Posted Apr 30, 2013
I bought a cockatiel when I was in college to keep me company while I lived alone. He came from a breeder who dealt mostly with more exotic birds, so he didn't get any personal attention or training before the age of one. Regardless of how often I spent time with him or tried to train him, he remained terrified of human touch. He did, however, love hanging out on top of his cage.
He learned a great deal of songs and sounds from me, and I would often sit with him and read out loud, while he munched on something. He seemed the happiest when I was close to him, but not trying to touch him. My cockatiel was extremely easy to take care of, though he had to be cleaned often. I changed his toys ever week, and he seemed excited each time there were new ones.
I had a hard time training this bird, and I was able to train guinea pigs, dogs, and rats before owning this bird. Personally, I think it would be best to get the bird very young so it'll bond with you, making training very easy. If you get them later in life, prepare yourself for a hard time.