Beginners Guide to Pearl Cockatiel Care

As a kid my family had a pearl cockatiel, and caring for her was a lot of fun, she would get excited when she saw us in the morning, she could say several phrases, including hello, goodbye, and she could say her name. She was gentle and easy going, but also had her favorite human, which was my brother. 

Caring for a pearl cockatiel requires attention, dedication, and proper knowledge. These birds are highly social and intelligent creatures that require a well-balanced diet, regular grooming, and socialization to maintain their health and well-being. Providing a spacious living environment, a variety of toys and perches, and medical attention when needed are essential aspects of caring for a pearl cockatiel. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of pearl cockatiel care to help you provide the best possible care for your feathered friend.

Read on to learn more about caring for a pearl cockatiel. 

Pearl Cockatiel 

As a whole the Pearl Cockatiel is a popular bird species known for their unique and striking feather patterns. They are highly social and intelligent creatures that require proper care, including a well-balanced diet, regular grooming, and socialization. With proper care, Pearl Cockatiels can live up to 25 years.

Let’s get into it, with what type of cage setup they will need, their diet needs, their grooming requirements, exercise needs, and health care.

I also write a article about How to tell if your pearl cockatiel is male or female


Pearl cockatiels require a spacious cage that allows them to move around freely. The cage should be large enough for the bird to spread its wings fully without touching the sides or top of the cage. The ideal size of the cage for one pearl cockatiel is around 20 inches in length, 20 inches in width, and 30 inches in height.

The cage should be made of sturdy materials such as stainless steel or wrought iron, with horizontal bars to allow your bird to climb and play. The spacing between the bars should be no more than 0.5 inches to prevent your bird from getting its head or body stuck.

Provide your pearl cockatiel with plenty of toys and perches to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Add different types of perches such as wooden dowels, natural branches, and rope perches to prevent foot problems from developing. It’s also important to keep the cage clean, with fresh food and water provided daily.

In addition to their cage, pearl cockatiels require out-of-cage time to fly and exercise. Provide them with a safe and secure area outside of the cage to play and stretch their wings. This can be a play gym or a designated area in your home where they can fly and explore.

Overall, providing a spacious and stimulating living environment is essential for the health and well-being of your pearl cockatiel.


A well-balanced diet is essential for the health and well-being of your pearl cockatiel. The best diet for a pearl cockatiel should consist of a variety of foods, including a commercial seed mix, pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

Pellets should make up 60% of your pearl cockatiel’s diet, as they contain essential nutrients and are less fatty than seeds. Choose high-quality pellets specifically formulated for cockatiels, and provide them in a separate dish from the seed mix.

The remaining 40% of your bird’s diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables. Offer a variety of produce, such as leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and apples. Wash and chop the fruits and vegetables into small pieces, and provide them in a separate dish from the pellets and seeds.

It’s important to avoid feeding your pearl cockatiel foods that are toxic to birds, including avocado, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. These can be harmful or fatal to your bird. Also, limit the amount of high-fat or sugary foods, such as seeds and treats, as they can lead to obesity and other health issues.

In addition to a well-balanced diet, provide your pearl cockatiel with a calcium supplement to prevent calcium deficiencies and related issues like egg-binding. Consult with your veterinarian or an avian nutrition specialist to ensure your bird is receiving a healthy and balanced diet.


Pearl cockatiels require fresh, clean water at all times. Change their water daily, and use a water dispenser that is easy to clean and refill.


Pearl cockatiels require regular grooming to maintain their health and well-being. Here are some of the grooming needs of a pearl cockatiel:

  1. Wing clipping: As pearl cockatiels are excellent fliers, it’s important to have their wings clipped regularly to prevent them from flying away or injuring themselves. A professional bird groomer or avian veterinarian can do this for you. Clipping the first ten primary feathers of each wing will help to limit their flying ability while still allowing them to glide safely.
  2. Nail trimming: Pearl cockatiels’ nails will naturally grow long, which can cause discomfort and may lead to injury if they get caught on something. Trim your bird’s nails every six weeks to keep them at a safe length. You can do this at home using bird nail trimmers or seek the help of a professional groomer or veterinarian.
  3. Bathing: Pearl cockatiels enjoy bathing and keeping their feathers clean. Provide your bird with a shallow dish of water or a misting spray bottle to help them bathe. You can also place a bird bath in their cage, which they can use to clean themselves.
  4. Feather trimming: Feather trimming is a last resort, done only if your bird has broken or damaged feathers that need to be removed. Consult with your veterinarian before trimming any feathers to avoid accidentally injuring your bird.
  5. Beak care: A healthy beak is important for a bird’s well-being. Offer your pearl cockatiel cuttlebone, mineral blocks, or calcium supplements to help keep their beak healthy and strong.
  6. Socialization
  7. Pearl cockatiels are highly social birds and thrive on attention and interaction with their owners. Spend time with your bird every day, talking to them, playing with them, and teaching them new tricks. Additionally, consider getting a companion for your pearl cockatiel if you do not have enough time to interact with them daily.


