl – White Face Cinnamon Pearl.

They all can be cared for in a similar way


from Wikipedia


There are about 44 different birds in the cockatoo family Cacatuidae including recognized subspecies. The current subdivision of this family is as follows:[Note 1]

Subfamily Nymphicinae

Subfamily Calyptorhynchinae: The black cockatoos

Subfamily Cacatuinae

end Wikipedia

Then there’s the rarer albino Cockatiel.  This is popcorn RIP  who passed over the rainbow bridge June of 2016 from cancer.


In conclusion. 

The better we understand the bird kingdom the better we begin to understand our own bird’s pecking order.

written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing


He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.