Can You Put a Canary and a Cockatiel in the Same Cage? (Here’s The Truth)

Most birds do well in the company of other birds, provided that the species are compatible and they’re introduced slowly at a young age. As a bird owner, it’s crucial to know which species get along and learn how to introduce two birds before you adopt.

Now then, can you put a canary and a cockatiel in the same cage?

You can’t put a canary and a cockatiel in the same cage because the cockatiel will likely bully the canary. That’s because cockatiels are significantly bigger and more defensive than canaries. Cockatiels can share cages with parrots, while canaries pair best with finches.

Why You Shouldn’t Put a Canary and a Cockatiel in the Same Cage

Cockatiels get along with some birds, but with others, they can become competitive and jealous. Generally, they’ll get along better with other birds of the same size, as drastic size differences can lead to bullying behaviors.

Similar-sized birds may still fight with one another, but it’ll be fairer and less likely to result in serious injury.

That said, avoid housing a canary with a cockatiel because the cockatiel will likely bully the smaller canary. Other birds to avoid housing with a cockatiel include lovebirds, finches, and larger parrots, who are likely to fight with a cockatiel.  

What Birds Can You House With a Cockatiel?

Cockatiels will get along best with roughly the same size birds and thrive in cages with parakeets. The best choices for a companion bird for a cockatiel would be any of the following:

  • Other cockatiels
  • Scarlet-chested parrots
  • Turquoise parrots
  • King parrots
  • Bourke parrots

What Birds Can You House With a Canary?

Canaries are non-aggressive, kind birds and tend to do well with others, so long as the other birds don’t become bullies. The best choices for a companion bird for a canary would be one of the following:

  • Other canaries
  • Star finches
  • Bengalese finches
  • Gouldian finches
  • Double-barred finches
  • Plum-headed finches
  • Chestnut munias
  • Parrot finches

You can also keep budgies with canaries, but only if they both have plenty of room, as a budgie has a powerful peck and may become defensive of its perch if they don’t each have enough space to call their own.

Benefits of Housing Multiple Birds Together

Some birds do very well in the company of other birds, forming a flock that they can bond with and enjoy stimulation with while the owner is gone.

Small birds like finches and budgies are especially likely to enjoy a companion bird, provided that the bird is compatible and introduced the right way.

But if you’re getting a second bird because your first bird seems bored or depressed, try introducing new toys, music, or time outside the cage first to see if the extra stimulation helps.

Periquito Bird Toys might boost your bird’s mood without the need to introduce a second bird into the mix.

It’s best to adopt multiple birds at once than to adopt a new one and introduce it to an existing pet bird.

That’s because introducing a new bird to a current pet is more likely to cause issues in the fight for territory and attention.

Drawbacks of Housing Multiple Birds Together

While there are many benefits to housing multiple birds together, there are also several drawbacks to consider.

Ensure that you understand the risks that come with adopting multiple birds before taking the plunge and take the time to learn how to lessen these risks. The main drawback is jealousy. 

When you have multiple birds, you might find that your time becomes split between them and that your birds become jealous of the time you spend with the others.

Especially when one of the birds is new, be careful not to give too much undivided attention in front of your original bird. Otherwise, your first bird may become defensive and chase after the new bird.

How To Introduce Two Birds to Each Other

When you’re introducing two birds to each other, there are several things to consider to ensure that the process goes smoothly while increasing the chances that the birds get along.

Have the New Bird Checked Out by a Veterinarian

Disease can easily spread from bird to bird. That said, schedule a vet appointment with your new bird before introducing it to your current birds.

This is true whether you adopt the bird from a rescue facility, shelter, breeder, or pet store. 

Introduce the Birds at a Young Age

Birds get along best when they meet one another at a young age and can grow alongside one together. Birds that get to know each other this way are likely to remain friends throughout adulthood.

So, if you’re adopting a cockatiel or a canary and know that you want a second companion bird, adopt them at the same time. 

That said, if you already have a bird in the house, you’re unlikely to have more success introducing a young bird than an older bird.

The existing pet bird will be just as likely to be defensive and territorial in both cases. 

Start With Multiple Cages

If you put two birds in the same cage from the start, they’ll likely fight over territory. That’s why it’s better to start with the birds in separate cages, in separate rooms at first. That way, they can hear each other but not see each other.

After about a month or so, place the cages within sight of each other to increase familiarity. Once they’ve become comfortable with the arrangement, let them occupy the same neutral space outside of the cage.

Gradually increase the amount of time they’re kept outside the cage together until they’re friendly.

Once the birds are comfortable with each other outside the cage, you can try moving their cages next to each other.

If they still get along with each other, you can then attempt to bring them into a new shared cage together. This new cage should be considerably larger so that they each have plenty of space.

Give Each Bird Their Own Feeding Station and Toys

A good way to prevent territorial fights between birds is to provide them with their own feeding stations, toys, and perches.

This will make each of the birds more comfortable and less defensive, especially once they share a cage.

Play With Both Birds at Once

A good way to show the birds that the other isn’t a threat is to give them attention simultaneously. Try cuddling with and petting both birds and giving them both treats at the same time.

This will help an existing pet bird not feel that it’s being replaced. It can also teach two new birds that they’re equally important. 

Be Patient

It may take some time for your new birds to become accustomed to each other, even if you’re doing everything right.

Be patient, and know that familiarity only happens over a long period of regular interactions and trust-building.

Know When To Let the Birds Be

Some birds simply don’t like sharing their space with another bird, so stay in tune with your birds’ feelings.

Don’t push them into a situation they’re not comfortable with. If you need to keep your birds in separate cages permanently, do so. 


Canaries and cockatiels are both social birds but shouldn’t be kept in the same cage together. They’re too different in size and temperament, and a cockatiel can bully or even injure a canary when it feels threatened.

Instead, try pairing a cockatiel with something like a Scarlet-chested parrot, or pair a canary with a star finch.