The average lifespan of a cockatiel is 12 to 15 years. It is not unusual for a cockatiel to live to 20 years of age and the occasional cockatiel makes it to 30!
To insure your cockatiel has a long and happy life provide:
a clean cage
a healthy diet including fresh fruit and vegetables offered daily
plenty of activity and companionship
With young cockatiels the male and female look the same so it is difficult to decipher their sex until they have been through their first molt at around six to nine months of age. Only then will the adult coloring show.
Normal gray cockatiels are easily sexed once the adult plumage is through. You will notice that the coloring is more defined with the male having a bright yellow face, whereas the female has a gray face with traces of pale yellow. The male's body is a dark gray but the female's appears duller with almost a brown tint to the gray. Also, until their first molt both sexes have barring patterns on the underside of their tail feathers. After the molt the male's tail feathers will be a solid gray color with no barring, but the female's will remain patterned.
Budgies (budgerigars) are an extremely popular pet bird, and for good reason. These small parrots make delightful pets, and are usually friendly and easy to tame. While they can sometimes be difficult to understand, they are quite capable of mimicking speech.
Budgies should be given a nice-sized cage with a variety of perch widths and textures to keep their feet in shape. Budgies also like to have a swing in the cage. Beaded swings with a bell are very popular. The cage should be cleaned daily if there is no grating between the bird and the waste at the bottom of the cage. If there is a grating so the bird can't get into the mess at the bottom, you can clean it every couple of days. Perches and other soiled items should be cleaned as well. Perches should be replaced every few of months if they are getting dirty. Budgies are very playful and will enjoy beaded toys with bells. Rotate their toys to keep them amused and prevent boredom.
The diet for budgies is similar to that of most parrots. A good seed mix (I like a parakeet mix with 25% canary seed), pellets (such as Exact or Roudybush minis), fresh greens (sunflower sprouts, baby lettuces) and other vegetables (they relish tiny peas and cooked carrots). Fruit can be given on occasion, although it is not as important as green vegetables. I also supply my birds with a cuttlebone for calcium. Do not supply your budgie with grit. Many pet stores will tell you this is necessary. It is old advice and absolutely wrong. Grit is only necessary for birds that cannot shell their seeds. Budgies obviously have not problem with this, as you will see the husks in the seed bowl. Always change your bird's food and water bowls daily. Do not think they haven't eaten their seeds just because the bowl seems full. They leave the empty husks in the seed bowl, which can give the illusion that they have plenty left to eat.
Budgies also need a bath every couple of days. You can give them a wide flat bowl for this purpose, but not all budgies will jump in for a dip. If they do not bathe themselves, you can get a spray bottle and mist them every other day. Make sure the spray bottle is not used for anything else (only fresh water), and label it to warn people not to put anything else in the spray bottle lest you not realize they have and spray your bird with something toxic. Remember that budgies can get long distances with very few flight feathers grown in. If you do not trim your budgies wings regularly, you run the risk of them escaping out an open door or window. If you prefer not to trim your bird's wings, you must make sure he is very secure in the home and that mistakes will not be made that will allow his escape to the great outdoors.
There are several species of lovebirds (genus Agapornis and but the most commonly found species in the pet trade include peach faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis, masked lovebirds (Agapornis personata) and Fischer's lovebirds (Agapornis fischeri). There are many color mutations found in peach faced lovebirds and several mutations in some of the other species, so there are many color variations of lovebirds available.
There are numerous species of finch, but among the most popular as pets are the zebra finch (Poephila guttata) and the society (or Bengalese) finch (Lonchura domestica). These species are hardy and relatively easy to care for, so are an excellent choice for the new owner. Some of the other finch species are more challenging to care for and are best left for more experienced finch keepers. As an example, the Lady Gouldian finch is a strikingly beautiful, brightly colored finch, but are more difficult to care for and keep successfully than zebra finches.
Zebra finches are small birds, and are active and fun to watch, and quiet when it comes to vocalization (chirps and peeps that most people find easy to tolerate). Although small, they need a fairly large cage in order to have flight room (the length of the cage is more important than the height). All finches are social and should be kept in pairs - and a male and female pair will usually breed quite readily so you may want to consider keeping only females. Some people recommend keeping either in pairs or in groups larger than 6. Of course, if keeping more than a pair, you will need a larger cage such as a flight cage or aviary. While they are social with each other they are not birds that bond strongly to people (although they do become quite tame) and are good for watching but not for handling.
In general, finches have an expected lifespan of anywhere from 5-15 years. The wide range here can probably be attributed to species differences as well as an increased understanding of their husbandry, especially diet.
As mentioned above, the height of the cage is not as vital as having room to fly horizontally, so a long but shorter cage is acceptable. While experts vary in their recommended minimum size, it a good idea to get the largest cage you can. 30 inches long, by 18 inches high and 18 inches wide is a good sized cage for a pair of zebra finches. If you are going to get a larger group, you'll need an aviary or flight cage. This can be home built, but keep in mind that excellent hygiene is a must so any cage should be easy to clean. Wire spacing should be 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch.
Feed a good quality finch seed mix, although this should never the the sole diet of your finches. Check that the seeds are fresh by sprouting them (put some in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel) - if they will not sprout then they are too old to feed. Millet sprays are a favorite treat of many finches but should be given sparingly, or the finches may develop a preference for millet.
A variety of green should be provided, such as romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, kale, and spinach (in moderation), along with a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits (NO avocado, though). Experiment to find what they like and keep offering a variety as it may take your finches a few tries to accept new food items. Remember, though, that serving sizes of these foods should be small.