Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted May 22, 2013
Cockatiels are the bird people get as a gateway to parrots. They are more easily handled than parakeets, but without the intelligence and moodiness of the larger parrots. They are cute, can mimic, and can be taught tricks, which makes them desirable to persons who are looking for more than just a visual pet, but they are fantastically loud and fussy when they want something. My eclectus would whistle, sing, and ask if she wanted something. The cockatiel would do a kind of whistle/screech, and then call until he got what he wanted. Annoying? You bet. But get him out of the cage and play with him and he was a blast. You could teach him to repeat simple sounds and phrases, and he loved sharing food with me. He was a ball when he would bathe, and then would almost coo like a dove when you wrapped him in a towel after.
Thinking about getting a parrot, but not sure if you are ready for the commitment? A cockatiel may be right for you. Shorter lived than the average parrot at only 10-15 years, and not quite as needy, cockatiels still require daily care and interaction to be quality pets. Be ready for a noise-maker, but also for a playful bird that loves to be social.