Cockatiel Vs Green Cheek Conure

Cockatiel Vs Green Cheek Conure | 9 Differences | Bird Addicts

You must have heard that phrase “Every person is different”! Well, the same is applicable for birds. Whatever it is cockatiel or green cheek conure, each has an individual personality.

But every species has some characteristics for sure. In this article we will go through those characteristics.

Both cockatiel and green cheek conure make great pets! But they have some subtle differences. Enough chit-chat, let’s find them. 

Cockatiel Vs Green Cheek Conure
Meet 4 female tiels – Skylar (18 WF Lutino top right), Leia (6 Cinnamon Pearl middle right), Athena “Tina”, age unknown, Pied, bttom left), and Peep (1, grey split to pied, bottom right) plus 2 Green Cheek boys, Kirby (2.5, Turquoise Yellow-sided, left) and Yoshi (1.5 Yellowside, right). Photo credite and owner: Sarah Rank

1. Appearance

Both cockatiel and green cheek conure (popularly known as gcc) has several color mutations. 


All cockatiels are permuted in four colors: Grey, White, Yellow and Red. If red is present, it is found exclusively on cheek patches. They are not that colorful but the distribution of colors makes them stunning.

Cockatiel Vs Green Cheek Conure

Green Cheek Conure

GCCs come with a predominantly green color body. Turquoise color mutation has turquoise instead of green. Suncheek mutation has yellow color predominant. Tail is always maroon. Red factor gcc has plenty of red coloration on the belly.

Green Cheek Conures are colorful bird
Left to right: Pineapple, tarquoise, yellow sided, pineapple, normal, red factor green cheek conure. Photo credite: unknow. If anyone claims we are happy to give it.

Note: If you are fond of colorful birds then both cockatiels and gcc are not good choices.

2. Dust Issue in parrots

Green Cheek Conure

Green Cheek Conures are not dusty. They have oil glands and they use this oil to preen their feathers. You will only find a blast of fluff around your room during molting.


Like Cockatoos and African Greys, Cockatiels are dusty. Although they are not dusty like African Greys, they produce a good amount of dust daily. If you clean the cage in the morning, there will undoubtedly be a thin layer of dust by evening. Have you heard about Bird Fancier’s Lung disease? Well, bird dust is the main culprit for that disease.

Other birds for example- Amazon, Conures and especially Macaws are very sensitive to bird dust. So, if you have dust issues or have other birds like Amazon, Conures and especially Macaws then cockatiels are big NO. Pulmonary Hypersensitivity Disease among pet birds is caused by dust.

Note: Dust issues should be considered if you have health issues with dust or have other birds like Amazon, Conures and Macaws. Although, dust issues can be resolved using good air filters/purifiers, wet mopping the cage and bird room, bathing your bird on a regular basis.Cockatiels like to bathe. So, regular bathing or spraying water mist may reduce dust problems.

Cockatiel Vs Green Cheek Conure

3. Body language-Biting

Green Cheek Conure

Green Cheek Conure may be the nippiest bird you ever have except Amazon parrots. Although the Amazon parrot gives warnings most of the time before biting, Green Cheek Conure doesn’t give any warning. They will bite when they want. Excited, bored, happy, I don’t know why, hormonal, feared, not liking your ear ring, who are you, why you stop scratching, it’s feeling good, I want to kiss you, cuddle time, snuggle time- you name any time, any moment they may bite.   

Cockatiels are not biter.
Cockatiels are not biter.


Cockatiels will only bite when they feel insecure or in response to danger. Female birds tend to nippy during hormonal surge but not all of sudden biting. You can tell the mode of a cockatiel by observing its head crest positioning. It is a very effective tool. You can also understand the mood of a cockatiel by looking at its wing positioning. 

Note: Both are biter. Every pet bird bites. But gccs are class. A bite from a Cockatiels in a similar situation might be more from fear or defensiveness rather than aggression or excitement.

4. Behavioral Issue

Both cockatiel and gcc are not known as feather pluckers. Maybe there are a few cases of gccs but not cockatiel.  

GCCs are very energetic birds. Gets bored quicker than cockatiels. They are a more engaging and hands-on type. GCCs are cuddle bugs. They love cuddling.

Compared to gccs, cockatiels are calm. They are not cuddlier like gccs but love head scratches. They love it when you listen to their whistling songs. 

GCCs will destroy your house if they get chances, cockatiels will do the same but to a lesser degree.

Note: Behaviorally Cockatiels are more stable and forgiving to new environments. GCCs need constant positive interaction with caregivers.

5. Temperament

Green Cheek Conure Temperament

Moody and aggressive during breeding season due to hormonal surge. GCCs are outgoing. If raised appropriately, they become very social and want to be the center of the crowd.


Temperamentally stable, more docile, empathetic. They Like new people and can adjust to new environments. They are slightly Less social than gccs.

6. Housing around Children

Children are not safe around any free bird. But I prefer to not let my gcc go around my children due to their biting issue. Both cockatiels and gccs dont mind children, but it is not wise to keep distance from gccs.

7. Talking Ability

Green cheek conure

GCCs say a few words if trained. Not clear. They are not known for their talking ability.


Cockatiels are not talkers. But they are super whistlers. They can whistle songs and their name. They can beat-boxing too. Keep in mind that only male cockatiels can whistle, not females. 

Note: Both cockatiels and gccs are not known for their talking ability. But male Cockatiels are super whistlers.

8. Handling

If you decide to adopt a bird as a pet, then handling should not be a concern. Both of the species will take a significant amount of time from your daily life.

But GCCs are a bit difficult to handle. They are more energetic. If you are a first time bird owner then gccs are not a good choice. Go for cockatiels. They are easy to maintain.

9. Noise Level

Green cheek conures are louder. They scream without any reason, maybe for fun, to draw your attention, out of boredom, fear. They will definitely do a flock call in the evening and if you are lucky may be at dawn. Their flock calls are very loud. Do not think that they are not that large so their noise will be lower. 

On the other hand, cockatiels are not that loud. They do not do flock calls. Their sounds are not ear piercing. Kind of sweet! If you are apartment dweller then cockatiel is definitely your first choice. You may not notice their sound from other room if the door is closed.

Cockatiel Vs Green Cheek Conure | Final word

People fall in love with gccs for their comical look, cuddle loving behavior. But they are nippier and very energetic. On the other hand cockatiels are docile, sweet pie.

If you are a first timer then go for cockatiels. If you have enough time and patience then gccs are great options too. You can literally hold a conure in your hand and rub their belly. Cockatiels don’t like to be held but they will perch on you happily.

Oh another thing I forgot to mention, gccs have really big poops compared to cockatiels. So, it is better you potty train your gcc.

Happy bird keeping!

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