How Smart Are Cockatiels? The Dazzling Facts To Know

Tame cockatiels are incredibly beloved by their owners. The owners’ affection is enhanced multiple times when they get strong bonding and relationships. And, if the pet is intelligent, this goes to another level.

When the fact comes to cockatiels’ smartness, how smart are cockatiels, you think? Cockatiel, one of the prettiest birds, is incredibly smart. They have bigger brains, can solve problems, learn human language, show tricks, hold strong memories, show emotional intelligence to their owners, and so on.

Several facts indicate cockatiels are smart enough to live with humans. Keep reading the rest of the article to get an overall idea about cockatiel’s smartness. You will learn some astonishing facts.

How Smart Are Cockatiels? – Brain Facts

Cockatiels are incredibly smart, having the IQ of a 2-year-old child. The brain is the foremost element to discuss when you want to discover how intelligent a creature is. Because all bits of intelligence and smartness are defined by the brain’s activities, neurons, and size.

As we mentioned before, according to Nature, intelligent birds like cockatiels have bigger brains compared to their body size. So the term “bird’s brain” is not a joke anymore.

By the way, only brain mass is not the benchmark for defining the smartness of cockatiels. There are some factors too. Neurons on the brain are another big factor in defining the intelligence of living objects.

According to the research of Science Daily, they found-

  • A significantly large number of neurons in singing birds’ pallium like parrots, cockatiels, etc. The pallium is the complex part of the brain, in short, which helps living objects to think about the future and make plans.
  • In addition, a much higher proportion of neurons can be seen in the forebrain of parrots, cockatiels, crows, etc.

There’s one more study showing how bigger is the brain mass of cockatiels compared to other birds.

Many neurons mean more ability to think. And you will be amazed that cockatiels, like birds with compact brain sizes, have as twice neurons as the same massed brains of other primates.

Also, the neurons of cockatiels are as many as two to four times compared to rodents’ brains. All these indicators indicate that cockatiels have bigger brains compared to their size and more neurons compared to the same-sized brain, which is clearly ahead of being intellectual and smart enough.

Here Are Some Signs That Indicate How Smart Are Cockatiels

Aside from the scientific research, as a pet owner, you will be able to see some incredible activities that your cockatiel can do with proper training and naturally.

The several signs indicate cockatiel intelligence that they are pretty smarter and qualified to live with humans.

Problem Solving Ability

As we mentioned before about the neurons of cockatiels, they think about their future or any problem they face surrounding them.

Solving puzzle toys is a common phenomenon by cockatiels. They do it to get treats or to be appreciated.

Cockatiels will utilize the objects surrounding them to solve regular problems and make life easier. For example, if you keep your eyes on your avian, you will often see they use sticks to reach hard-to-reach spots.

They also use the objects innovatively to ease taking food.

Cockatiels can open the poorly locked cage to flee. So you know, if you are not careful, you may find your cockatiel escaped if it is untamed.

The Memory Of Cockatiels- Recognizing Objects

Cockatiels have significant memory to remember objects. By the way, memory is the primary intelligence of most birds for surviving in the wild. So, this is actually not for being pets; rather, it’s natural.

Pet cockatiels can remember where they hide their food. Though they don’t need to remember their foods, they still do it instinctively.

Cockatiels also can mock household sounds and remember the daily routine and words the owner and others use. For example, if you give your cockatiel something, like any treat, it will not let you forget it at the same time you do it regularly.

On the other hand, your cockatiels can recognize the toys you give to them and recall how to play with them.

You know what? Your pet cockatiel not only recognizes you but your footfalls.

There are too many more to list. Your bird is overly memory-focused, so it retains the behavior it encounters. If someone acts unkindly with it, he or she will never forget it and never be kind to that specific individual.

Tricks Showing

One of the most satisfying smartnesses of your cockatiel intelligence is its trick-showing ability. If you train them, they can show a lot of activities. Even without training, they are able to memorize recreational activities.

Some of the tricks you can teach your avian are high five, turning around, mimicry sounds, fetching things, bowing, or shaking heads, playing hide and seek, and playing with bird-sized basketballs or footballs.

Aside from these, they also do wing spreading, climbing ladders, 360-degree somersaulting, and so on. Check out the video for training you bird such tricks.

Emotional Affection To The Owner

Cockatiels are emotional. Though the intelligence level of cockatiels is not that advanced, they can show their emotional affection. Trained cockatiels are affectionate to their owners, and they show it significantly on occasion.

The cockatiels have happiness, sadness, affection, and friendship with other birds. They are not only able to communicate with other birds and their owners, but they show affection significantly in their ways.

They can understand the tragedy. If any of their companions or the bird owner dies, who used to care for him/her, he/she mourns for them.

Cockatiels are social and love to make affection with humans and other birds surrounding them. Watch the video.

Voice Tool/ Talking

Talking or vocalizing is one of the common signs for parrot-like birds to show their smartness. Cockatiels, on the other hand, can learn to speak with proper language training.

Cockatiels, especially the male ones, can easily learn some phrases, names, greetings, etc. Parrot-like birds are the most capable of learning a language like humans.

By the way, it’s not actually mandatory to train them in most cases. They are capable of learning words just by listening to themselves. And the mesmerizing fact is they can start learning a language as soon as they are 3 months old.


Below are some common questions answered on the topic.

Are Cockatiels Smart like Crows?

Yes, cockatiels are plenty smart, but not as smart as crows. However, cockatiels (parrot family) and crows are the most intelligent birds in the bi world. But if you consider the IQ level, a study shows cockatiels have IQ levels like a two-year-old child, while crows’ IQ is similar to a seven-year-old child.

Do Cockatiels Show Emotional Intelligence?

Yes, they do. Tame cockatiels are one of the most affectionate birds. They are social enough and hold a lot of emotions. They significantly feel love for their owners who take care of them. Even if the owner dies, they grieve for them by showing sadness.

Do Cockatiels Hold Grudges?

Yes, this might be strange to hear, but cockatiels hold grudges against some people, For example, who behave rough, or sometimes to the vets who give treatment to them by injecting medicines or cutting their feathers for reasons.

Final Note

From the studies and experience, we can find out how smart are cockatiels. Being a member of the smartest bird family, cockatiels hold much more intelligence than most other birds for their size.

Because they are sociable creatures, cockatiels show emotional intelligence in the form of affection to both people and other birds. Consequently, cockatiels are among the top choices if you’re thinking about getting a beautiful bird that is smart as well.

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