Pearl cockatiels are active birds and require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. Here are some exercises that can help keep your bird healthy and happy:

  1. Flight: Allow your pearl cockatiel to fly in a safe and secure area outside of their cage. This can be done in a designated area in your home, such as a bird-safe room, or in an aviary outdoors.
  2. Play: Provide your bird with a variety of toys and perches to play with inside their cage. Offer different types of toys that can stimulate their minds and challenge their physical abilities, such as swings, ladders, and puzzles.
  3. Socialization: Interact with your pearl cockatiel every day, talk to them, and offer them treats. Training your bird to perform tricks is also a great way to provide mental and physical stimulation.
  4. Out-of-cage time: Allow your pearl cockatiel to spend time outside of their cage every day. This can be in the form of supervised playtime or spending time with their owners.

Health care

Regular veterinary care is essential for maintaining the health and well-being of your pearl cockatiel. Here are some health care needs that you should consider for your bird:

  1. Annual check-up: Schedule an annual check-up with an avian veterinarian to ensure your pearl cockatiel is in good health. A routine check-up can help identify potential health issues before they become serious.
  2. Signs of illness: Keep an eye out for any signs of illness, including a lack of appetite, lethargy, feather plucking, and changes in droppings. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible.
  3. Vaccinations: Vaccinations are not usually necessary for pet birds, but your veterinarian may recommend certain vaccinations based on the bird’s risk factors and medical history.
  4. Parasite control: Parasites such as mites, ticks, and lice can affect your pearl cockatiel’s health. Use bird-safe treatments to control these parasites, and consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your bird has a parasite infestation.
  5. Calcium supplements: Calcium deficiency is a common health issue in pearl cockatiels, which can cause soft bones and muscle weakness. Provide your bird with a calcium supplement or offer cuttlebone or mineral blocks to ensure they are getting enough calcium in their diet.
  6. Respiratory infections: Respiratory infections are a common health issue in birds, including pearl cockatiels. Symptoms include sneezing, nasal discharge, and wheezing. Consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your bird has a respiratory infection.

Some of the Pros and Cons for owning a Pearl Cockatiel 

Beautiful and unique feather patternsRequire daily socialization and attention
Highly social and interactive birdsCan be noisy, especially in the morning and evening
Low-maintenance when it comes to groomingMay develop destructive behaviors if left alone for long periods
Relatively easy to care for and feedCan be prone to obesity if overfed or not given enough exercise
Can learn tricks and enjoy playing with toysMay require wing clipping and nail trimming
Can live up to 25 years with proper careMay be prone to certain health issues, including calcium deficiencies and respiratory infections
Can make good pets for both individuals and familiesMay not be suitable for households with small children or other pets
Pros and Cons of Owning a Pearl Cockatiel

It’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons before deciding to bring a pearl cockatiel into your home. While these birds can be wonderful companions, they do require a significant amount of time and attention to thrive.

In conclusion, pearl cockatiels are beautiful, social, and intelligent birds that make excellent pets. Proper care and attention are necessary to maintain their health and well-being. Providing your pearl cockatiel with a spacious cage, a well-balanced diet, regular grooming, socialization, and medical attention will ensure that they live a happy and healthy life.

Mohsin Iqbal

Dr. Mohsin Iqbal, a licensed veterinarian holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, is a respected member of the Pakistan Veterinary Medical Association and a well-established figure in the world of animal advocacy. His professional experiences are diverse, including working in various settings like private practices such as My Pet’s Clinic, public institutions like Civil Veterinary Hospital, shelters, rescues, and the Bahawalpur Zoo. Treating a wide range of animals, from common pets to exotic species, has enriched his expertise in numerous facets of pet care, including nutrition, exercise, behavior, training, and preventative care—an area he is particularly passionate about. As an ardent proponent of preventative care, Dr. Iqbal's writing focuses on the importance of vaccinations, routine check-ups, and early health problem detection. His dedication to educating others steered him toward a successful career. Over the past two years, his insightful pieces have been published in national and international magazines and featured regularly on online pet care platforms. Beyond his professional life, Dr. Iqbal is the president of the Animal Rescue Organization Pakistan, demonstrating his commitment to animal welfare through the rescue and rehabilitation of animals in need. His belief in the power of knowledge shines through his engaging content, empowering pet owners to nurture a deep, enduring bond with their animal companions. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Mohsin Iqbal to our team of content writers, eagerly anticipating his contributions that will foster a well-informed pet-owning community.

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